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1.  Yeast RNA Polymerase II Transcription In Vitro Is Inhibited in the Presence of Nucleotide Excision Repair: Complementation of Inhibition by Holo-TFIIH and Requirement for RAD26 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(5):2668-2676.
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae transcription factor IIH (TFIIH) is essential both for transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) and for nucleotide excision repair (NER) of damaged DNA. We have established cell extracts which support RNAP II transcription from the yeast CYC1 promoter or NER of transcriptionally silent damaged DNA on independent plasmid templates and substrates. When plasmid templates and substrates for both processes are simultaneously incubated with these extracts, transcription is significantly inhibited. This inhibition is strictly dependent on active NER and can be complemented with purified holo-TFIIH. These results suggest that in the presence of active NER, TFIIH is preferentially mobilized from the basal transcription machinery for use in NER. Inhibition of transcription in the presence of active NER requires the RAD26 gene, the yeast homolog of the human Cockayne syndrome group B gene (CSB).
PMCID: PMC110646  PMID: 9566886
2.  Cloning and characterization of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe tRNA:pseudouridine synthase Pus1p 
Nucleic Acids Research  2000;28(23):4604-4610.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells that carry deletions in both the LOS1 (a tRNA export receptor) and the PUS1 (a tRNA:pseudouridine synthase) genes exhibit a thermosensitive growth defect. A Schizosaccharomyces pombe gene, named spPUS1, was cloned from a cDNA library by complementation of this conditional lethal phenotype. The corresponding protein, spPus1p, shows sequence similarity to S.cerevisiae and murine Pus1p as well as other known members of the pseudouridine synthase family. Accordingly, recombinant spPus1p can catalyze in vitro the formation of pseudouridines at positions 27, 28, 34, 35 and 36 of yeast tRNA transcripts. The sequence and functional conservation of the Pus1p proteins in fungi and mammalian species and their notable absence from prokaryotes suggest that this family of pseudouridine synthases is required for a eukaryote-specific step of tRNA biogenesis, such as nuclear export.
PMCID: PMC115158  PMID: 11095668
3.  MAS5, a yeast homolog of DnaJ involved in mitochondrial protein import. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1992;12(1):283-291.
The nuclear mas5 mutation causes temperature-sensitive growth and defects in mitochondrial protein import at the nonpermissive temperature in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The MAS5 gene was isolated by complementation of the mutant phenotypes, and integrative transformation demonstrated that the complementing fragment encoded the authentic MAS5 gene. The deduced protein sequence of the cloned gene revealed a polypeptide of 410 amino acids which is homologous to Escherichia coli DnaJ and the yeast DnaJ log SCJ1. Northern (RNA blot) analysis revealed that MAS5 is a heat shock gene whose expression increases moderately at elevated temperatures. Cells with a deletion mutation in MAS5 grew slowly at 23 degrees C and were inviable at 37 degrees C, demonstrating that MAS5 is essential for growth at increased temperatures. The deletion mutant also displayed a modest import defect at 23 degrees C and a substantial import defect at 37 degrees C. These results indicate a role for a DnaJ cognate protein in mitochondrial protein import.
PMCID: PMC364104  PMID: 1729605
4.  Characterization of the basal inhibitor of class II transcription NC2 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1996;24(22):4450-4455.
Human NC2 utilizes a unique mechanism of repression of transcription by associating with TBP and inhibition of preinitiation complex formation. Here we have cloned two genes from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and functionally characterized them as yeast NC2. We show that yeast NC2 binds to TBP as a heterodimer and represses RNA polymerase II transcription during assembly of the preinitiation complex. Yeast NC2 is highly homologous to its human counterpart within histone fold domains. C-Terminal regions previously discussed to be important for repression in man are in part not conserved. The human alpha but not the beta subunit efficiently heterodimerizes and represses transcription in combination with the corresponding yeast subunit. Yeast and human NC2 inhibit transcription in the presence of yeast and human TBP. However, repression is optimal within one species. The N-terminus of human TBP supports repression of transcription by human but not by yeast NC2.
PMCID: PMC146262  PMID: 8948634
5.  Plant farnesyltransferase can restore yeast Ras signaling and mating. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(4):1986-1994.
Farnesyltransferase (FTase) is a heterodimeric enzyme that modifies a group of proteins, including Ras, in mammals and yeasts. Plant FTase alpha and beta subunits were cloned from tomato and expressed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to assess their functional conservation in farnesylating Ras and a-factor proteins, which are important for cell growth and mating. The tomato FTase beta subunit (LeFTB) alone was unable to complement the growth defect of ram1 delta mutant yeast strains in which the chromosomal FTase beta subunit gene was deleted, but coexpression of LeFTB with the plant alpha subunit gene (LeFTA) restored normal growth, Ras membrane association, and mating. LeFTB contains a novel 66-amino-acid sequence domain whose deletion reduces the efficiency of tomato FTase to restore normal growth to yeast ram1 delta strains. Coexpression of LeFTA and LeFTB in either yeast or insect cells yielded a functional enzyme that correctly farnesylated CaaX-motif-containing peptides. Despite their low degree of sequence homology, yeast and plant FTases shared similar in vivo and in vitro substrate specificities, demonstrating that this enzymatic modification of proteins with intermediates from the isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway is conserved in evolutionarily divergent eukaryotes.
PMCID: PMC232045  PMID: 9121446
6.  Cloning and Characterization of peter pan, a Novel Drosophila Gene Required for Larval Growth 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1999;10(6):1733-1744.
We identified a new Drosophila gene, peter pan (ppan), in a screen for larval growth–defective mutants. ppan mutant larvae do not grow and show minimal DNA replication but can survive until well after their heterozygotic siblings have pupariated. We cloned the ppan gene by P-element plasmid rescue. ppan belongs to a highly conserved gene family that includes Saccharomyces cerevisiae SSF1 and SSF2, as well as Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Arabidopsis, Caenorhabditis elegans, mouse, and human homologues. Deletion of both SSF1 and SSF2 in yeast is lethal, and depletion of the gene products causes cell division arrest. Mosaic analysis of ppan mutant clones in Drosophila imaginal disks and ovaries demonstrates that ppan is cell autonomous and required for normal mitotic growth but is not absolutely required for general biosynthesis or DNA replication. Overexpression of the wild-type gene causes cell death and disrupts the normal development of adult structures. The ppan gene family appears to have an essential and evolutionarily conserved role in cell growth.
PMCID: PMC25365  PMID: 10359593
7.  A mutation in the gene encoding the Saccharomyces cerevisiae single-stranded DNA-binding protein Rfa1 stimulates a RAD52-independent pathway for direct-repeat recombination. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1995;15(3):1632-1641.
In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, recombination between direct repeats is synergistically reduced in rad1 rad52 double mutants, suggesting that the two genes define alternate recombination pathways. Using a classical genetic approach, we searched for suppressors of the recombination defect in the double mutant. One mutation that restores wild-type levels of recombination was isolated. Cloning by complementation and subsequent physical and genetic analysis revealed that it maps to RAF1. This locus encodes the large subunit of the single-stranded DNA-binding protein complex, RP-A, which is conserved from S. cerevisiae to humans. The rfa1 mutation on its own causes a 15-fold increase in direct-repeat recombination. However, unlike most other hyperrecombination mutations, the elevated levels in rfa1 mutants occur independently of RAD52 function. Additionally, rfa1 mutant strains grow slowly, are UV sensitive, and exhibit decreased levels of heteroallelic recombination. DNA sequence analysis of rfa1 revealed a missense mutation that alters a conserved residue of the protein (aspartic acid 228 to tyrosine [D228Y]). Biochemical analysis suggests that this defect results in decreased levels of RP-A in mutant strains. Overexpression of the mutant subunit completely suppresses the UV sensitivity and partially suppresses the recombination phenotype. We propose that the defective complex fails to interact properly with components of the repair, replication, and recombination machinery. Further, this may permit the bypass of the recombination defect of rad1 rad52 mutants by activating an alternative single-stranded DNA degradation pathway.
PMCID: PMC230387  PMID: 7862154
8.  pdf1, a Palmitoyl Protein Thioesterase 1 Ortholog in Schizosaccharomyces pombe: a Yeast Model of Infantile Batten Disease 
Eukaryotic Cell  2004;3(2):302-310.
Infantile Batten disease is a severe neurodegenerative storage disorder caused by mutations in the human PPT1 (palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1) gene, which encodes a lysosomal hydrolase that removes fatty acids from lipid-modified proteins. PPT1 has orthologs in many species, including lower organisms and plants, but not in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe contains a previously uncharacterized open reading frame (SPBC530.12c) that encodes the S. pombe Ppt1p ortholog fused in frame to a second enzyme that is highly similar to a previously cloned mouse dolichol pyrophosphatase (Dolpp1p). In the present study, we characterized this interesting gene (designated here as pdf1, for palmitoyl protein thioesterase-dolichol pyrophosphate phosphatase fusion 1) through deletion of the open reading frame and complementation by plasmids bearing mutations in various regions of the pdf1 sequence. Strains bearing a deletion of the entire pdf1 open reading frame are nonviable and are rescued by a pdf1 expression plasmid. Inactivating mutations in the Dolpp1p domain do not rescue the lethality, whereas mutations in the Ppt1p domain result in cells that are viable but abnormally sensitive to sodium orthovanadate and elevated extracellular pH. The latter phenotypes have been previously associated with class C and class D vacuolar protein sorting (vps) mutants and vacuolar membrane H+-ATPase (vma) mutants in S. cerevisiae. Importantly, the Ppt1p-deficient phenotype is complemented by the human PPT1 gene. These results indicate that the function of PPT1 has been widely conserved throughout evolution and that S. pombe may serve as a genetically tractable model for the study of human infantile Batten disease.
PMCID: PMC387660  PMID: 15075260
9.  Conservation of the Prion Properties of Ure2p through Evolution 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(8):3449-3458.
The yeast inheritable [URE3] element corresponds to a prion form of the nitrogen catabolism regulator Ure2p. We have isolated several orthologous URE2 genes in different yeast species: Saccharomyces paradoxus, S. uvarum, Kluyveromyces lactis, Candida albicans, and Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We show here by in silico analysis that the GST-like functional domain and the prion domain of the Ure2 proteins have diverged separately, the functional domain being more conserved through the evolution. The more extreme situation is found in the two S. pombe genes, in which the prion domain is absent. The functional analysis demonstrates that all the homologous genes except for the two S. pombe genes are able to complement the URE2 gene deletion in a S. cerevisiae strain. We show that in the two most closely related yeast species to S. cerevisiae, i.e., S. paradoxus and S. uvarum, the prion domains of the proteins have retained the capability to induce [URE3] in a S. cerevisiae strain. However, only the S. uvarum full-length Ure2p is able to behave as a prion. We also show that the prion inactivation mechanisms can be cross-transmitted between the S. cerevisiae and S. uvarum prions.
PMCID: PMC181580  PMID: 12925776
10.  Functions of yeast helicase Ssl2p that are essential for viability are also involved in protection from the toxicity of adriamycin 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(8):2578-2585.
We have found that, in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, overexpression of the DNA helicase Ssl2p confers resistance to adriamycin. Ssl2p is involved, as a subunit of the basic transcription factor TFIIH, in the initiation of transcription and in nucleotide-excision repair (NER), and this helicase is essential for the survival of yeast cells. An examination of the relationship between the known functions of Ssl2p and adriamycin resistance indicated that overexpression of Ssl2p caused little or no increase in the rate of RNA synthesis and in NER. The absence of any involvement of NER in adriamycin resistance was supported by the finding that yeast cells that overexpressed the mutant form of Ssl2p that lacked the carboxy-terminal region, which is necessary for NER, remained resistant to adriamycin. When we examined the effects of overexpression in yeast of other mutant forms of Ssl2p with various deletions, we found that, of the 843 amino acids of Ssl2p, the entire amino acid sequence from position 81 to position 750 was necessary for adriamycin resistance. This region is identical to the region of Ssl2p that is necessary for the survival of yeast cells. Although this region contains helicase motifs, the overexpression of other yeast helicases, such as Rad3 and Sgs1, had little or no effect on adriamycin resistance, indicating that a mere increase in the intracellular level of helicases does not result in adriamycin resistance. Our results suggest that the functions of Ssl2p that are essential for yeast survival are also required for protection against adriamycin toxicity.
PMCID: PMC419470  PMID: 15141027
11.  SBA1 Encodes a Yeast Hsp90 Cochaperone That Is Homologous to Vertebrate p23 Proteins 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(7):3727-3734.
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae SBA1 gene was cloned by PCR amplification from yeast genomic DNA following its identification as encoding an ortholog of human p23, an Hsp90 cochaperone. The SBA1 gene product is constitutively expressed and nonessential, although a disruption mutant grew more slowly than the wild type at both 18 and 37°C. A double deletion of SBA1 and STI1, encoding an Hsp90 cochaperone, displayed synthetic growth defects. Affinity isolation of histidine-tagged Sba1p (Sba1His6) after expression in yeast led to coisolation of Hsp90 and the cyclophilin homolog Cpr6. Using an in vitro assembly assay, purified Sba1His6 bound to Hsp90 only in the presence of adenosine 5′-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) or adenyl-imidodiphosphate. Furthermore, interaction between purified Sba1His6 and Hsp90 in yeast extracts was inhibited by the benzoquinoid ansamycins geldanamycin and macbecin. The in vitro assay was also used to identify residues in Hsp90 that are important for complex formation with Sba1His6, and residues in both the N-terminal nucleotide binding domain and C-terminal half were characterized. In vivo analysis of known Hsp90 substrate proteins revealed that Sba1 loss of function had only a mild effect on the activity of the tyrosine kinase v-Src and steroid hormone receptors.
PMCID: PMC108955  PMID: 9632755
12.  Double mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with alterations in global genome and transcription-coupled repair. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1996;16(2):496-502.
The nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway is thought to consist of two subpathways: transcription-coupled repair, limited to the transcribed strand of active genes, and global genome repair for nontranscribed DNA strands. Recently we cloned the RAD26 gene, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae homolog of human CSB/ERCC6, a gene involved in transcription-coupled repair and the disorder Cockayne syndrome. This paper describes the analysis of yeast double mutants selectively affected in each NER subpathway. Although rad26 disruption mutants are defective in transcription-coupled repair, they are not UV sensitive. However, double mutants of RAD26 with the global genome repair determinants RAD7 and RAD16 appeared more UV sensitive than the single rad7 or rad16 mutants but not as sensitive as completely NER-deficient mutants. These findings unmask a role of RAD26 and transcription-coupled repair in UV survival, indicate that transcription-coupled repair and global genome repair are partially overlapping, and provide evidence for a residual NER modality in the double mutants. Analysis of dimer removal from the active RPB2 gene in the rad7/16 rad26 double mutants revealed (i) a contribution of the global genome repair factors Rad7p and Rad16p to repair of the transcribed strand, confirming the partial overlap between both NER subpathways, and (ii) residual repair specifically of the transcribed strand. To investigate the transcription dependence of this repair activity, strand-specific repair of the inducible GAL7 gene was investigated. The template strand of this gene was repaired only under induced conditions, pointing to a role for transcription in the residual repair in the double mutants and suggesting that transcription-coupled repair can to some extent operate independently from Rad26p. Our findings also indicate locus heterogeneity for the dependence of transcription-coupled repair on RAD26.
PMCID: PMC231027  PMID: 8552076
13.  Tfb5 Is Partially Dispensable for Rad26 Mediated Transcription Coupled Nucleotide Excision Repair in Yeast 
DNA repair  2007;6(11):1661-1669.
Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is a conserved DNA repair mechanism capable of removing a variety of helix-distorting DNA lesions. A specialized NER pathway, called transcription coupled NER (TC-NER), refers to preferential repair in the transcribed strand of an actively transcribed gene. To be distinguished from TCR-NER, the genome-wide NER process is termed as global genomic NER (GG-NER). In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, GG-NER is dependent on Rad7, whereas TC-NER is mediated by Rad26, the homolog of the human Cockayne syndrome group B protein, and by Rpb9, a nonessential subunit of RNA polymerase II. Tfb5, the tenth subunit of the transcription/repair factor TFIIH, is implicated in one group of the human syndrome trichothiodystrophy. Here, we show that Tfb5 plays different roles in different NER pathways in yeast. No repair takes place in the nontranscribed strand of a gene in tfb5 cells, or in both strands of a gene in rad26 rpb9 tfb5 cells, indicating that Tfb5 is essential for GG-NER. However, residual repair occurs in the transcribed strand of a gene in tfb5 cells, suggesting that Tfb5 is important, but not absolutely required for TC-NER. Interestingly, substantial repair occurs in the transcribed strand of a gene in rad7 tfb5 and rad7 rpb9 tfb5 cells, indicating that, in the absence of GG-NER, Tfb5 is largely dispensable for Rad26 mediated TC-NER. Furthermore, we show that no repair takes place in the transcribed strand of a gene in rad7 rad26 tfb5 cells, suggesting that Tfb5 is required for Rpb9 mediated TC-NER. Taken together, our results indicate that Tfb5 is partially dispensable for Rad26 mediated TC-NER, especially in GG-NER deficient cells. However, this TFIIH subunit is required for other NER pathways.
PMCID: PMC2096704  PMID: 17644494
Rad7; Rad26; Rpb9; nucleotide excision repair; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Tfb5; global genomic repair; transcription coupled repair
14.  Severe growth defect in a Schizosaccharomyces pombe mutant defective in intron lariat degradation. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(2):809-818.
The cDNAs and genes encoding the intron lariat-debranching enzyme were isolated from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe based on their homology with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene. The cDNAs were shown to be functional in an interspecific complementation experiment; they can complement an S. cerevisiae dbr1 null mutant. About 2.5% of budding yeast S. cerevisiae genes have introns, and the accumulation of excised introns in a dbr1 null mutant has little effect on cell growth. In contrast, many S. pombe genes contain introns, and often multiple introns per gene, so that S. pombe is estimated to contain approximately 40 times as many introns as S. cerevisiae. The S. pombe dbr1 gene was disrupted and shown to be nonessential. Like the S. cerevisiae mutant, the S. pombe null mutant accumulated introns to high levels, indicating that intron lariat debranching represents a rate-limiting step in intron degradation in both species. Unlike the S. cerevisiae mutant, the S. pombe dbr1::leu1+ mutant had a severe growth defect and exhibited an aberrant elongated cell shape in addition to an intron accumulation phenotype. The growth defect of the S. pombe dbr1::leu1+ strain suggests that debranching activity is critical for efficient intron RNA degradation and that blocking this pathway interferes with cell growth.
PMCID: PMC231807  PMID: 9001235
15.  Human SEC13Rp functions in yeast and is located on transport vesicles budding from the endoplasmic reticulum 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1995;128(5):769-777.
In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Sec13p is required for intracellular protein transport from the ER to the Golgi apparatus, and has also been identified as a component of the COPII vesicle coat structure. Recently, a human cDNA encoding a protein 53% identical to yeast Sec13p has been isolated. In this report, we apply the genetic assays of complementation and synthetic lethality to demonstrate the conservation of function between this human protein, designated SEC13Rp, and yeast Sec13p. We show that two reciprocal human/yeast fusion constructs, encoding the NH2-terminal half of one protein and the COOH-terminal half of the other, can each complement the secretion defect of a sec13-1 mutant at 36 degrees C. The chimera encoding the NH2-terminal half of the yeast protein and the COOH-terminal half of the human protein is also able to complement a SEC13 deletion. Overexpression of either the entire human SEC13Rp protein or the chimera encoding the NH2-terminal half of the human protein and the COOH-terminal half of the yeast protein inhibits the growth of a sec13- 1 mutant at 24 degrees C; this growth inhibition is not seen in a wild- type strain nor in other sec mutants, suggesting that the NH2-terminal half of SEC13Rp may compete with Sec13-1p for a common target. We show by immunoelectronmicroscopy of mammalian cells that SEC13Rp (like the putative mammalian homologues of the COPII subunits Sar1p and Sec23p) resides in the region of the transitional ER. We also show that the distribution of SEC13Rp is not affected by brefeldin A treatment. This report presents the first demonstration of a putative mammalian COPII component functioning in yeast, and highlights a potentially useful approach for the study of conserved mammalian proteins in a genetically tractable system.
PMCID: PMC2120388  PMID: 7876304
16.  CHS5, a gene involved in chitin synthesis and mating in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(5):2485-2496.
The CHS5 locus of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is important for wild-type levels of chitin synthase III activity. chs5 cells have reduced levels of this activity. To further understand the role of CHS5 in yeast, the CHS5 gene was cloned by complementation of the Calcofluor resistance phenotype of a chs5 mutant. Transformation of the mutant with a plasmid carrying CHS5 restored Calcofluor sensitivity, wild-type cell wall chitin levels, and chitin synthase III activity levels. DNA sequence analysis reveals that CHS5 encodes a unique polypeptide of 671 amino acids with a molecular mass of 73,642 Da. The predicted sequence shows a heptapeptide repeated 10 times, a carboxy-terminal lysine-rich tail, and some similarity to neurofilament proteins. The effects of deletion of CHS5 indicate that it is not essential for yeast cell growth; however, it is important for mating. Deletion of CHS3, the presumptive structural gene for chitin synthase III activity, results in a modest decrease in mating efficiency, whereas chs5delta cells exhibit a much stronger mating defect. However, chs5 cells produce more chitin than chs3 mutants, indicating that CHS5 plays a role in other processes besides chitin synthesis. Analysis of mating mixtures of chs5 cells reveals that cells agglutinate and make contact but fail to undergo cell fusion. The chs5 mating defect can be partially rescued by FUS1 and/or FUS2, two genes which have been implicated previously in cell fusion, but not by FUS3. In addition, mating efficiency is much lower in fus1 fus2 x chs5 than in fus1 fus2 x wild type crosses. Our results indicate that Chs5p plays an important role in the cell fusion step of mating.
PMCID: PMC232097  PMID: 9111317
17.  Study of the Plant COPII Vesicle Coat Subunits by Functional Complementation of Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mutants 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e90072.
The formation and budding of endoplasmic reticulum ER-derived vesicles depends on the COPII coat protein complex that was first identified in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The ER-associated Sec12 and the Sar1 GTPase initiate the COPII coat formation by recruiting the Sec23–Sec24 heterodimer following the subsequent recruitment of the Sec13–Sec31 heterotetramer. In yeast, there is usually one gene encoding each COPII protein and these proteins are essential for yeast viability, whereas the plant genome encodes multiple isoforms of all COPII subunits. Here, we used a systematic yeast complementation assay to assess the functionality of Arabidopsis thaliana COPII proteins. In this study, the different plant COPII subunits were expressed in their corresponding temperature-sensitive yeast mutant strain to complement their thermosensitivity and secretion phenotypes. Secretion was assessed using two different yeast cargos: the soluble α-factor pheromone and the membranous v-SNARE (vesicle-soluble NSF (N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor) attachment protein receptor) Snc1 involved in the fusion of the secretory vesicles with the plasma membrane. This complementation study allowed the identification of functional A. thaliana COPII proteins for the Sec12, Sar1, Sec24 and Sec13 subunits that could represent an active COPII complex in plant cells. Moreover, we found that AtSec12 and AtSec23 were co-immunoprecipitated with AtSar1 in total cell extract of 15 day-old seedlings of A. thaliana. This demonstrates that AtSar1, AtSec12 and AtSec23 can form a protein complex that might represent an active COPII complex in plant cells.
PMCID: PMC3934973  PMID: 24587212
18.  Parallel competition analysis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains differing by a single base using polymerase colonies 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(15):e84.
We describe a strategy to analyze the impact of single nucleotide mutations on protein function. Our method utilizes a combination of yeast functional complementation, growth competition of mutant pools and polyacrylamide gel immobilized PCR. A system was constructed in which the yeast PGK1 gene was expressed from a plasmid-borne copy of the gene in a PGK1 deletion strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using this system, we demonstrated that the enrichment or depletion of PGK1 point mutants from a mixed culture was consistent with the expected results based on the isolated growth rates of the mutants. Enrichment or depletion of individual point mutants was shown to result from increases or decreases, respectively, in the specific activities of the encoded proteins. Further, we demonstrate the ability to analyze the functional effect of many individual point mutations in parallel. By functional complementation of yeast deletions with human homologs, our technique could be readily applied to the functional analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms in human genes of medical interest.
PMCID: PMC169973  PMID: 12888536
19.  The small subunits of human and mouse DNA polymerase epsilon are homologous to the second largest subunit of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae DNA polymerase epsilon. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1998;26(3):730-734.
Human DNA polymerase epsilon is composed of a 261 kDa catalytic polypeptide and a 55 kDa small subunit of unknown function. cDNAs encoding the small subunit of human and mouse DNA polymerase epsilon were cloned. The predicted polypeptides have molecular masses of 59.469 and 59.319 kDa respectively and they are 90% identical. The human and mouse polypeptides show 22% identity with the 80 kDa subunit of the five subunit DNA polymerase epsilon from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The high degree of conservation suggests that the 55 kDa subunit shares an essential function with the yeast 80 kDa subunit, which was earlier suggested to be involved in S phase cell cycle control in a pathway that is able to sense and signal incomplete replication. The small subunits of human and mouse DNA polymerase epsilon also show homology to the C-terminal domain of the second largest subunit of DNA polymerase alpha. The gene for the small subunit of human DNA polymerase epsilon (POLE2) was localized to chromosome 14q21-q22 by fluorescence in situ hybridization.
PMCID: PMC147316  PMID: 9443964
20.  Evolutionary conservation of the human nucleolar protein fibrillarin and its functional expression in yeast 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1991;113(4):715-729.
NOP1 is an essential nucleolar protein in yeast that is associated with small nucleolar RNA and required for ribosome biogenesis. We have cloned the human nucleolar protein, fibrillarin, from a HeLa cDNA library. Human fibrillarin is 70% identical to yeast NOP1 and is also the functional homologue since either human or Xenopus fibrillarin can complement a yeast nop1- mutant. Human fibrillarin is localized in the yeast nucleolus and associates with yeast small nucleolar RNAs. This shows that the signals within eucaryotic fibrillarin required for nucleolar association and nucleolar function are conserved from yeast to man. However, human fibrillarin only partially complements in yeast resulting in a temperature-sensitive growth, concomitantly altered rRNA processing and aberrant nuclear morphology. A suppressor of the human fibrillarin ts-mutant was isolated and found to map intragenically at a single amino acid position of the human nucleolar protein. The growth rate of yeast nop1- strains expressing Xenopus or human fibrillarin or the human fibrillarin suppressor correlates closely with their ability to efficiently and correctly process pre-rRNA. These findings demonstrate for the first time that vertebrate fibrillarin functions in ribosomal RNA processing in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2288999  PMID: 2026646
21.  Phylogenetic Portrait of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Functional Genome 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2013;3(8):1335-1340.
The genome of budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) contains approximately 5800 protein-encoding genes, the majority of which are associated with some known biological function. Yet the extent of amino acid sequence conservation of these genes over all phyla has only been partially examined. Here we provide a more comprehensive overview and visualization of the conservation of yeast genes and a means for browsing and exploring the data in detail, down to the individual yeast gene, at We used data from the OrthoMCL database, which has defined orthologs from approximately 150 completely sequenced genomes, including diverse representatives of the archeal, bacterial, and eukaryotic domains. By clustering genes based on similar patterns of conservation, we organized and visualized all the protein-encoding genes in yeast as a single heat map. Most genes fall into one of eight major clusters, called “phylogroups.” Gene ontology analysis of the phylogroups revealed that they were associated with specific, distinct trends in gene function, generalizations likely to be of interest to a wide range of biologists.
PMCID: PMC3737173  PMID: 23749449
yeast; evolution; phylogeny; orthology; genome
22.  The AMT1 Arginine Methyltransferase Gene Is Important for Plant Infection and Normal Hyphal Growth in Fusarium graminearum 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e38324.
Arginine methylation of non-histone proteins by protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) has been shown to be important for various biological processes from yeast to human. Although PRMT genes are well conserved in fungi, none of them have been functionally characterized in plant pathogenic ascomycetes. In this study, we identified and characterized all of the four predicted PRMT genes in Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of Fusarium head blight of wheat and barley. Whereas deletion of the other three PRMT genes had no obvious phenotypes, the Δamt1 mutant had pleiotropic defects. AMT1 is a predicted type I PRMT gene that is orthologous to HMT1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The Δamt1 mutant was slightly reduced in vegetative growth but normal in asexual and sexual reproduction. It had increased sensitivities to oxidative and membrane stresses. DON mycotoxin production and virulence on flowering wheat heads also were reduced in the Δamt1 mutant. The introduction of the wild-type AMT1 allele fully complemented the defects of the Δamt1 mutant and Amt1-GFP fusion proteins mainly localized to the nucleus. Hrp1 and Nab2 are two hnRNPs in yeast that are methylated by Hmt1 for nuclear export. In F. graminearum, AMT1 is required for the nuclear export of FgHrp1 but not FgNab2, indicating that yeast and F. graminearum differ in the methylation and nucleo-cytoplasmic transport of hnRNP components. Because AMT2 also is a predicted type I PRMT with limited homology to yeast HMT1, we generated the Δamt1 Δamt2 double mutants. The Δamt1 single and Δamt1 Δamt2 double mutants had similar defects in all the phenotypes assayed, including reduced vegetative growth and virulence. Overall, data from this systematic analysis of PRMT genes suggest that AMT1, like its ortholog in yeast, is the predominant PRMT gene in F. graminearum and plays a role in hyphal growth, stress responses, and plant infection.
PMCID: PMC3365026  PMID: 22693618
23.  Distinct regions of RPB11 are required for heterodimerization with RPB3 in human and yeast RNA polymerase II 
Nucleic Acids Research  2005;33(11):3582-3590.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, RNA polymerase II assembly is probably initiated by the formation of the RPB3–RPB11 heterodimer. RPB3 is encoded by a single copy gene in the yeast, mouse and human genomes. The RPB11 gene is also unique in yeast and mouse, but in humans a gene family has been identified that potentially encodes several RPB11 proteins differing mainly in their C-terminal regions. We compared the abilities of both yeast and human proteins to heterodimerize. We show that the yeast RPB3/RPB11 heterodimer critically depends on the presence of the C-terminal region of RPB11. In contrast, the human heterodimer tolerates significant changes in RPB11 C-terminus, allowing two human RPB11 variants to heterodimerize with the same efficiency with RPB3. In keeping with this observation, the interactions between the conserved N-terminal ‘α-motifs’ is much more important for heterodimerization of the human subunits than for those in yeast. These data indicate that the heterodimerization interfaces have been modified during the course of evolution to allow a recent diversification of the human RPB11 subunits that remains compatible with heterodimerization with RPB3.
PMCID: PMC1159119  PMID: 15987790
24.  The RAD7, RAD16, and RAD23 genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae: requirement for transcription-independent nucleotide excision repair in vitro and interactions between the gene products. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(2):635-643.
Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is a biochemical process required for the repair of many different types of DNA lesions. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the RAD7, RAD16, and RAD23 genes have been specifically implicated in NER of certain transcriptionally repressed loci and in the nontranscribed strand of transcriptionally active genes. We have used a cell-free system to study the roles of the Rad7, Rad16, and Rad23 proteins in NER. Transcription-independent NER of a plasmid substrate was defective in rad7, rad16, and rad23 mutant extracts. Complementation studies with a previously purified NER protein complex (nucleotide excision repairosome) indicate that Rad23 is a component of the repairosome, whereas Rad7 and Rad16 proteins were not found in this complex. Complementation studies with rad4, rad7, rad16, and rad23 mutant extracts suggest physical interactions among these proteins. This conclusion was confirmed by experiments using the yeast two-hybrid assay, which demonstrated the following pairwise interactions: Rad4 with Rad23, Rad4 with Rad7, and Rad7 with Rad16. Additionally, interaction between the Rad7 and Rad16 proteins was demonstrated in vitro. Our results show that Rad7, Rad16, and Rad23 are required for transcription-independent NER in vitro. This process may involve a unique protein complex which is distinct from the repairosome and which contains at least the Rad4, Rad7, and Rad16 proteins.
PMCID: PMC231789  PMID: 9001217
25.  Dre2, a Conserved Eukaryotic Fe/S Cluster Protein, Functions in Cytosolic Fe/S Protein Biogenesis▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;28(18):5569-5582.
In a forward genetic screen for interaction with mitochondrial iron carrier proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a hypomorphic mutation of the essential DRE2 gene was found to confer lethality when combined with Δmrs3 and Δmrs4. The dre2 mutant or Dre2-depleted cells were deficient in cytosolic Fe/S cluster protein activities while maintaining mitochondrial Fe/S clusters. The Dre2 amino acid sequence was evolutionarily conserved, and cysteine motifs (CX2CXC and twin CX2C) in human and yeast proteins were perfectly aligned. The human Dre2 homolog (implicated in blocking apoptosis and called CIAPIN1 or anamorsin) was able to complement the nonviability of a Δdre2 deletion strain. The Dre2 protein with triple hemagglutinin tag was located in the cytoplasm and in the mitochondrial intermembrane space. Yeast Dre2 overexpressed and purified from bacteria was brown and exhibited signature absorption and electron paramagnetic resonance spectra, indicating the presence of both [2Fe-2S] and [4Fe-4S] clusters. Thus, Dre2 is an essential conserved Fe/S cluster protein implicated in extramitochondrial Fe/S cluster assembly, similar to other components of the so-called CIA (cytoplasmic Fe/S cluster assembly) pathway although partially localized to the mitochondrial intermembrane space.
PMCID: PMC2546940  PMID: 18625724

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