Novel checkpoint pathway organization promotes genome stability in stationary-phase yeast cells

Bonnie Alver, Maire K. Kelly, David T. Kirkpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Most DNA alterations occur during DNA replication in the S phase of the cell cycle. However, the majority of eukaryotic cells exist in a nondividing, quiescent state. Little is known about the factors involved in preventing DNA instability within this stationary- phase cell population. Previously, we utilized a unique assay system to identify mutations that increased minisatellite alterations specifically in quiescent cells in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we conducted a modified version of synthetic genetic array analysis to determine if checkpoint signaling components play a role in stabilizing minisatellites in stationary-phase yeast cells. Our results revealed that a subset of checkpoint components, specifically MRC1, CSM3, TOF1, DDC1, RAD17, MEC3, TEL1, MEC1, and RAD53, prevent stationary-phase minisatellite alterations within the quiescent cell subpopulation of stationary- phase cells. Pathway analysis revealed at least three pathways, with MRC1, CSM3, and TOF1 acting in a pathway independent of MEC1 and RAD53. Overall, our data indicate that some well-characterized checkpoint components maintain minisatellite stability in stationary-phase cells but are regulated differently in those cells than in actively growing cells. For the MRC1- dependent pathway, the checkpoint itself may not be the important element; rather, it may be loss of the checkpoint proteins' other functions that contributes to DNA instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-472
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2013


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