A fission yeast general translation factor reveals links between protein synthesis and cell cycle controls.
Grallert B., Kearsey SE., Lenhard M., Carlson CR., Nurse P., Boye E., Labib K.
In two independent screens we isolated fission yeast mutations with phenotypes suggesting defects in B-cyclin function or expression. These mutations define a single gene which we call ded1. We show that ded1 encodes a general translation factor that is related in sequence and function to RNA helicases required for translation in other species. Levels of the B-cyclins Cig2 and Cdc13 are dramatically reduced upon inactivation of Ded1, and this reduction is independent of degradation by the anaphase promoting complex. When a ded1 mutant is grown under semi-restrictive conditions, the translation of Cig2 (and to a lesser extent Cdc13), is impaired relative to other proteins. We show that B-cyclin translation is specifically inhibited upon nitrogen starvation of wild-type cells, when B-cyclin/Cdc2 inactivation is a prerequisite for G(1) arrest and subsequent mating. Our data suggest that translational inhibition of B-cyclin expression represents a third mechanism, in addition to cyclin degradation and Rum1 inhibition, that contributes to Cdc2 inactivation as cells exit from the mitotic cell cycle and prepare for meiosis.