Scientific notes

Yeast: Cell Cycle And Thermosensitive Mutations

Temperature control for S. pombe cell cycle studies

Working with S. pombe is working with one of the most powerful tools in genetics. You can scan all aspect of cell division, microtubule assembly, cell polarity and do phenotype-genotype analyses in a science minute! Experiments go faster in fission yeast, it is the beauty of this model. So how about going even faster in your research?.

Schizosaccharomyces pombe

S. pombe is an african fission yeast isolated in 1893 from millet beer. It is a unicellular eukaryote organism with a caracteristic rode shape. S. pombe diameter is around 3 micrometers and depending on its cell cycle phase status, and a cell can measure between 8 and 13 micrometers. With a short generation time of 2 to 4 hours and straightforward genetics, S.pombe was at the origin of groundbreaking work on cell cycle regulation.

Ultra fast temperature shift device for in vitro experiments under microscopy

Use of temperature-sensitive mutant in S. pombe fission yeast for live-cell imaging

During S. pombe division, the Cdc25 protein is required for mitotic entry.  In Cdc25 thermosensitive mutants,  the Cdc25 protein is functional at 25°C (Fig. 1a) but over 37°C it becomes non-functional or inactivated (Fig. 1b). Using Cdc25 t.s mutants allows for a reversible cell cycle arrest at the G2/M transition and a synchronous re-entry into the cell cycle upon shift to permisive temperature.

Fig.1: Cdc25 protein is functional at 25°C (a) but becomes inactivated at 37°C (b)

References

  • B. Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the cell, 4th edition
  • P Nurse, P. Thuriaux, et al., Genetic control of the cell division cycle in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Molec Gen Genet, 1976
  • M. Mitchison, The biology of the cell cycle. Cambridge University Press, 1971

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