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Mol Cell Biol. 2005 May;25(10):4311-20.

Misregulation of 2 microm circle copy number in a SUMO pathway mutant.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Thomas Jefferson University, 233 South 10th St., BLSB 231, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Attachment of the ubiquitin-like protein SUMO to other proteins is an essential process in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, yeast mutants lacking the SUMO ligases Siz1 and Siz2/Nfi1 are viable, even though they show dramatically reduced levels of SUMO conjugation. This siz1Delta siz2Delta double mutant is cold sensitive and has an unusual phenotype in that it forms irregularly shaped colonies that contain sectors of wild-type-appearing cells as well as sectors of enlarged cells that are arrested in G(2)/M. We have found that these phenotypes result from misregulation of the copy number of the endogenous yeast plasmid, the 2 microm circle. siz1Delta siz2Delta mutants have up to 40-fold-higher levels of 2 microm than do wild-type strains. Furthermore, 2 microm is responsible for the siz1Delta siz2Delta mutant's obvious growth defects, as siz1Delta siz2Delta [cir(0)] strains, which lack 2 microm, are no longer heterogeneous and show growth characteristics similar to those of the wild type. Possible mechanisms for SUMO's effect on 2 microm are suggested by the finding that both Flp1 recombinase and Rep2, two of the four proteins encoded by 2 microm, are covalently modified by SUMO. Our data suggest that SUMO attachment negatively regulates Flp1 levels, which may partially account for the increased 2 microm copy number in the siz1Delta siz2Delta strain.

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