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Mol Cell Biol. 1992 May;12(5):1997-2009.

Yeast telomere repeat sequence (TRS) improves circular plasmid segregation, and TRS plasmid segregation involves the RAP1 gene product.

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Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108.


Telomere repeat sequences (TRSs) can dramatically improve the segregation of unstable circular autonomously replicating sequence (ARS) plasmids in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Deletion analysis demonstrated that yeast TRSs, which conform to the general sequence (C(1-3)A)n, are able to stabilize circular ARS plasmids. A number of TRS clones of different primary sequence and C(1-3)A tract length confer the plasmid stabilization phenotype. TRS sequences do not appear to improve plasmid replication efficiency, as determined by plasmid copy number analysis and functional assays for ARS activity. Pedigree analysis confirms that TRS-containing plasmids are missegregated at low frequency and that missegregated TRS-containing plasmids, like ARS plasmids, are preferentially retained by the mother cell. Plasmids stabilized by TRSs have properties that distinguish them from centromere-containing plasmids and 2 microns-based recombinant plasmids. Linear ARS plasmids, which include two TRS tracts at their termini, segregate inefficiently, while circular plasmids with one or two TRS tracts segregate efficiently, suggesting that plasmid topology or TRS accessibility interferes with TRS segregation function on linear plasmids. In strains carrying the temperature-sensitive mutant alleles rap1grc4 and rap1-5, TRS plasmids are not stable at the semipermissive temperature, suggesting that RAP1 protein is involved in TRS plasmid stability. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, an ARS plasmid was stabilized by the addition of S. pombe telomere sequence, suggesting that the ability to improve the segregation of ARS plasmids is a general property of telomere repeats.

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