The pleiotropic cell separation mutation spl1-1 is a nucleotide substitution in the internal promoter of the proline tRNACGG gene of Schizosaccharomyces pombe
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spl1-1 was originally identified as a spontaneous mutation genetically interacting with sep1-1 and cdc4-8 in producing multinucleate syncytia. This study shows that it is allelic with the proline-tRNACGG gene SPATRNAPRO.02. Its nucleotide sequence contains a C→T substitution in the region corresponding to the B-box of the putative intragenic promoter and the TψC loop of the mature tRNA. The substitution drastically reduces the transcription efficiency of the gene and pleiotropically affects numerous cellular processes. spl1-1 cells are temperature sensitive, osmosensitive, bend at higher temperatures, have extended G2 phase and are defective in cell separation (septum cleavage). The proline-tRNATGG gene SPATRNAPRO.01 can partially suppress the spl1-1 mutation when introduced into the cells on a multicopy plasmid. The effect of a mutation in a tRNA gene on cell separation brings a new element into the complexity of the regulation of cell division and its co-ordination with other cellular processes in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.
KeywordsCytokinesis Septum Transcription Cell cycle Fission yeast tRNA
The authors thank J. Jimenez for helping with flow cytometry, P. Thuriaux for stimulating discussions and I. Lakatos and I. Pasztor for expert technical assistance. This research was supported by the OTKA grant T38224.
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