Cdc28, the homolog of mammalian Cdk1, is a conserved key regulatory kinase for all major cell cycle transitions in yeast. We have found that defects in mitochondrial respiration (including deletion of ATP2, an ATP synthase subunit) inhibit growth of cells carrying a degron allele of Cdc28 (cdc28td) or Cdc28 temperature-sensitive mutations (cdc28-1 and cdc28-1N) at semi-permissive temperatures. Loss of cell proliferation in the atp2Δcdc28td double mutant is associated with aggravated cell cycle arrest and mitochondrial dysfunction, including mitochondrial hyperpolarization and fragmentation. Unexpectedly, in mutants defective in mitochondrial respiration, steady-state protein levels of mutant cdc28 are strongly reduced, accounting for the aggravated growth defects. Stability of Cdc28 is promoted by the Hsp90–Cdc37 chaperone complex. Our results show that atp2Δcdc28td double-mutant cells, but not single mutants, are sensitive to chemical inhibition of the Hsp90–Cdc37 complex, and exhibit reduced levels of additional Hsp90–Cdc37 client kinases, suggesting an inhibition of this complex. In agreement, overexpression of CDC37 improved atp2Δcdc28td cell growth and Cdc28 levels. Overall, our study shows that simultaneous disturbance of mitochondrial respiration and Cdc28 activity reduces the capacity of Cdc37 to chaperone client kinases, leading to growth arrest.

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