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EMBO J. 1997 Dec 1;16(23):7196-206.

The Cln3 cyclin is down-regulated by translational repression and degradation during the G1 arrest caused by nitrogen deprivation in budding yeast.

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Departament de Ciències Mèdiques Bàsiques, Universitat de Lleida, Rovira Roure 44, 25198 Lleida, Catalunya, Spain.


Nutrients are among the most important trophic factors in all organisms. When deprived of essential nutrients, yeast cells use accumulated reserves to complete the current cycle and arrest in the following G1 phase. We show here that the Cln3 cyclin, which has a key role in the timely activation of SBF (Swi4-Swi6)- and MBF (Mbp1-Swi6)-dependent promoters in late G1, is down-regulated rapidly at a post-transcriptional level in cells deprived of the nitrogen source. In addition to the fact that Cln3 is degraded faster by ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms, we have found that translation of the CLN3 mRNA is repressed approximately 8-fold under nitrogen deprivation conditions. As a consequence, both SBF- and MBF-dependent expression is strongly down-regulated. Mainly because of their transcriptional dependence on SBF, and perhaps with the contribution of similar post-transcriptional mechanisms to those found for Cln3, the G1 cyclins Cln1 and 2 become undetectable in starved cells. The complete loss of Cln cyclins and the sustained presence of the Clb-cyclin kinase inhibitor Sic1 in starved cells may provide the molecular basis for the G1 arrest caused by nitrogen deprivation.

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