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J. Cell Biol. 172 (3): 347-362

Copyright © 2006 by the Rockefeller University Press.


Asynchronous nuclear division cycles in multinucleated cells

Amy S. Gladfelter, A. Katrin Hungerbuehler, , and Peter Philippsen

Department of Molecular Microbiology, Biozentrum University of Basel, 4056 Basel, Switzerland

Correspondence to Amy S. Gladfelter: amy.gladfelter{at}

Abstract: Synchronous mitosis is common in multinucleated cells. We analyzed a unique asynchronous nuclear division cycle in a multinucleated filamentous fungus, Ashbya gossypii. Nuclear pedigree analysis and observation of GFP-labeled spindle pole bodies demonstrated that neighboring nuclei in A. gossypii cells are in different cell cycle stages despite close physical proximity. Neighboring nuclei did not differ significantly in their patterns of cyclin protein localization such that both G1 and mitotic cyclins were present regardless of cell cycle stage, suggesting that the complete destruction of cyclins is not occurring in this system. Indeed, the expression of mitotic cyclin lacking NH2-terminal destruction box sequences did not block cell cycle progression. Cells lacking AgSic1p, a predicted cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor, however, showed aberrant multipolar spindles and fragmented nuclei that are indicative of flawed mitoses. We hypothesize that the continuous cytoplasm in these cells promoted the evolution of a nuclear division cycle in which CDK inhibitors primarily control CDK activity rather than oscillating mitotic cyclin proteins.

A.S. Gladfelter's present address is Department of Biology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755.

Abbreviations used in this paper: CDK, cyclin-dependent kinase; NES, nuclear export sequence; SPB, spindle pole body.

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