Cellular growth is the result of passive physical constraints and active biological processes. Their interplay leads to the appearance of robust and ubiquitous scaling laws relating linearly cell size, dry mass, and nuclear size. Despite accumulating experimental evidence, their origin is still unclear. Here, we show that these laws can be explained quantitatively by a single model of size regulation based on three simple, yet generic, physical constraints defining altogether the Pump-Leak model. Based on quantitative estimates, we clearly map the Pump-Leak model coarse-grained parameters with the dominant cellular components. We propose that dry mass density homeostasis arises from the scaling between proteins and small osmolytes, mainly amino-acids and ions. Our model predicts this scaling to naturally fail, both at senescence when DNA and RNAs are saturated by RNA polymerases and ribosomes respectively, and at mitotic entry due to the counterion release following histone tail modifications. Based on the same physical laws, we further show that nuclear scaling results from a osmotic balance at the nuclear envelope and a large pool of metabolites, which dilutes chromatin counterions that do not scale during growth.
All data analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting file; Source Data files have been provided for Figures 2 and 4.Figure 2 - Source Data 1 to 4 contain the experimental data used to fit and validate our theory in the panels B to E of Figure 2. These data are extracted from Neurohr et al, Cell 2019.Figure 4 - Source Data 1 contains the experimental data used to fit and validate our theory in the panel D of Figure 4. These data are extracted from Finan et al, Ann Biomed Eng., 2009
- Romain Rollin
- Romain Rollin
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Ariel Amir, Harvard University, United States
© 2023, Rollin et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI) is a critical feature of meiotic prophase I progression in males. While the ATR kinase and its activator TOPBP1 are key drivers of MSCI within the specialized sex body (SB) domain of the nucleus, how they promote silencing remains unclear given their multifaceted meiotic functions that also include DNA repair, chromosome synapsis, and SB formation. Here we report a novel mutant mouse harboring mutations in the TOPBP1-BRCT5 domain. Topbp1B5/B5 males are infertile, with impaired MSCI despite displaying grossly normal events of early prophase I, including synapsis and SB formation. Specific ATR-dependent events are disrupted, including phosphorylation and localization of the RNA:DNA helicase Senataxin. Topbp1B5/B5 spermatocytes initiate, but cannot maintain ongoing, MSCI. These findings reveal a non-canonical role for the ATR-TOPBP1 signaling axis in MSCI dynamics at advanced stages in pachynema and establish the first mouse mutant that separates ATR signaling and MSCI from SB formation.
Intracellular levels of the amino acid aspartate are responsive to changes in metabolism in mammalian cells and can correspondingly alter cell function, highlighting the need for robust tools to measure aspartate abundance. However, comprehensive understanding of aspartate metabolism has been limited by the throughput, cost, and static nature of the mass spectrometry (MS)-based measurements that are typically employed to measure aspartate levels. To address these issues, we have developed a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based sensor of aspartate (jAspSnFR3), where the fluorescence intensity corresponds to aspartate concentration. As a purified protein, the sensor has a 20-fold increase in fluorescence upon aspartate saturation, with dose-dependent fluorescence changes covering a physiologically relevant aspartate concentration range and no significant off target binding. Expressed in mammalian cell lines, sensor intensity correlated with aspartate levels measured by MS and could resolve temporal changes in intracellular aspartate from genetic, pharmacological, and nutritional manipulations. These data demonstrate the utility of jAspSnFR3 and highlight the opportunities it provides for temporally resolved and high-throughput applications of variables that affect aspartate levels.