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1.  Integrating high-throughput genetic interaction mapping and high-content screening to explore yeast spindle morphogenesis 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2010;188(1):69-81.
A combination of yeast genetics, synthetic genetic array analysis, and high-throughput screening reveals that sumoylation of Mcm21p promotes disassembly of the mitotic spindle.
We describe the application of a novel screening approach that combines automated yeast genetics, synthetic genetic array (SGA) analysis, and a high-content screening (HCS) system to examine mitotic spindle morphogenesis. We measured numerous spindle and cellular morphological parameters in thousands of single mutants and corresponding sensitized double mutants lacking genes known to be involved in spindle function. We focused on a subset of genes that appear to define a highly conserved mitotic spindle disassembly pathway, which is known to involve Ipl1p, the yeast aurora B kinase, as well as the cell cycle regulatory networks mitotic exit network (MEN) and fourteen early anaphase release (FEAR). We also dissected the function of the kinetochore protein Mcm21p, showing that sumoylation of Mcm21p regulates the enrichment of Ipl1p and other chromosomal passenger proteins to the spindle midzone to mediate spindle disassembly. Although we focused on spindle disassembly in a proof-of-principle study, our integrated HCS-SGA method can be applied to virtually any pathway, making it a powerful means for identifying specific cellular functions.
PMCID: PMC2812844  PMID: 20065090
2.  Global analysis of SUMO chain function reveals multiple roles in chromatin regulation 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2013;201(1):145-163.
Multiple large-scale analyses in yeast implicate SUMO chain function in the maintenance of higher-order chromatin structure and transcriptional repression of environmental stress response genes.
Like ubiquitin, the small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) proteins can form oligomeric “chains,” but the biological functions of these superstructures are not well understood. Here, we created mutant yeast strains unable to synthesize SUMO chains (smt3allR) and subjected them to high-content microscopic screening, synthetic genetic array (SGA) analysis, and high-density transcript profiling to perform the first global analysis of SUMO chain function. This comprehensive assessment identified 144 proteins with altered localization or intensity in smt3allR cells, 149 synthetic genetic interactions, and 225 mRNA transcripts (primarily consisting of stress- and nutrient-response genes) that displayed a >1.5-fold increase in expression levels. This information-rich resource strongly implicates SUMO chains in the regulation of chromatin. Indeed, using several different approaches, we demonstrate that SUMO chains are required for the maintenance of normal higher-order chromatin structure and transcriptional repression of environmental stress response genes in budding yeast.
PMCID: PMC3613684  PMID: 23547032
3.  HeLa Sequencing and Genomic Privacy: The Next Chapter 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2013;3(8):vii.
PMCID: PMC3737184  PMID: 23926224
4.  The budding yeast nuclear envelope adjacent to the nucleolus serves as a membrane sink during mitotic delay 
Current Biology  2012;22(12):1128-1133.
The mechanisms that dictate nuclear shape are largely unknown. Here we screened the budding yeast deletion collection for mutants with abnormal nuclear shape. A common phenotype was the appearance of a nuclear extension, particularly in mutants in DNA repair and chromosome segregation genes. Our data suggest that these mutations led to the abnormal nuclear morphology indirectly, by causing a checkpoint-induced cell cycle delay. Indeed, delaying cells in mitosis by other means also led to the appearance of nuclear extensions, while inactivating the DNA damage checkpoint pathway in a DNA repair mutant reduced the fraction of cells with nuclear extensions. Formation of a nuclear extension was specific to a mitotic delay, as cells arrested in S or G2 had round nuclei. Moreover, the nuclear extension always coincided with the nucleolus, while the morphology of DNA mass remained largely unchanged. Finally, we found that phospholipid synthesis continues unperturbed when cells delay in mitosis, and inhibiting phospholipid synthesis abolished the formation of nuclear extensions. Our data suggest a mechanism that promotes nuclear envelope expansion during mitosis. When mitotic progression is delayed, cells sequester the added membrane to the nuclear envelope associated with the nucleolus, possibly to avoid disruption of intra-nuclear organization.
PMCID: PMC3381997  PMID: 22658600
5.  Unsupervised Clustering of Subcellular Protein Expression Patterns in High-Throughput Microscopy Images Reveals Protein Complexes and Functional Relationships between Proteins 
PLoS Computational Biology  2013;9(6):e1003085.
Protein subcellular localization has been systematically characterized in budding yeast using fluorescently tagged proteins. Based on the fluorescence microscopy images, subcellular localization of many proteins can be classified automatically using supervised machine learning approaches that have been trained to recognize predefined image classes based on statistical features. Here, we present an unsupervised analysis of protein expression patterns in a set of high-resolution, high-throughput microscope images. Our analysis is based on 7 biologically interpretable features which are evaluated on automatically identified cells, and whose cell-stage dependency is captured by a continuous model for cell growth. We show that it is possible to identify most previously identified localization patterns in a cluster analysis based on these features and that similarities between the inferred expression patterns contain more information about protein function than can be explained by a previous manual categorization of subcellular localization. Furthermore, the inferred cell-stage associated to each fluorescence measurement allows us to visualize large groups of proteins entering the bud at specific stages of bud growth. These correspond to proteins localized to organelles, revealing that the organelles must be entering the bud in a stereotypical order. We also identify and organize a smaller group of proteins that show subtle differences in the way they move around the bud during growth. Our results suggest that biologically interpretable features based on explicit models of cell morphology will yield unprecedented power for pattern discovery in high-resolution, high-throughput microscopy images.
Author Summary
The location of a particular protein in the cell is one of the most important pieces of information that cell biologists use to understand its function. Fluorescent tags are a powerful way to determine the location of a protein in living cells. Nearly a decade ago, a collection of yeast strains was introduced, where in each strain a single protein was tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP). Here, we show that by training a computer to accurately identify the buds of growing yeast cells, and then making simple fluorescence measurements in context of cell shape and cell stage, the computer could automatically discover most of the localization patterns (nucleus, cytoplasm, mitochondria, etc.) without any prior knowledge of what the patterns might be. Because we made the same, simple measurements for each yeast cell, we could compare and visualize the patterns of fluorescence for the entire collection of strains. This allowed us to identify large groups of proteins moving around the cell in a coordinated fashion, and to identify new, complex patterns that had previously been difficult to describe.
PMCID: PMC3681667  PMID: 23785265
6.  SGAtools: one-stop analysis and visualization of array-based genetic interaction screens 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;41(Web Server issue):W591-W596.
Screening genome-wide sets of mutants for fitness defects provides a simple but powerful approach for exploring gene function, mapping genetic networks and probing mechanisms of drug action. For yeast and other microorganisms with global mutant collections, genetic or chemical-genetic interactions can be effectively quantified by growing an ordered array of strains on agar plates as individual colonies, and then scoring the colony size changes in response to a genetic or environmental perturbation. To do so, requires efficient tools for the extraction and analysis of quantitative data. Here, we describe SGAtools (, a web-based analysis system for designer genetic screens. SGAtools outlines a series of guided steps that allow the user to quantify colony sizes from images of agar plates, correct for systematic biases in the observations and calculate a fitness score relative to a control experiment. The data can also be visualized online to explore the colony sizes on individual plates, view the distribution of resulting scores, highlight genes with the strongest signal and perform Gene Ontology enrichment analysis.
PMCID: PMC3692131  PMID: 23677617
8.  Bck2 Acts through the MADS Box Protein Mcm1 to Activate Cell-Cycle-Regulated Genes in Budding Yeast 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(5):e1003507.
The Bck2 protein is a potent genetic regulator of cell-cycle-dependent gene expression in budding yeast. To date, most experiments have focused on assessing a potential role for Bck2 in activation of the G1/S-specific transcription factors SBF (Swi4, Swi6) and MBF (Mbp1, Swi6), yet the mechanism of gene activation by Bck2 has remained obscure. We performed a yeast two-hybrid screen using a truncated version of Bck2 and discovered six novel Bck2-binding partners including Mcm1, an essential protein that binds to and activates M/G1 promoters through Early Cell cycle Box (ECB) elements as well as to G2/M promoters. At M/G1 promoters Mcm1 is inhibited by association with two repressors, Yox1 or Yhp1, and gene activation ensues once repression is relieved by an unknown activating signal. Here, we show that Bck2 interacts physically with Mcm1 to activate genes during G1 phase. We used chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments to show that Bck2 localizes to the promoters of M/G1-specific genes, in a manner dependent on functional ECB elements, as well as to the promoters of G1/S and G2/M genes. The Bck2-Mcm1 interaction requires valine 69 on Mcm1, a residue known to be required for interaction with Yox1. Overexpression of BCK2 decreases Yox1 localization to the early G1-specific CLN3 promoter and rescues the lethality caused by overexpression of YOX1. Our data suggest that Yox1 and Bck2 may compete for access to the Mcm1-ECB scaffold to ensure appropriate activation of the initial suite of genes required for cell cycle commitment.
Author Summary
Cell-cycle-dependent gene expression is a universal feature of cell cycles, with clear transcriptional programs in yeast, bacteria, and metazoans. At the M/G1 transition, many of the up-regulated genes encode key regulators of DNA replication (CDC6) and cyclins that initiate the events of cell cycle commitment (PCL9, CLN3). The promoters of genes activated at M/G1 contain a cis-regulatory sequence called the early cell cycle box (ECB), which is bound by the MADS-box transcription factor Mcm1, as well as the repressor Yox1 or Yhp1. The ECB cluster of genes defines a crucial cell cycle window during which a cell may change its fate; yet how the regulators that appear to act at ECBs are linked to cell cycle position is unclear, and coregulators, which experience tells us must exist, were unknown. Here, we describe our discovery that Bck2, a potent cell-cycle-regulator whose function has remained obscure, functions as a cofactor for Mcm1, to induce ECB–dependent gene expression. We also show that Bck2 has a role in promoting expression of late G1 and M/G2 genes. Our genetic and biochemical experiments reveal a new pathway for regulating gene expression associated with early cell cycle commitment, a process that is highly conserved.
PMCID: PMC3649975  PMID: 23675312
9.  Functional Analysis With a Barcoder Yeast Gene Overexpression System 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2012;2(10):1279-1289.
Systematic analysis of gene overexpression phenotypes provides an insight into gene function, enzyme targets, and biological pathways. Here, we describe a novel functional genomics platform that enables a highly parallel and systematic assessment of overexpression phenotypes in pooled cultures. First, we constructed a genome-level collection of ~5100 yeast barcoder strains, each of which carries a unique barcode, enabling pooled fitness assays with a barcode microarray or sequencing readout. Second, we constructed a yeast open reading frame (ORF) galactose-induced overexpression array by generating a genome-wide set of yeast transformants, each of which carries an individual plasmid-born and sequence-verified ORF derived from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae full-length EXpression-ready (FLEX) collection. We combined these collections genetically using synthetic genetic array methodology, generating ~5100 strains, each of which is barcoded and overexpresses a specific ORF, a set we termed “barFLEX.” Additional synthetic genetic array allows the barFLEX collection to be moved into different genetic backgrounds. As a proof-of-principle, we describe the properties of the barFLEX overexpression collection and its application in synthetic dosage lethality studies under different environmental conditions.
PMCID: PMC3464120  PMID: 23050238
barFLEX array; gene overexpression; barcoders; synthetic dosage lethality
10.  Global Functional Map of the p23 Molecular Chaperone Reveals an Extensive Cellular Network 
Molecular cell  2011;43(2):229-241.
In parallel with evolutionary developments, the Hsp90 molecular chaperone system shifted from a simple prokaryotic factor into an expansive network that includes a variety of cochaperones. We have taken high-throughput genomic and proteomic approaches to better understand the abundant yeast p23 cochaperone Sba1. Our work revealed an unexpected p23 network that displayed considerable independence from known Hsp90 clients. Additionally, our data uncovered a broad nuclear role for p23, contrasting with the historical dogma of restricted cytosolic activities for molecular chaperones. Validation studies demonstrated that yeast p23 was required for proper Golgi function, ribosome biogenesis and was necessary for efficient DNA repair from a wide range of mutagens. Notably, mammalian p23 had conserved roles in these pathways as well as being necessary for proper cell mobility. Taken together, our work demonstrates that the p23 chaperone serves a broad physiological network and functions both in conjunction with and sovereign to Hsp90.
PMCID: PMC3155841  PMID: 21777812
11.  Conserved rules govern genetic interaction degree across species 
Genome Biology  2012;13(7):R57.
Synthetic genetic interactions have recently been mapped on a genome scale in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, providing a functional view of the central processes of eukaryotic life. Currently, comprehensive genetic interaction networks have not been determined for other species, and we therefore sought to model conserved aspects of genetic interaction networks in order to enable the transfer of knowledge between species.
Using a combination of physiological and evolutionary properties of genes, we built models that successfully predicted the genetic interaction degree of S. cerevisiae genes. Importantly, a model trained on S. cerevisiae gene features and degree also accurately predicted interaction degree in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, suggesting that many of the predictive relationships discovered in S. cerevisiae also hold in this evolutionarily distant yeast. In both species, high single mutant fitness defect, protein disorder, pleiotropy, protein-protein interaction network degree, and low expression variation were significantly predictive of genetic interaction degree. A comparison of the predicted genetic interaction degrees of S. pombe genes to the degrees of S. cerevisiae orthologs revealed functional rewiring of specific biological processes that distinguish these two species. Finally, predicted differences in genetic interaction degree were independently supported by differences in co-expression relationships of the two species.
Our findings show that there are common relationships between gene properties and genetic interaction network topology in two evolutionarily distant species. This conservation allows use of the extensively mapped S. cerevisiae genetic interaction network as an orthology-independent reference to guide the study of more complex species.
PMCID: PMC3491379  PMID: 22747640
12.  A quantitative literature-curated gold standard for kinase-substrate pairs 
Genome Biology  2011;12(4):R39.
We describe the Yeast Kinase Interaction Database (KID,, which contains high- and low-throughput data relevant to phosphorylation events. KID includes 6,225 low-throughput and 21,990 high-throughput interactions, from greater than 35,000 experiments. By quantitatively integrating these data, we identified 517 high-confidence kinase-substrate pairs that we consider a gold standard. We show that this gold standard can be used to assess published high-throughput datasets, suggesting that it will enable similar rigorous assessments in the future.
PMCID: PMC3218865  PMID: 21492431
13.  An integrated approach to characterize genetic interaction networks in yeast metabolism 
Nature genetics  2011;43(7):656-662.
Intense experimental and theoretical efforts have been made to globally map genetic interactions, yet we still do not understand how gene-gene interactions arise from the operation of biomolecular networks. To bridge the gap between empirical and computational studies, we: i) quantitatively measure genetic interactions between ~185,000 metabolic gene pairs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ii) superpose the data on a detailed systems biology model of metabolism, and iii) introduce a machine-learning method to reconcile empirical interaction data with model predictions. We systematically investigate the relative impacts of functional modularity and metabolic flux coupling on the distribution of negative and positive genetic interactions. We also provide a mechanistic explanation for the link between the degree of genetic interaction, pleiotropy, and gene dispensability. Last, we demonstrate the feasibility of automated metabolic model refinement by correcting misannotations in NAD biosynthesis and confirming them by in vivo experiments.
PMCID: PMC3125439  PMID: 21623372
14.  Systematic exploration of synergistic drug pairs 
Two types of drug synergy, genetic and promiscuous, are explored in S. cerevisiae. The results suggest that promiscuous synergy predominates, and that propensity to synergize is an intrinsic drug property with the potential to accelerate the search for synergistic drug combinations.
Discovered 37 synergistic interactions among antifungal chemicalsPromiscuous synergy is the predominant form of drug synergyRate of synergy is an intrinsic property of drugs that can guide searches for drug synergy
Drug synergy allows a therapeutic effect to be achieved with lower doses of component drugs. Drug synergy can result when drugs target the products of genes that act in parallel pathways (‘specific synergy'). Such cases of drug synergy should tend to correspond to synergistic genetic interaction between the corresponding target genes. Alternatively, ‘promiscuous synergy' can arise when one drug non-specifically increases the effects of many other drugs, for example, by increased bioavailability. To assess the relative abundance of these drug synergy types, we examined 200 pairs of antifungal drugs in S. cerevisiae. We found 38 antifungal synergies, 37 of which were novel. While 14 cases of drug synergy corresponded to genetic interaction, 92% of the synergies we discovered involved only six frequently synergistic drugs. Although promiscuity of four drugs can be explained under the bioavailability model, the promiscuity of Tacrolimus and Pentamidine was completely unexpected. While many drug synergies correspond to genetic interactions, the majority of drug synergies appear to result from non-specific promiscuous synergy.
PMCID: PMC3261710  PMID: 22068327
chemical genetics; drug combinations; drug discovery; genetic interactions
15.  G3, GENETICS, and the GSA: Two Journals, One Mission 
Genetics  2011;189(1):1-2.
PMCID: PMC3176113  PMID: 21908741
17.  GSA Launches G3: Genes | Genomes | Genetics 
PMCID: PMC3276121  PMID: 22384313
18.  Protein Complexes are Central in the Yeast Genetic Landscape 
PLoS Computational Biology  2011;7(2):e1001092.
If perturbing two genes together has a stronger or weaker effect than expected, they are said to genetically interact. Genetic interactions are important because they help map gene function, and functionally related genes have similar genetic interaction patterns. Mapping quantitative (positive and negative) genetic interactions on a global scale has recently become possible. This data clearly shows groups of genes connected by predominantly positive or negative interactions, termed monochromatic groups. These groups often correspond to functional modules, like biological processes or complexes, or connections between modules. However it is not yet known how these patterns globally relate to known functional modules. Here we systematically study the monochromatic nature of known biological processes using the largest quantitative genetic interaction data set available, which includes fitness measurements for ∼5.4 million gene pairs in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We find that only 10% of biological processes, as defined by Gene Ontology annotations, and less than 1% of inter-process connections are monochromatic. Further, we show that protein complexes are responsible for a surprisingly large fraction of these patterns. This suggests that complexes play a central role in shaping the monochromatic landscape of biological processes. Altogether this work shows that both positive and negative monochromatic patterns are found in known biological processes and in their connections and that protein complexes play an important role in these patterns. The monochromatic processes, complexes and connections we find chart a hierarchical and modular map of sensitive and redundant biological systems in the yeast cell that will be useful for gene function prediction and comparison across phenotypes and organisms. Furthermore the analysis methods we develop are applicable to other species for which genetic interactions will progressively become more available.
Author Summary
Genetic interactions indicate functional dependencies between genes and are a powerful tool to predict gene function. Functionally related genes tend to have similar profiles of genetic interactions. Recently, global scale mapping of quantitative (positive and negative) genetic interactions has been performed. This data clearly shows groups of genes connected by predominantly positive or negative interactions, termed monochromatic groups. These groups often correspond to functional modules, such as biological processes or protein complexes, or connections between modules, but it is not yet known how these patterns globally relate to known functional modules. Here we systematically evaluate the monochromatic nature of known biological processes and their connections in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We find that 10% of biological processes and less than 1% of inter-process connections are monochromatic. Further, we show that protein complexes are responsible for a surprisingly large fraction of these monochromatic groups. The monochromatic processes, complexes and connections we find chart a hierarchical and modular map of sensitive and redundant biological systems in the yeast cell that will be useful for gene function prediction and comparison across phenotypes and organisms.
PMCID: PMC3044758  PMID: 21390331
19.  Deciphering Protein Kinase Specificity through Large-Scale Analysis of Yeast Phosphorylation Site Motifs 
Science signaling  2010;3(109):ra12.
Phosphorylation is a universal mechanism for regulating cell behavior in eukaryotes. Although protein kinases are known to target short linear sequence motifs on their substrates, the rules for kinase substrate recognition are not completely understood. We used a rapid peptide screening approach to determine consensus phosphorylation site motifs targeted by 61 of the 122 kinases in Saccharomyces cerevisae. Correlation of these motifs with kinase primary sequence has uncovered previously unappreciated rules for determining specificity within the kinase family, including a residue determining P−3 Arg specificity among members of the CMGC group of kinases. Furthermore, computational scanning of the yeast proteome enabled the prediction of thousands of new kinase-substrate relationships. We experimentally verified several candidate substrates of the Prk1 family of kinases in vitro and in vivo, and we identified a protein substrate of the kinase Vhs1. Together, these results elucidate how kinase catalytic domains recognize their phosphorylation targets and suggest general avenues for the identification of new kinase substrates across eukaryotes.
PMCID: PMC2846625  PMID: 20159853
20.  Bringing order to protein disorder through comparative genomics and genetic interactions 
Genome Biology  2011;12(2):R14.
Intrinsically disordered regions are widespread, especially in proteomes of higher eukaryotes. Recently, protein disorder has been associated with a wide variety of cellular processes and has been implicated in several human diseases. Despite its apparent functional importance, the sheer range of different roles played by protein disorder often makes its exact contribution difficult to interpret.
We attempt to better understand the different roles of disorder using a novel analysis that leverages both comparative genomics and genetic interactions. Strikingly, we find that disorder can be partitioned into three biologically distinct phenomena: regions where disorder is conserved but with quickly evolving amino acid sequences (flexible disorder); regions of conserved disorder with also highly conserved amino acid sequences (constrained disorder); and, lastly, non-conserved disorder. Flexible disorder bears many of the characteristics commonly attributed to disorder and is associated with signaling pathways and multi-functionality. Conversely, constrained disorder has markedly different functional attributes and is involved in RNA binding and protein chaperones. Finally, non-conserved disorder lacks clear functional hallmarks based on our analysis.
Our new perspective on protein disorder clarifies a variety of previous results by putting them into a systematic framework. Moreover, the clear and distinct functional association of flexible and constrained disorder will allow for new approaches and more specific algorithms for disorder detection in a functional context. Finally, in flexible disordered regions, we demonstrate clear evolutionary selection of protein disorder with little selection on primary structure, which has important implications for sequence-based studies of protein structure and evolution.
PMCID: PMC3188796  PMID: 21324131
21.  Dissecting BAR Domain Function in the Yeast Amphiphysins Rvs161 and Rvs167 during Endocytosis 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(17):3054-3069.
Using a structure–function analysis, we find that Rvs proteins are initially recruited to sites of endocytosis through their curvature-sensing and membrane-binding ability in a manner dependent on complex sphingolipids.
BAR domains are protein modules that bind to membranes and promote membrane curvature. One type of BAR domain, the N-BAR domain, contains an additional N-terminal amphipathic helix, which contributes to membrane-binding and bending activities. The only known N-BAR-domain proteins in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Rvs161 and Rvs167, are required for endocytosis. We have explored the mechanism of N-BAR-domain function in the endocytosis process using a combined biochemical and genetic approach. We show that the purified Rvs161–Rvs167 complex binds to liposomes in a curvature-independent manner and promotes tubule formation in vitro. Consistent with the known role of BAR domain polymerization in membrane bending, we found that Rvs167 BAR domains interact with each other at cortical actin patches in vivo. To characterize N-BAR-domain function in endocytosis, we constructed yeast strains harboring changes in conserved residues in the Rvs161 and Rvs167 N-BAR domains. In vivo analysis of the rvs endocytosis mutants suggests that Rvs proteins are initially recruited to sites of endocytosis through their membrane-binding ability. We show that inappropriate regulation of complex sphingolipid and phosphoinositide levels in the membrane can impinge on Rvs function, highlighting the relationship between membrane components and N-BAR-domain proteins in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2929998  PMID: 20610658
22.  Q&A: Epistasis 
Journal of Biology  2009;8(4):35.
PMCID: PMC2688915  PMID: 19486505
23.  DRYGIN: a database of quantitative genetic interaction networks in yeast 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;38(Database issue):D502-D507.
Genetic interactions are highly informative for deciphering the underlying functional principles that govern how genes control cell processes. Recent developments in Synthetic Genetic Array (SGA) analysis enable the mapping of quantitative genetic interactions on a genome-wide scale. To facilitate access to this resource, which will ultimately represent a complete genetic interaction network for a eukaryotic cell, we developed DRYGIN (Data Repository of Yeast Genetic Interactions)—a web database system that aims at providing a central platform for yeast genetic network analysis and visualization. In addition to providing an interface for searching the SGA genetic interactions, DRYGIN also integrates other data sources, in order to associate the genetic interactions with pathway information, protein complexes, other binary genetic and physical interactions, and Gene Ontology functional annotation. DRYGIN version 1.0 currently holds more than 5.4 million measurements of genetic interacting pairs involving ∼4500 genes, and is available at
PMCID: PMC2808960  PMID: 19880385
24.  Dual Regulation by Pairs of Cyclin-Dependent Protein Kinases and Histone Deacetylases Controls G1 Transcription in Budding Yeast 
PLoS Biology  2009;7(9):e1000188.
Initiation of the cell division cycle in yeast is controlled by two distinct kinases that coordinately regulate the interaction of Whi5, a repressor of initiation, with histone deacetylases.
START-dependent transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is regulated by two transcription factors SBF and MBF, whose activity is controlled by the binding of the repressor Whi5. Phosphorylation and removal of Whi5 by the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) Cln3-Cdc28 alleviates the Whi5-dependent repression on SBF and MBF, initiating entry into a new cell cycle. This Whi5-SBF/MBF transcriptional circuit is analogous to the regulatory pathway in mammalian cells that features the E2F family of G1 transcription factors and the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (Rb). Here we describe genetic and biochemical evidence for the involvement of another CDK, Pcl-Pho85, in regulating G1 transcription, via phosphorylation and inhibition of Whi5. We show that a strain deleted for both PHO85 and CLN3 has a slow growth phenotype, a G1 delay, and is severely compromised for SBF-dependent reporter gene expression, yet all of these defects are alleviated by deletion of WHI5. Our biochemical and genetic tests suggest Whi5 mediates repression in part through interaction with two histone deacetylases (HDACs), Hos3 and Rpd3. In a manner analogous to cyclin D/CDK4/6, which phosphorylates Rb in mammalian cells disrupting its association with HDACs, phosphorylation by the early G1 CDKs Cln3-Cdc28 and Pcl9-Pho85 inhibits association of Whi5 with the HDACs. Contributions from multiple CDKs may provide the precision and accuracy necessary to activate G1 transcription when both internal and external cues are optimal.
Author Summary
Eukaryotic cells grow and divide by progressing through carefully orchestrated stages of the cell cycle characterized by stage-specific patterns of gene expression, DNA replication, and scission. How stage-specific gene expression is coordinated with cell cycle progression is only partially understood. The phase known as G1 marks the initiation of the cell cycle (called START in yeast) and involves the coordinated expression of more than 200 genes regulated by two transcription factors, SBF and MBF. The activity of SBF and MBF is restrained by binding of the repressor protein Whi5 to the two transcription factors early in G1 phase. Phosphorylation of Whi5 by G1-specific forms of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) Cdc28 promotes dissociation of Whi5 from SBF and its export from the nucleus; this, in turn, releases SBF to activate G1-specific transcription. This G1 transcriptional circuit is analogous to that defined in mammals by the E2F family of transcription factors and the retinoblastoma (Rb) tumor suppressor protein. Rb further contributes to the repression of G1-specific transcription in mammals by recruiting histone deacetylases (HDACs), which are chromatin remodeling complexes that regulate promoter accessibility. Here, we show that regulation of G1-specific transcription in yeast also involves repressor-mediated recruitment of HDACs. We demonstrate that repression by Whi5 is modulated by both Cln-Cdc28 and a second G1-specific CDK, Pcl-Pho85, and further show that both kinases regulate the interaction of Whi5 with HDACs. We propose that regulation of the repressor by more than one G1-specific CDK ensures definitive inactivation of Whi5, a critical event for appropriate cell cycle initiation.
PMCID: PMC2730531  PMID: 19823668
25.  Exploring the conservation of synthetic lethal genetic interaction networks 
High-throughput studies have enabled the large-scale mapping of synthetic lethal genetic interaction networks in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae). Recently, complementary high-throughput methods have been developed to map genetic interactions in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe (S. pombe), enabling comparative analyses of genetic interaction networks between S. pombe and S. cerevisiae, two species separated by hundreds of millions of years of evolution. The resultant data has providing our first view of a possible core genetic interaction network shared between two distantly related eukaryotes, and identified numerous species-specific interactions that may contribute to the unique biology of these two different organisms. These and other results suggest that comparative interactomic studies will provide novel insights into the structure of genetic interaction networks.
PMCID: PMC2686349  PMID: 19704894
pombe; cerevisiae; comparative genomics; synthetic lethal; SGA

Results 1-25 (28)