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Science. 1999 Jul 16;285(5426):418-22.

Identification of a vertebrate sister-chromatid separation inhibitor involved in transformation and tumorigenesis.

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Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


A vertebrate securin (vSecurin) was identified on the basis of its biochemical analogy to the Pds1p protein of budding yeast and the Cut2p protein of fission yeast. The vSecurin protein bound to a vertebrate homolog of yeast separins Esp1p and Cut1p and was degraded by proteolysis mediated by an anaphase-promoting complex in a manner dependent on a destruction motif. Furthermore, expression of a stable Xenopus securin mutant protein blocked sister-chromatid separation but did not block the embryonic cell cycle. The vSecurin proteins share extensive sequence similarity with each other but show no sequence similarity to either of their yeast counterparts. Human securin is identical to the product of the gene called pituitary tumor-transforming gene (PTTG), which is overexpressed in some tumors and exhibits transforming activity in NIH 3T3 cells. The oncogenic nature of increased expression of vSecurin may result from chromosome gain or loss, produced by errors in chromatid separation.

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