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Keywords:

  • Cyclic AMP;
  • nitrogen limitation;
  • resting state;
  • cell cycle

Abstract

We have identified a mutation called rcal (for rescue by cAMP) which allows adenylate cyclase-deficient mutants to divide in the presence of cAMP. We took advantage of this rcal mutation to study the effect of externally added cAMP on the onset of the resting state when cells are starved for ammonium. We measured the resistance of the cells to zymolyase treatment as a parameter of the resting state. We observed that the onset of the resting state is reversibly blocked by cAMP. This inhibitory effect of cAMP is discussed together with the cAMP control of the start. This leads us to propose a model in which the cAMP level, controlled by the availability of nutrients, should trigger the choice between the entry of the cell into the resting state and the initiation of a new division cycle.