Fleck O, Fahnøe U, Løvschal KV, Gasasira MU, Marinova IN, Kragelund BB, Carr AM, Hartsuiker E, Holmberg C, Nielsen O.
In fission yeast, the small, intrinsically disordered protein S-phase delaying protein 1 (Spd1) blocks DNA replication and causes checkpoint activation at least in part, by inhibiting the enzyme ribonucleotide reductase, which is responsible for the synthesis of DNA. The CRL4Cdt2 E3 ubiquitin ligase mediates degradation of Spd1 and the related protein Spd2 at S phase of the cell cycle. We have generated a conditional allele of CRL4Cdt2, by expressing the highly unstable substrate-recruiting protein Cdt2 from a repressible promoter. Unlike Spd1, Spd2 does not regulate deoxynucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) pools; yet we find that Spd1 and Spd2 together inhibit DNA replication upon Cdt2 depletion. To directly test whether this block of replication was solely due to insufficient dNTP levels, we established a deoxy-nucleotide salvage pathway in fission yeast by expressing the human nucleoside transporter human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (hENT1) and the Drosophila deoxynucleoside kinase. We present evidence that this salvage pathway is functional, as 2 µM of deoxynucleosides in the culture medium is able to rescue the growth of two different temperature-sensitive alleles controlling ribonucleotide reductase. However, salvage completely failed to rescue S phase delay, checkpoint activation, and damage sensitivity, which was caused by CRL4Cdt2 inactivation, suggesting that Spd1-in addition to repressing dNTP synthesis-together with Spd2, can inhibit other replication functions. We propose that this inhibition works at the point of the replication clamp proliferating cell nuclear antigen, a co-factor for DNA replication.