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Mol Cell. 2011 Aug 19;43(4):528-39. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.06.025.

Distinct interactions select and maintain a specific cell fate.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

The ability to specify and maintain discrete cell fates is essential for development. However, the dynamics underlying selection and stability of distinct cell types remain poorly understood. Here, we provide a quantitative single-cell analysis of commitment dynamics during the mating-mitosis switch in budding yeast. Commitment to division corresponds precisely to activating the G1 cyclin positive feedback loop in competition with the cyclin inhibitor Far1. Cyclin-dependent phosphorylation and inhibition of the mating pathway scaffold Ste5 are required to ensure exclusive expression of the mitotic transcriptional program after cell cycle commitment. Failure to commit exclusively results in coexpression of both cell cycle and pheromone-induced genes, and a morphologically mixed inviable cell fate. Thus, specification and maintenance of a cellular state are performed by distinct interactions, which are likely a consequence of disparate reaction rates and may be a general feature of the interlinked regulatory networks responsible for selecting cell fates.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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PMID:
21855793
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3160603
Free PMC Article

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