Regulation of septum formation in Aspergillus nidulans by a DNA damage checkpoint pathway

Steven D. Harris, Peter R. Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


In Aspergillus nidulans, germinating conidia undergo multiple rounds of nuclear division before the formation of the first septum. Previous characterization of temperature-sensitive sepB and sepJ mutations showed that although they block septation, they also cause moderate defects in chromosomal DNA metabolism. Results presented here demonstrate that a variety of other perturbations of chromosomal DNA metabolism also delay septum formation, suggesting that this is a general cellular response to the presence of sublethal DNA damage. Genetic evidence is provided that suggests that high levels of cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) activity are required for septation in A. nidulans. Consistent with this notion, the inhibition of septum formation triggered by defects in chromosomal DNA metabolism depends upon Tyr-15 phosphorylation of the mitotic cdk p34(nimX). Moreover, this response also requires elements of the DNA damage checkpoint pathway. A model is proposed that suggests that the DNA damage checkpoint response represents one of multiple sensory inputs that modulates p34(nimX) activity to control the timing of septum formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1055-1067
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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