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J Mol Biol. 1992 Apr 5;224(3):575-87.

NAM7 nuclear gene encodes a novel member of a family of helicases with a Zn-ligand motif and is involved in mitochondrial functions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare, Bari, Italy.


The yeast nuclear gene NAM7 was previously isolated within a genomic fragment of 7.7 kb (1 kb = 10(3) bases or base-pairs), having the ability to suppress mitochondrial intronic mutations defective in RNA splicing. We have identified and sequenced the region on the insert corresponding to the NAM7 gene. A long open reading frame has been revealed which could code for a protein of 971 amino acids. Comparison of the NAM7 putative protein with data libraries did not reveal any strong similarity with known proteins. However, the NAM7 protein contains several motifs typical for proteins interacting with nucleic acids: (1) five motifs diagnostic for a superfamily of helicases appear in the same order and with similar distances; (2) the N-terminal portion possesses potential Zn-ligand structures belonging to the C chi superfamily. Deletion of the chromosomal copy of NAM7 gene leads to a partial impairment in respiratory growth that is particularly striking at low temperature. Southern blot analysis of DNA extracted from a nam7 :: URA3 deleted strain revealed the presence of a second gene whose sequence is related to that of the NAM7 gene and which could participate in the same process.

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