Mechanisms that ensure monogamous mating in <i>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</i>.

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Haploid cells of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae communicate using secreted pheromones and mate to form diploid zygotes. Mating is monogamous, resulting in the fusion of precisely one cell of each mating type. Monogamous mating in crowded conditions, where cells have access to more than one potential partner, raises the question of how multiple-mating outcomes are prevented. Here we identify mutants capable of mating with multiple partners, revealing the mechanisms that ensure monogamous mating. Before fusion, cells develop polarity foci oriented toward potential partners. Competition between these polarity foci within each cell leads to disassembly of all but one focus, thus favoring a single fusion event. Fusion promotes the formation of heterodimeric complexes between subunits that are uniquely expressed in each mating type. One complex shuts off haploid-specific gene expression, and the other shuts off the ability to respond to pheromone. Zygotes able to form either complex remain monogamous, but zygotes lacking both can re-mate.





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Robertson, Corrina G, Manuella R Clark-Cotton and Daniel J Lew (2021). Mechanisms that ensure monogamous mating in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Molecular biology of the cell, 32(8). pp. 638–644. 10.1091/mbc.e20-12-0757 Retrieved from

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