Open Access Research

Identification of new cell size control genes in S. cerevisiae

Huzefa Dungrawala1, Hui Hua1, Jill Wright1, Lesley Abraham12, Thivakorn Kasemsri1, Anthony McDowell1, Jessica Stilwell12 and Brandt L Schneider1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 3601 4th St Rm. 5C119, Lubbock, TX, 79430, USA

2 Texas Tech University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Lubbock, TX, USA

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Cell Division 2012, 7:24  doi:10.1186/1747-1028-7-24

Published: 12 December 2012

Abstract

Cell size homeostasis is a conserved attribute in many eukaryotic species involving a tight regulation between the processes of growth and proliferation. In budding yeast S. cerevisiae, growth to a “critical cell size” must be achieved before a cell can progress past START and commit to cell division. Numerous studies have shown that progression past START is actively regulated by cell size control genes, many of which have implications in cell cycle control and cancer. Two initial screens identified genes that strongly modulate cell size in yeast. Since a second generation yeast gene knockout collection has been generated, we screened an additional 779 yeast knockouts containing 435 new ORFs (~7% of the yeast genome) to supplement previous cell size screens. Upon completion, 10 new strong size mutants were identified: nine in log-phase cells and one in saturation-phase cells, and 97% of the yeast genome has now been screened for cell size mutations. The majority of the logarithmic phase size mutants have functions associated with translation further implicating the central role of growth control in the cell division process. Genetic analyses suggest ECM9 is directly associated with the START transition. Further, the small (whi) mutants mrpl49Δ and cbs1Δ are dependent on CLN3 for cell size effects. In depth analyses of new size mutants may facilitate a better understanding of the processes that govern cell size homeostasis.

Keywords:
Yeast; Cell cycle; Cell size; Growth; Cyclins