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Genes Cells. 2003 Apr;8(4):341-55.

A brute force postgenome approach to identify temperature-sensitive mutations that negatively interact with separase and securin plasmids.

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Department of Biophysics, Graduate School of Science and Department of Gene Mechanisms, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa-Oiwakecho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.



The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe separase/Cut1 and securin/Cut2 are required for anaphase-specific activation of proteolysis that leads to proper sister chromatid separation. We intended to identify ts (temperature sensitive) strains whose growth was inhibited by multicopy plasmid pCUT1 or pCUT2 at the permissive temperature.


After a one-by-one transformation of 1015 randomly isolated ts strains, 18 transformants that retarded in colony formation at the permissive or semipermissive temperature were isolated. Six of them, in the absence of pCUT1 or pCUT2, produced mitotic phenotypes with condensed chromosomes at the restrictive temperature. Gene cloning established that these mutants were defective in either the subunits (Cut9, Cut23, Cut20 or Apc10) of APC (anaphase promoting complex)/cyclosome or Cut8, a regulator for 26S proteasome localization. The inhibitory effect of separase against APC/cyclosome mutations was abolished when the catalytic site mutation C1730A was introduced and overproduced, indicating that inhibition needs an active separase. Securin/Cut2 overproduction also caused a negative effect on these mutants. Surprisingly, the phenotypes of cut9 and cut23 in the presence of pCUT1 or pCUT2 were not the mitotic arrest, and they were strikingly different depending on pCUT1 or pCUT2.


This study shows the functional link between separase/Cut1 and APC/cyclosome in a separase activity-dependent manner. The negative effect of active separase overproduction on APC/cyclosome mutations is possibly due to the direct inhibition of APC/cyclosome. In addition, the manner of the inhibition by high copy securin and separase plasmids were quite different each other and did not result in the mitotic block.

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