Fission yeast with DNA polymerase delta temperature-sensitive alleles exhibits cell division cycle phenotype

Nucleic Acids Res. 1993 Aug 11;21(16):3821-8. doi: 10.1093/nar/21.16.3821.


DNA polymerases alpha and delta are essential enzymes believed to play critical roles in initiation and replication of chromosome DNA. In this study, we show that the genes for Schizosaccharomyces pombe (S.pombe) DNA polymerase alpha and delta (pol alpha+ and pol delta+) are essential for cell viability. Disruption of either the pol alpha+ or pol delta+ gene results in distinct terminal phenotypes. The S.pombe pol delta+ gene is able to complement the thermosensitive cdc2-2 allele of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S.cerevisiae) at the restrictive temperature. By random mutagenesis in vitro, we generated three pol delta conditional lethal alleles. We replaced the wild type chromosomal copy of pol delta+ gene with the mutagenized sequence and characterized the thermosensitive alleles in vivo. All three thermosensitive mutants exhibit a typical cell division cycle (cdc) terminal phenotype similar to that of the disrupted pol delta+ gene. Flow cytometric analysis showed that at the nonpermissive temperature all three mutants were arrested in S phase of the cell cycle. The three S.pombe conditional pol delta alleles were recovered and sequenced. The mutations causing the thermosensitive phenotype are missense mutations. The altered amino acid residues are uniquely conserved among the known polymerase delta sequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • DNA Polymerase II / genetics*
  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase III
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Schizosaccharomyces / enzymology
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / growth & development
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Temperature


  • CDC2 Protein Kinase
  • DNA Polymerase II
  • DNA Polymerase III
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase