(A) Quantifying the coordination of cell size and G1 length. Samples of unsynchronized cells were treated with increasing concentrations of rapamycin (a rapamycin concentration series: 0, 0.03, 0.3, 3 and 30 nM) for a period of 24 hr, and then stained and imaged to quantify cell size and cell cycle stage on a single-cell basis. Each data point (circle) corresponds to a different concentration of rapamycin and shows the average size of early G1 cells and the proportion of cells in G1 resulting from that treatment. Populations treated with higher concentrations of rapamycin had smaller cells and higher fractions of cells in G1, resulting in a robust negative correlation. Rapamycin concentrations are redundantly represented by both the size of the circles and their color, as shown in the colorbar. The small white circles represent control populations that were treated with DMSO, rather than rapamycin. Calculation of the average size and the proportion of G1 cells, in each of the represented samples, was performed by classifying single cells into cell cycle stage as depicted in Figure 1B. Each data point was measured from an unsynchronized population with a minimum of 7000 cells. Additional details on the experiment and analysis is provided in the Materials and methods section. (B) The experiment described in panel A is repeated with (red) or without (blue) a chemical inhibitor of p38 (SB203580, 5 μM). The negative correlation between the size of early G1 cells and the proportion of cells in G1 is apparent in populations not treated with SB203580 (blue) but not in the populations that are treated with SB203580. The blue and red trend lines represent linear regressions. (C) Western-blots of whole cell lysates from populations that were treated with different combinations of SB203580, rapamycin and Torin-2. The experimental procedure used here are the same as those used to generate the data shown in panel A and B. The increased levels of phopho-p38 in the population that is treated with SB203580 (a p38 inhibitor) should not be interpreted as a lack of efficacy of SB203580. Rather, these higher levels of phopho-p38 are explained by a negative feedback in the p38 pathway (Arthur and Ley, 2013), and the fact that while p38 inhibitors prevent p-p38 from phosphorylating its downstream substrates, these inhibitors do not block phosphorylation of p38 itself by upstream regulators (Kumar et al., 1999). (D) Inhibition of the p38 MAPK pathway, but not the MAPK/ERK or SAPK/JNK pathways, disrupts the correlation between the average size of early G1 cells and the proportion of cells in G1. Results were obtained with the same assay used to create panel A and B. Larger circle size indicates higher rapamycin concentration. The rapamycin concentration series includes: 0, 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, 3 and 30 nM. The results shown here are representative of three independent experiments. (E) Fitted slopes corresponding to the trends shown in Figure 2D. Error bars represent 90% confidence intervals. For each compound treatment, its fitted slope is compared with the slope of the control (DMSO) from the same experiment. Significance was calculated with one-tailed Student’s t-test (H0: slopedrug <= slopecontrol). The meta data and source code used for this analysis and visualization of results is presented in Figure 2—source data 1.