Active cell-cycle de-synchronization improves stress resilience
Amir Mitchell, Ph.D.
Program in Systems Biology
Program in Molecular Medicine
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Host: Robert Dempski, Ph.D.
Cell division in some microorganisms results in non-identical sister cells that progress asynchronously through the cell-cycle. Remarkably, differences in the division strategy may exist even within the same species, as observed for different strains of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We hypothesize that active avoidance from synchronous growth is an adaptive trait that improves overall stress resilience. We explore our hypothesis using both theoretical and experimental approaches. Our modeling results predict that size control in cell-cycle regulation is an optimal strategy for quickly de-synchronizing clonal populations. Using different strains of yeast we demonstrate that quick cell-cycle de-synchronization indeed improve stress resilience. Lastly we show that mutations that interfere with size control reduce cell-cycle de-synchronization and increase stress sensitivity.