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Genetics. 2005 Jan;169(1):51-63. Epub 2004 Sep 15.

X-ray survival characteristics and genetic analysis for nine Saccharomyces deletion mutants that show altered radiation sensitivity.

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  • 1Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


The availability of a genome-wide set of Saccharomyces deletion mutants provides a chance to identify all the yeast genes involved in DNA repair. Using X rays, we are screening these mutants to identify additional genes that cause increased sensitivity to the lethal effects of ionizing radiation. For each mutant identified as sensitive, we are confirming that the sensitivity phenotype cosegregates with the deletion allele and are obtaining multipoint survival-vs.-dose assays in at least one homozygous diploid and two haploid strains. We present data for deletion mutants involving the genes DOT1, MDM20, NAT3, SPT7, SPT20, GCN5, HFI1, DCC1, and VID21/EAF1 and discuss their potential roles in repair. Eight of these genes cause a clear radiation-sensitive phenotype when deleted, but the ninth, GCN5, results in at most a borderline phenotype. None of the deletions confer substantial sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation, although one or two may confer marginal sensitivity. The DOT1 gene is of interest because its only known function is to methylate one lysine residue in the core of the histone H3 protein. We find that histone H3 mutants (supplied by K. Struhl) in which this residue is replaced by other amino acids are also X-ray sensitive, which confirms that methylation of the lysine-79 residue is required for effective repair of radiation damage.

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