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PLoS Genet. 2011 Sep;7(9):e1002288. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002288. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Novel interactions between actin and the proteasome revealed by complex haploinsufficiency.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Upstate Medical University, State University of New York, Syracuse, New York, USA.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been a powerful model for uncovering the landscape of binary gene interactions through whole-genome screening. Complex heterozygous interactions are potentially important to human genetic disease as loss-of-function alleles are common in human genomes. We have been using complex haploinsufficiency (CHI) screening with the actin gene to identify genes related to actin function and as a model to determine the prevalence of CHI interactions in eukaryotic genomes. Previous CHI screening between actin and null alleles for non-essential genes uncovered ∼240 deleterious CHI interactions. In this report, we have extended CHI screening to null alleles for essential genes by mating a query strain to sporulations of heterozygous knock-out strains. Using an act1Δ query, knock-outs of 60 essential genes were found to be CHI with actin. Enriched in this collection were functional categories found in the previous screen against non-essential genes, including genes involved in cytoskeleton function and chaperone complexes that fold actin and tubulin. Novel to this screen was the identification of genes for components of the TFIID transcription complex and for the proteasome. We investigated a potential role for the proteasome in regulating the actin cytoskeleton and found that the proteasome physically associates with actin filaments in vitro and that some conditional mutations in proteasome genes have gross defects in actin organization. Whole-genome screening with actin as a query has confirmed that CHI interactions are important phenotypic drivers. Furthermore, CHI screening is another genetic tool to uncover novel functional connections. Here we report a previously unappreciated role for the proteasome in affecting actin organization and function.

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