Chlamydomonas CHT7 is involved in repressing DNA replication and mitotic genes during synchronous growth

Yang Tsung Lin, Tomomi Takeuchi, Brian Youk, James Umen, Barbara B. Sears, Christoph Benning

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In the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, regulation of the cell cycle in response to external cues is critical for survival in a changing environment. The loss of the nuclear COMPROMISED HYDROLYSIS OF TRIACYLGLYCEROLS 7 (CHT7) protein affects the expression of many genes especially in response to nitrogen availability. Cells lacking CHT7 exhibit abnormal cell morphology following nitrogen deprivation and fail to resume normal cell division after N resupply. To investigate the function of CHT7 in the regulation of cell cycle-related pathways, cells were synchronized, and RNA-seq analysis was performed during various stages of the cell cycle. In the cht7 mutant following nitrogen deprivation, the cells were not dividing, but a subset of cell cycle genes involved in DNA replication and mitosis were found to be derepressed, suggesting that the CHT7 protein plays a role in cell cycle regulation that is opposite to that of the mitotic cyclin-dependent kinases. Furthermore, genes for cell wall synthesis and remodeling were found to be abnormally induced in nondividing cht7 cells; this misregulation may deplete cellular resources and thus contribute to cell death following nitrogen deprivation. Lastly, 43 minimally characterized kinases were found to be highly misregulated in cht7. Further analysis suggested that some of these CHT7-regulated kinases may be related to the MAP3K and Aurora-like kinases, while others are unique. Together, these results suggest a role of CHT7 in transcriptional regulation of the cell cycle and reveal several pathways and genes whose expression appears to be subject to a CHT7-mediated regulatory network.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjkac023
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • DNA replication
  • algal cell wall
  • cell cycle
  • cell division
  • mitosis
  • quiescence


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