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Nucleic Acids Res. 1996 Dec 1;24(23):4676-83.

Fission yeast genes which disrupt mitotic chromosome segregation when overexpressed.

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  • 1M.R.C. Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK. jpaul.javerzat@ibgc.u-bordeaux2.fr


An interference assay has been devised in Schizosaccharomyces pombe to rapidly identify and clone genes involved in chromosome segregation. Random S.pombe cDNAs were overexpressed from an inducible promoter in a strain carrying an additional, non-essential minichromosome. Overexpression of cDNAs derived from four genes, two known (nda3+and ubc4+, encoding beta-tubulin and a ubiquitin conjugating enzyme, respectively) and two unknown, named mlo2+ and mlo3+ (missegregation & lethal when over expressed) caused phenotypes consistent with a failure to segregate chromosomes. Full overexpression of all four cDNAs was lethal. Cells overexpressing nda3+ and ubc4+ cDNAs arrested with condensed unsegregated chromosomes and cells overexpressing mlo2+ displayed an asymmetric distribution of nuclear chromatin. Sublethal levels of overexpression of nda3+, ubc4+ and mlo2+ cDNAs caused elevated rates of minichromosome loss. A third cDNA mlo3+, displayed no increase in the frequency of minichromosome loss at sublethal levels of overexpression but full overexpression caused a complete failure to segregate chromosomes. Our results confirm the assumption that beta-tubulin overexpression is lethal in S.pombe, implicate ubc4+ in the control of metaphase-anaphase transition in fission yeast and finally identify two new genes, mlo2+and mlo3+, likely to play an important role for chromosome transmission fidelity in mitosis.

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