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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Sep 3;321(4):1032-9.

Posttranscriptional regulation of the karyogamy gene by Kem1p/Xrn1p exoribonuclease and Rok1p RNA helicase of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Republic of Korea.


The major biochemical activities ascribed to Kem1p/Xrn1p of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are 5'-3' exoribonuclease functioning in RNA turnover and a microtubule-binding protein. Mutational analysis has shown that Kem1p/Xrn1p participates in microtubule-related functions such as nuclear fusion (karyogamy) during mating, chromosome transmission, and spindle pole body duplication. Here, evidence is presented that Kem1p plays a specific role in nuclear fusion by affecting, at the posttranscriptional level, the pheromone induction of the karyogamy-specific transcription factor Kar4p and the expression of Rok1p, a putative RNA helicase. We found that Rok1p itself also affects the pheromone induction of Kar4p and thereby participates in nuclear fusion. Analysis of the active-site mutations, xrn1-D206A or D208A, shows that nuclear fusion as well as the Rok1p synthesis do not require the exoribonuclease activity of Kem1p. Our data provide an important insight into the gene-specific regulatory function mediated by the general RNA-modulating enzymes.

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