Genetic regulation of mitotic competence in G0 quiescent cells

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Science Advances  15 Aug 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 8, eaat5685
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat5685


Quiescent (G0 phase) cells must maintain mitotic competence (MC) to restart the cell cycle. This is essential for reproduction in unicellular organisms and also for development and cell replacement in higher organisms. Recently, suppression of MC has gained attention as a possible therapeutic strategy for cancer. Using a Schizosaccharomyces pombe deletion-mutant library, we identified 85 genes required to maintain MC during the G0 phase induced by nitrogen deprivation. G0 cells must recycle proteins and RNA, governed by anabolism, catabolism, transport, and availability of small molecules such as antioxidants. Protein phosphatases are also essential to maintain MC. In particular, Nem1-Spo7 protects the nucleus from autophagy by regulating Ned1, a lipin. These genes, designated GZE (G-Zero Essential) genes, reveal the landscape of genetic regulation of MC.

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