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Nucleic Acids Res. 1999 Aug 1;27(15):3001-8.

New yeast genes important for chromosome integrity and segregation identified by dosage effects on genome stability.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Phenotypes produced by gene overexpression may provide important clues to gene function. Here, we have performed a search for genes that affect chromo-some stability when overexpressed in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have obtained clones encompassing 30 different genes. Twenty-four of these genes have been previously characterized. Most of them are involved in chromatin dynamics, cell cycle control, DNA replication or mitotic chromosome segregation. Six novel genes obtained in this screen were named CST (chromosome stability). Based on the pattern of genomic instability, inter-action with checkpoint mutations and sensitivity to chromosome replication or segregation inhibitors, we conclude that overexpression of CST4 specifically interferes with mitotic chromosome segregation, and CST6 affects some aspect of DNA metabolism. The other CST genes had complex pleiotropic phenotypes. We have created deletions of five genes obtained in this screen, CST9, CST13, NAT1, SBA1 and FUN30. None of these genes is essential for viability, and deletions of NAT1 and SBA1 cause chromosome instability, a phenotype not previously associated with these genes. This work shows that analysis of dosage effects is complementary to mutational analysis of chromosome transmission fidelity, as it allows the identification of chromosome stability genes that have not been detected in mutational screens.

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