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Genes Cells. 2000 Jun;5(6):463-79.

The Schizosaccharomyces pombe spo6+ gene encoding a nuclear protein with sequence similarity to budding yeast Dbf4 is required for meiotic second division and sporulation.

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Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka 558-8585, Japan.



Sporulation of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is a cell differentiation process which accompanies meiosis. The spo6+ gene was identified as a sporulation-specific gene, whose transcription was regulated by the forkhead family transcription factor Mei4.


spo6+ encodes a protein with sequence similarity to Saccharomyces cerevisiae Dbf4p, which is required for the initiation of DNA replication. However, doubling time and cell morphology of spo6 deletion mutants and spo6-cDNA over-expressing cells were indistinguishable from wild-type cells. Spliced mature mRNAs of spo6+ appeared when diploid cells committed to meiosis. Spo6p fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP) preferentially localized in a nucleus. Although spo6Delta diploids normally underwent premeiotic DNA replication and meiosis-I, approximately 80% of cells were blocked at the binucleate stage during meiosis and virtually no asci were formed. Anti-tubulin staining revealed that only 25% of the binucleate cells assembled spindle microtubules for meiosis-II. In a small number of tetranucleate cells, sister nuclei insufficiently separated and spindles were frequently fragmented. The meiosis-II arrest phenotype was exaggerated at low temperature and in the presence of caffeine.


These results indicate that Spo6p is a novel Dbf4-related nuclear protein, which is expressed during meiosis and is indispensable for normal progression of meiosis-II and sporulation.

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