Methods in Cell Science

, Volume 21, Issue 2–3, pp 79–86 | Cite as

Cell cycle synchronization

  • Bruce Futcher


The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been an excellent model system for cell cycle studies. Many such studies require cells synchronized in some particular portion of the cell cycle. Here, methods are described for obtaining and examining synchronized cells as they pass through one or more rounds of the cell cycle. The methods are of two types. First, block-and-release methods, where cells are initially synchronized by blocking them at some particular cell cycle stage, then releasing them from the block under conditions suitable for growth, and taking samples at different times after the release, thereby obtaining samples representing different cell cycle stages. The second type of method is elutriation. Centrifugal elutriation can be used to obtain samples of uniformly sized cells, and because cell size is correlated with cell cycle stage, these cells are synchronized with respect to their position in the cycle. Because elutriation is a very different method from block- and-release, it is ideal as a second method of synchronization to ensure that results achieved by block-and-release are not artefactual. Here, block-and-release experiments with the mating pheromone alpha factor, and with the cdc15-2 mutation, are described in detail, as are some elutriation methods.

Block and release cdc15 Cell cycle Elutriation Synchronization 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Futcher
    • 1
  1. 1.Cold Spring Harbor LaboratoryCold Spring HarborUSA

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