Removal of a single α-tubulin gene intron suppresses cell cycle arrest phenotypes of splicing factor mutations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

C. Geoffrey Burns, Ryoma Ohi, Sapna Mehta, Eileen T. O'Toole, Mark Winey, Tyson A. Clark, Charles W. Sugnet, Manuel Ares, Kathleen L. Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Genetic and biochemical studies of Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Saccharomyces cerevisiae have identified gene products that play essential functions in both pre-mRNA splicing and cell cycle control. Among these are the conserved, Myb-related CDC5 (also known as Cef1p in S. cerevisiae) proteins. The mechanism by which loss of CDC5/Cef1p function causes both splicing and cell cycle defects has been unclear. Here we provide evidence that cell cycle arrest in a new temperature-sensitive CEF1 mutant, cef1-13, is an indirect consequence of defects in pre-mRNA splicing. Although cef1-13 cells harbor global defects in pre-mRNA splicing discovered through intron microarray analysis, inefficient splicing of the α-tubulin-encoding TUB1 mRNA was considered as a potential cause of the cef1-13 cell cycle arrest because cef1-13 cells arrest uniformly at G2/M with many hallmarks of a defective microtubule cytoskeleton. Consistent with this possibility, cef1-13 cells possess reduced levels of total TUB1 mRNA and α-tubulin protein. Removing the intron from TUB1 in cef1-13 cells boosts TUB1 mRNA and α-tubulin expression to near wild-type levels and restores microtubule stability in the cef1-13 mutant. As a result, cef1-13 tubl δi cells progress through mitosis and their cell cycle arrest phenotype is alleviated. Removing the TUB1 intron from two other splicing mutants that arrest at G2/M, prp17δ and prp22-1 strains, permits nuclear division, but suppression of the cell cycle block is less efficient. Our data raise the possibility that although cell cycle arrest phenotypes in prp mutants can be explained by defects in pre-mRNA splicing, the transcript(s) whose inefficient splicing contributes to cell cycle arrest is likely to be prp mutant dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-815
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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