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Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Sep 1;39(17):7548-63. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr336. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

A PLAC8-containing protein from an endomycorrhizal fungus confers cadmium resistance to yeast cells by interacting with Mlh3p.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale dell'Università degli Studi di Torino, Viale Mattioli 25, Torino, Italy.


Cadmium is a genotoxic pollutant known to target proteins that are involved in DNA repair and in antioxidant defence, altering their functions and ultimately causing mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. We have identified a PLAC8 domain-containing protein, named OmFCR, by a yeast functional screen aimed at identifying genes involved in cadmium resistance in the endomycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius. OmFCR shows a remarkable specificity in mediating cadmium resistance. Both its function and its nuclear localization in yeast strictly depend on the interaction with Mlh3p, a subunit of the mismatch repair (MMR) system. Although proteins belonging to the PLAC8 family are widespread in eukaryotes, they are poorly characterized and their biological role still remains elusive. Our work represents the first report about the potential role of a PLAC8 protein in physically coupling DNA lesion recognition by the MMR system to appropriate effectors that affect cell cycle checkpoint pathways. On the basis of cell survival assays and yeast growth curves, we hypothesize that, upon cadmium exposure, OmFCR might promote a higher rate of cell division as compared to control cells.

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