Purinosome formation as a function of the cell cycle

Chung Yu Chan, Hong Zhao, Raymond J. Pugh, Anthony M. Pedley, Jarrod French, Sara A. Jones, Xiaowei Zhuang, Hyder Jinnah, Tony Jun Huan, Stephen J. Benkovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The de novo purine biosynthetic pathway relies on six enzymes to catalyze the conversion of phosphoribosylpyrophosphate to inosine 5?-monophosphate. Under purine-depleted conditions, these enzymes form a multienzyme complex known as the purinosome. Previous studies have revealed the spatial organization and importance of the purinosome within mammalian cancer cells. In this study, time-lapse fluorescence microscopy was used to investigate the cell cycle dependency on purinosome formation in two cell models. Results in HeLa cells under purine-depleted conditions demonstrated a significantly higher number of cells with purinosomes in the G1 phase, which was further confirmed by cell synchronization. HGPRT-deficient fibroblast cells also exhibited the greatest purinosome formation in the G1 phase; however, elevated levels of purinosomes were also observed in the S and G2/M phases. The observed variation in cell cycle-dependent purinosome formation between the two cell models tested can be attributed to differences in purine biosynthetic mechanisms. Our results demonstrate that purinosome formation is closely related to the cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1368-1373
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 3 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell cycle
  • De novo purine biosynthesis
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Metabolism
  • Purinosome


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