UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

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Article Preprint


Bacteria | Cell Biology | Cells | Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Enzymes and Coenzymes | Fungi


Proper cell size is essential for cellular function (Hall et al., 2004). Nonetheless, despite more than 100 years of work on the subject, the mechanisms that maintain cell size homeostasis are largely mysterious (Marshall et al., 2012). Cells in growing populations maintain cell size within a narrow range by coordinating growth and division. Bacterial and eukaryotic cells both demonstrate homeostatic size control, which maintains population-level variation in cell size within a certain range, and returns the population average to that range if it is perturbed (Marshall et al., 2012; Turner et al., 2012; Amodeo and Skotheim, 2015). Recent work has proposed two different strategies for size control: budding yeast has been proposed to use an inhibitor-dilution strategy to regulate size at the G1/S transition (Schmoller et al., 2015), while bacteria appear to use an adder strategy, in which a fixed amount of growth each generation causes cell size to converge on a stable average, a mechanism also suggested for budding yeast (Campos et al., 2014; Jun and Taheri-Araghi, 2015; Taheri-Araghi et al., 2015; Tanouchi et al., 2015; Soifer et al., 2016). Here we present evidence that cell size in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is regulated by a third strategy: the size dependent expression of the mitotic activator Cdc25. The cdc25 transcript levels are regulated such that smaller cells express less Cdc25 and larger cells express more Cdc25, creating an increasing concentration of Cdc25 as cell grow and providing a mechanism for cell to trigger cell division when they reach a threshold concentration of Cdc25. Since regulation of mitotic entry by Cdc25 is well conserved, this mechanism may provide a wide spread solution to the problem of size control in eukaryotes.


cell biology, Cdc25, cell size, fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, mitotic activator, bacteria

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bioRxiv 078592; doi: Link to preprint on bioRxiv service.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.