Mutations sensitizing yeast cells to the start inhibitor nalidixic acid

John A. Prendergast*, Richard A. Singer, Neil Rowley, Adele Rowley, Gerald C. Johnston, Maria Danos, Brian Kennedy, Richard F. Gaber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The regulatory step Start in the cell cycle of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is inhibited by nalidixic acid (Nal). To study this inhibition, mutations were identified that alter the sensitivity of yeast cells to Nal. Nal‐sensitive mutations were sought because the inhibitory effects of Nal on wild‐type cells are only transient, and wild‐type cells naturally become refractory to Nal. Three complementation groups of Nal‐sensitive mutations were found. Mutations in the first complementation group were shown to reside in the ARO7 gene, encoding chorismate mutase; tyrosine and phenylalanine synthesis was inhibited by Nal in these aro7 mutants, whereas wild‐type chorismate mutase was unaffected. These aro7 alleles demonstrate ‘recruitment’, by mutation, of an innately indifferent protein to an inhibitor‐sensitive form. The Nal‐sensitive aro7 mutant cells were used to show that the resumption of Nal‐inhibited nuclear activity and cell proliferation takes place while cytoplasmic Nal persists at concentrations inhibitory for the mutant chorismate mutase. Mutations in the second complementation group, nss2 (Nal‐supersensitive), increased intracellular Nal concentrations, and may simply alter the permeability of cells to Nal. The third complementation group was found to be the ERG6 gene, previously suggested to encode the ergosterol biosynthetic enzyme sterol methyltransferase. Mutation or deletion of the ERG6 gene had little effect on the inhibition of Start by Nal, but prevented recovery from this inhibition. Mutation of ERG3, encoding another ergosterol biosynthetic enzyme, also caused Nal sensitivity, suggesting that plasma membrane sterol composition, and plasma membrane function, mediates recovery from Nal‐mediated inhibition of Start.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-547
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1995


  • ARO7
  • ERG6
  • Start
  • nalidixic acid
  • yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mutations sensitizing yeast cells to the start inhibitor nalidixic acid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this