, Volume 279, Issue 3, pp 225-238

Genomic expression patterns in cell separation mutants of Schizosaccharomyces pombe defective in the genes sep10 + and sep15 + coding for the Mediator subunits Med31 and Med8

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Abstract

Cell division is controlled by a complex network involving regulated transcription of genes and postranslational modification of proteins. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that the Mediator complex, a general regulator of transcription, is involved in the regulation of the second phase (cell separation) of cell division of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. In previous studies we have found that the fission yeast cell separation genes sep10 + and sep15 + code for proteins (Med31 and Med8) associated with the Mediator complex. Here, we show by genome-wide gene expression profiling of mutants defective in these genes that both Med8 and Med31 control large, partially overlapping sets of genes scattered over the entire genome and involved in diverse biological functions. Six cell separation genes controlled by the transcription factors Sep1 and Ace2 are among the target genes. Since neither sep1 + nor ace2 + is affected in the mutant cells, we propose that the Med8 and Med31 proteins act as coactivators of the Sep1-Ace2-dependent cell separation genes. The results also indicate that the subunits of Mediator may contribute to the coordination of cellular processes by fine-tuning of the expression of larger sets of genes.

Communicated by S. Hohmann.