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Exp Cell Res. 2000 Jan 10;254(1):143-52.

The polyubiquitin gene is essential for meiosis in fission yeast.

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Kazusa DNA Research Institute, 1532-3 Yana Kisarazu, Chiba, 292-0812, Japan.


We isolated a novel sporulation-deficient mutant of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The mutant did not have a mitotic growth defect but aborted meiosis at the first or the second division with condensed chromosomes that failed to separate, abnormal spindle(s), and disintegrated spindle pole bodies (SPBs). During the first division, the centromeres were pulled to near the spindle poles but condensed divalent chromosomes remained at the center. The failure to proceed to anaphase was also observed during a time-lapse recording of a SPB protein tagged with green fluorescent protein. The polyubiquitin gene ubi4(+), which encoded eight ubiquitins fused in tandem, complemented this mutant. The mutation, an A to G substitution, was identified within the ubi4(+) gene at the ATG initiation codon. Disruption of the ubi4(+) gene produced the same phenotypes. The ubi4(+) mRNA was strongly induced for meiosis. However, ubiquitin increases only slightly, suggesting that the role of the polyubiquitin gene is to supply ubiquitin that is consumed by unidentified mechanisms. Before the ubi4 mutant cells entered meiosis, ubiquitin was greatly decreased indicating that shortage of ubiquitin caused abortion of meiosis. This work provides insights for the role of polyubiquitin gene and importance of ubiquitination in SPB integrity at the meiotic divisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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