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EMBO J. 1988 May;7(5):1465-73.

Cold-sensitive and caffeine-supersensitive mutants of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe dis genes implicated in sister chromatid separation during mitosis.

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Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Science, Kyoto University, Japan.


We isolated novel classes of Schizosaccharomyces pombe cold-sensitive dis mutants that block mitotic chromosome separation (nine mapped in the dis1 gene and one each in the dis2 and dis3 genes). Defective phenotype at restrictive temperature is similar among the mutants; the chromosomes condense and anomalously move to the cell ends in the absence of their disjoining so that they are unequally distributed at the two cell ends. Synchronous culture analyses indicate that the cells can enter into mitosis at normal timing but become lethal during mitosis. In comparison with the wild-type mitosis, defects are found in the early spindle structure, the mitotic chromosome structure, the poleward chromosome movement by the spindle elongation and the telophase spindle degradation. The dis mutants lose at permissive temperature an artificial minichromosome at higher rates than occur in the wild type. We found that all the dis mutants isolated are supersensitive to caffeine at permissive temperature. Furthermore, the mutant cells in the presence of caffeine produce a phenotype similar to that obtained at restrictive temperature. We suggest that the dis genes are required for the sister chromatid separation at the time of mitosis and that caffeine might affect the dis gene expression. We cloned, in addition to the dis2+ and dis3+ genes, multicopy extragenic suppressor sequences which complement dis1 and dis2 mutations. A complex regulatory system may exist for the execution of the dis+ gene functions.

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