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Drosophila splicing factor SF2 knock-down mutant shows altered cell-cycle in vivo



Pioneering single gene study documents pre-mRNA processing proteins participation in the cell-cycle regulation of multi-cellular animals (Andersen and Tapon, 2008, J Biol Chem 283: 31256–67). Whole-genome RNAi screen in Drosophila tissue-culture cell lines demonstrates that 17 genes involved in RNA-processing are required for G2/M check-point function (Kondo and Perrimon, 2011, Sci Signal 4: rs1). In particular, the silencing of Splicing Factor 2 (SF2) increases the number of G2(M) cells. We have measured the absolute duration of cell-cycle phases in SF2 depleted flies with the use of flow cytometry and growth parameters of GFP marked mosaic clones. For SF2 mutant cells, G1 = 1.89 h, G2(M) = 7.22 h and S = 1.30 h compared with G1 = 2.25 h, G2(M) = 4.86 h and S = 1.28 h for control normal cells. Thus, G2(M) phase appears to be longer in SF2 silenced cells, supporting the evidence that this splicing protein participates in G2-M check-point function.