Systematic Analysis of Genetic and Pharmaceutical Modulators of the Eukaryotic Cell Cycle
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Cell replication and division are central to the proliferation of life, and have implications for normal growth and development as well as disease state. Assembly of a complete picture of the systems which control this process requires identification of individual genetic components, but the identity and complete sequence of events that trigger initiation of cell division, at a point called START in yeast, remain unknown. Here, we evaluated panels of non-essential single gene deletion strains and tested the effects of FDA-approved drugs on cell-cycle progression, using flow cytometry to detect altered DNA content. Previous studies relied mainly on cell size changes to systematically identify genes required for the timely completion of START. This analysis revealed that most gene deletions that altered cell-cycle progression did not change cell size. Our results highlight a strong requirement for ribosomal biogenesis and protein synthesis for initiation of cell division. We also identified numerous factors that have not been previously implicated in cell-cycle control mechanisms. We found that cystathionine-beta-synthase (CBS) advances START in two ways: by promoting cell growth, which requires CBS's catalytic activity, and by a separate function which does not require that activity. CBS defects cause disease in humans, and in animals CBS has vital, non-catalytic, unknown roles. Hence, our results may be relevant for human biology. Screening chemical libraries to identify compounds that affect overall cell proliferation is common. However, it is generally not known whether the compounds tested alter the timing of particular cell-cycle transitions. Our approach revealed strong cell-cycle effects of several commonly used pharmaceuticals. We show that the antilipemic gemfibrozil delays initiation of DNA replication, while cells treated with the antidepressant fluoxetine severely delay progression through mitosis. We discovered a strong suppressive interaction between gemfibrozil and fluoxetine. The novel interaction between gemfibrozil and fluoxetine suggests that identifying and combining drugs that show cell-cycle effects might streamline identification of drug combinations with a pronounced impact on cell proliferation. Our studies not only transform our view of START, but also expand the repertoire of genetic and chemical means to modulate the eukaryotic cell cycle.
Regulation of cell division
Hoose, Scott Allen (2012). Systematic Analysis of Genetic and Pharmaceutical Modulators of the Eukaryotic Cell Cycle. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from