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J Cell Biol. 2002 Aug 19;158(4):625-37. Epub 2002 Aug 12.

The 2 micron plasmid purloins the yeast cohesin complex: a mechanism for coupling plasmid partitioning and chromosome segregation?

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  • 1Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


The yeast 2 micron plasmid achieves high fidelity segregation by coupling its partitioning pathway to that of the chromosomes. Mutations affecting distinct steps of chromosome segregation cause the plasmid to missegregate in tandem with the chromosomes. In the absence of the plasmid stability system, consisting of the Rep1 and Rep2 proteins and the STB DNA, plasmid and chromosome segregations are uncoupled. The Rep proteins, acting in concert, recruit the yeast cohesin complex to the STB locus. The periodicity of cohesin association and dissociation is nearly identical for the plasmid and the chromosomes. The timely disassembly of cohesin is a prerequisite for plasmid segregation. Cohesin-mediated pairing and unpairing likely provides a counting mechanism for evenly partitioning plasmids either in association with or independently of the chromosomes.

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