A slowed cell cycle stabilizes the budding yeast genome

Peter J. Vinton, Ted Weinert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


During cell division, aberrant DNA structures are detected by regulators called checkpoints that slow division to allow error correction. In addition to checkpoint-induced delay, it is widely assumed, though rarely shown, that merely slowing the cell cycle might allow more time for error detection and correction, thus resulting in a more stable genome. Fidelity by a slowed cell cycle might be independent of checkpoints. Here we tested the hypothesis that a slowed cell cycle stabilizes the genome, independent of checkpoints, in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We were led to this hypothesis when we identified a gene (ERV14, an ER cargo membrane protein) that when mutated, unexpectedly stabilized the genome, as measured by three different chromosome assays. After extensive studies of pathways rendered dysfunctional in erv14 mutant cells, we are led to the inference that no particular pathway is involved in stabilization, but rather the slowed cell cycle induced by erv14 stabilized the genome. We then demonstrated that, in genetic mutations and chemical treatments unrelated to ERV14, a slowed cell cycle indeed correlates with a more stable genome, even in checkpoint-proficient cells. Data suggest a delay in G2/M may commonly stabilize the genome. We conclude that chromosome errors are more rarely made or are more readily corrected when the cell cycle is slowed (even ~15 min longer in an ~100-min cell cycle). And, some chromosome errors may not signal checkpoint-mediated responses, or do not sufficiently signal to allow correction, and their correction benefits from this “time checkpoint”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-828
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Accuracy
  • Chromosome instability
  • Delayed cell cycle
  • Erv14
  • Speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'A slowed cell cycle stabilizes the budding yeast genome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this