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EMBO J. 2000 Apr 3;19(7):1691-702.

A novel SMC protein complex in Schizosaccharomyces pombe contains the Rad18 DNA repair protein.

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  • 1MRC Cell Mutation Unit, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RR, UK.


In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, rad18 is an essential gene involved in the repair of DNA damage produced by ionizing radiation and in tolerance of UV-induced DNA damage. The Rad18 protein is a member of the SMC (structural maintenance of chromosomes) superfamily, and we show that, like the other SMC proteins in condensin and cohesin, Rad18 is a component of a high-molecular-weight complex. This complex contains at least six other proteins, the largest of which is Spr18, a novel SMC family member closely related to Rad18, and likely to be its heterodimeric partner. SMC proteins have ATP-binding domains at the N- and C-termini, and two extended coiled-coil domains separated by a hinge in the middle. We show that the N-terminal ATP-binding domain of Rad18 is essential for all functions, and overexpression of an N-terminal mutant has a dominant-negative effect. We have identified an important mutation (S1045A) near the C-terminus of Rad18 that separates its repair and essential roles. Potential models for the role of the Rad18-Spr18 complex during DNA repair are discussed.

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