REGULATORY GENES CONTROLLING MITOSIS IN THE FISSION YEAST SCHIZOSACCHAROMYCES POMBE
Paul Nurse, Pierre Thuriaux

ABSTRACT

Fifty-two wee mutants that undergo mitosis and cell division at a reduced size compared with wild type have been genetically analyzed. The mutants define two genes, wee1 and cdc2, which control the timing of mitosis. Fifty-one of the mutants map at the wee1 locus, which is unlinked to any known cdc gene. One of the wee1 alleles has been shown to be nonsense suppressible. The 52nd wee mutant maps within cdc2. Previously, only temperature-sensitive mutants that become blocked at mitosis have been found at the cdc2 locus. The simplest interpretation of these observations is that wee1+ codes for a negative element or inhibitor, and cdc2+ codes for a positive element or activator in the mitotic control. The gene dosage of wee1+ plays some role in determining the timing of mitosis, but the gene dosage of cdc2+ has little effect. However, some aspect of the cdc2 gene product activity is important for determining when mitosis takes place. The possible roles of wee1 and cdc2 in the mitotic control are discussed, with particular reference to the part they may play in the monitoring of cell size and cell growth rate, both of which influence the timing of mitosis.

  • Received October 11, 1979.