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Mol Cell Biol. Sep 1995; 15(9): 4661–4671.
PMCID: PMC230709

Characterization of the five replication factor C genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


Replication factor C (RFC) is a five-subunit DNA polymerase accessory protein that functions as a structure-specific, DNA-dependent ATPase. The ATPase function of RFC is activated by proliferating cell nuclear antigen. RFC was originally purified from human cells on the basis of its requirement for simian virus 40 DNA replication in vitro. A functionally homologous protein complex from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, called ScRFC, has been identified. Here we report the cloning, by either peptide sequencing or by sequence similarity to the human cDNAs, of the S. cerevisiae genes RFC1, RFC2, RFC3, RFC4, and RFC5. The amino acid sequences are highly similar to the sequences of the homologous human RFC 140-, 37-, 36-, 40-, and 38-kDa subunits, respectively, and also show amino acid sequence similarity to functionally homologous proteins from Escherichia coli and the phage T4 replication apparatus. All five subunits show conserved regions characteristic of ATP/GTP-binding proteins and also have a significant degree of similarity among each other. We have identified eight segments of conserved amino acid sequences that define a family of related proteins. Despite their high degree of sequence similarity, all five RFC genes are essential for cell proliferation in S. cerevisiae. RFC1 is identical to CDC44, a gene identified as a cell division cycle gene encoding a protein involved in DNA metabolism. CDC44/RFC1 is known to interact genetically with the gene encoding proliferating cell nuclear antigen, confirming previous biochemical evidence of their functional interaction in DNA replication.

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