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Genes Dev. 1992 Aug;6(8):1414-29.

CIK1: a developmentally regulated spindle pole body-associated protein important for microtubule functions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511.


A genetic screen was devised to identify genes important for spindle pole body (SPB) and/or microtubule functions. Four mutants defective in both nuclear fusion (karyogamy) and chromosome maintenance were isolated; these mutants termed cik (for chromosome instability and karyogamy) define three complementation groups. The CIK1 gene was cloned and characterized. Sequence analysis of the CIK1 gene predicts that the CIK1 protein is 594 amino acids in length and possesses a central 300-amino-acid coiled-coil domain. Two different CIK1-beta-galactosidase fusions localize to the SPB region in vegetative cells, and antibodies against the authentic protein detect CIK1 in the SPB region of alpha-factor-treated cells. Evaluation of cells deleted for CIK1 (cik1-delta) indicates that CIK1 is important for the formation or maintenance of a spindle apparatus. Longer and slightly more microtubule bundles are visible in cik1-delta strains than in wild type. Thus, CIK1 encodes a SPB-associated component that is important for proper organization of microtubule arrays and the establishment of a spindle during vegetative growth. Furthermore, the CIK1 gene is essential for karyogamy, and the level of the CIK1 protein at the SPB appears to be dramatically induced by alpha-factor treatment. These results indicate that molecular changes occur at the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) as the yeast cell prepares for karyogamy and imply that specialization of the MTOC or its associated microtubules occurs in preparation for particular microtubule functions in the yeast life cycle.

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