The accurate spatial and temporal coordination of cell polarization with DNA replication and segregation guarantees the fidelity of genetic transmission. Here we report that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a build-up or burst of G1 cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) activity through activation of the cyclin genes CLN1,2 and PCL1,2 is essential for cell morphogenesis, but not for other events associated with the G1–S-phase transition, including DNA replication. Strains lacking a burst of late-G1 cyclin–CDK activity (LG1C−) undergo a catastrophic morphogenesis and halt the nuclear cycle at the morphogenesis checkpoint in G2 phase. Consistent with a role in morphogenesis, the Pho85 G1 cyclins Pcl1 and Pcl2 show a unique pattern of localization to sites of polarized cell growth, and strains lacking PCL1 and PCL2 show genetic interactions with the cell polarity GTPase Cdc42, its regulators and downstream effectors. Our data suggest that inability to assemble a septin ring and localize the GTP exchange factor Cdc24 at the incipient bud site may be the primary morphogenetic defects in LG1C-depleted cells. We conclude that a burst of late G1 cyclin–CDK activity is essential for establishing cell polarity and development of the cleavage apparatus.
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We thank M. Tyers and members of the Andrews' lab for discussions, and C. Boone for comments on the manuscript. We also thank M. Peter, J. Pringle, C. Boone, M. Tyers, J. Tang and E. Bi for plasmids and antibodies. J.M. was supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research pre-doctoral award and University of Toronto Open Fellowship. This work was supported by operating grants to B.A. from the National Cancer Institute of Canada with funds from the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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