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J Biol Chem. 2010 Apr 23;285(17):12612-9. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.082388. Epub 2010 Feb 23.

Replication fork arrest and rDNA silencing are two independent and separable functions of the replication terminator protein Fob1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.


The replication terminator protein Fob1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is multifunctional, and it not only promotes polar replication fork arrest at the tandem Ter sites located in the intergenic spacer region of rDNA but also loads the NAD-dependent histone deacetylase Sir2 at Ter sites via a protein complex called RENT (regulator of nucleolar silencing and telophase exit). Sir2 is a component of the RENT complex, and its loading not only silences intrachromatid recombination in rDNA but also RNA polymerase II-catalyzed transcription. Here, we present three lines of evidence showing that the two aforementioned activities of Fob1 are independent of each other as well as functionally separable. First, a Fob1 ortholog of Saccharomyces bayanus expressed in a fob1Delta strain of S. cerevisiae restored polar fork arrest at Ter but not rDNA silencing. Second, a mutant form (I407T) of S. cerevisiae Fob1 retained normal fork arresting activity but was partially defective in rDNA silencing. We further show that the silencing defect of S. bayanus Fob1 and the Iota407Tau mutant of S. cerevisiae Fob1 were caused by the failure of the proteins to interact with two members of the S. cerevisiae RENT complex, namely S. cerevisiae Sir2 and S. cerevisiae Net1. Third, deletions of the intra-S phase checkpoint proteins Tof1 and Csm3 abolished fork arrest by Fob1 at Ter without causing loss of silencing. Taken together, the data support the conclusion that unlike some other functions of Fob1, rDNA silencing at Ter is independent of fork arrest.

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