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J Cell Sci. 2001 Aug;114(Pt 16):2929-41.

Intracellular pH homeostasis during cell-cycle progression and growth state transition in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.


Accurate measurement of intracellular pH in unperturbed cells is fraught with difficulty. Nevertheless, using a variety of methods, intracellular pH oscillations have been reported to play a regulatory role in the control of the cell cycle in several eukaryotic systems. Here, we examine pH homeostasis in Schizosaccharomyces pombe using a non-perturbing ratiometric pH sensitive GFP reporter. This method allows for accurate intracellular pH measurements in living, entirely undisturbed, logarithmically growing cells. In addition, the use of a flow cell allows internal pH to be monitored in real time during nutritional, or growth state transition. We can find no evidence for cell-cycle-related changes in intracellular pH. By contrast, all data are consistent with a very tight homeostatic regulation of intracellular pH near 7.3 at all points in the cell cycle. Interestingly, pH set point changes are associated with growth state. Spores, as well as vegetative cells starved of either nitrogen, or a carbon source, show a marked reduction in their internal pH compared with logarithmically growing vegetative cells. However, in both cases, homeostatic regulation is maintained.

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