A new model for disruption of the ornithine decarboxylase gene, SPE1, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae exhibits growth arrest and genetic instability at the MAT locus

B. Schwartz, A. Hittelman, L. Daneshvar, H. S. Basu, L. J. Marton, Burt G.F. Feuerstein

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24 Scopus citations


Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) is a rate-determining enzyme of the polyamine-biosynthetic pathway. We sought to produce cells with impaired ODC function in order to study the biological functions of polyamines. Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains were obtained by one-step gene replacement of a 900 bp fragment of the yeast ODC gene (SPE1) with the yeast URA3 gene. Spores derived from SPE1/spe1 cells germinated at reduced efficiency relative to SPE1/SPE1. Sustained growth of spe1 haploid mutants in polyamine-free medium led to intracellular polyamine depletion, reduction in budding index, G1 arrest and cessation of growth, and cells that were large and misshapen. All of these effects were completely reversed by adding polyamines to the medium, even after 5 days of polyamine starvation. A diploid yeast strain bearing two copies of disrupted spe1 lost heterozygosity at the mating-type locus more often when grown in the absence of polyamines than when grown in their presence, indicating that polyamine deficiency leads to either chromosome loss or to mitotic recombination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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