Several lines of evidence suggest that the morphogenetic transition from the yeast form to pseudohyphae in Saccharomyces cerevisiae may be regulated by the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk). To examine this hypothesis, we mutated all of the G1 cyclin genes in strains competent to form pseudohyphae. Interestingly, mutation of each G1 cyclin results in a different filamentation phenotype, varying from a significant defect in cln1/cln1 strains to enhancement of filament production in cln3/cln3 strains. cln1 cln2 double mutants are more defective in pseudohyphal development and haploid invasive growth than cln1 strains. FLO11 transcription, which correlates with the level of invasive growth, is low in cln1 cln2 mutants and high in grr1 cells (defective in proteolysis of Cln1,2), suggesting that Cln1,2/Cdks regulate the pseudohyphal transcriptional program. Epistasis analysis reveals that Cln1,2/Cdk and the filamentation MAP kinase pathway function in parallel in regulating filamentous and invasive growth. Cln1 and Cln2, but not Ste20 or Ste12, are responsible for most of the elevated FLO11 transcription in grr1 strains. Furthermore, phenotypic comparison of various filamentation mutants illustrates that cell elongation and invasion/cell-cell adhesion during filamentation are separable processes controlled by the pseudohyphal transcriptional program. Potential targets for G1 cyclin/Cdks during filamentous growth are discussed.
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