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Genetics. 2005 Oct;171(2):489-501. Epub 2005 Jul 5.

Genome-wide synthetic lethal screens identify an interaction between the nuclear envelope protein, Apq12p, and the kinetochore in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The maintenance of genome stability is a fundamental requirement for normal cell cycle progression. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an excellent model to study chromosome maintenance due to its well-defined centromere and kinetochore, the region of the chromosome and associated protein complex, respectively, that link chromosomes to microtubules. To identify genes that are linked to chromosome stability, we performed genome-wide synthetic lethal screens using a series of novel temperature-sensitive mutations in genes encoding a central and outer kinetochore protein. By performing the screens using different mutant alleles of each gene, we aimed to identify genetic interactions that revealed diverse pathways affecting chromosome stability. Our study, which is the first example of genome-wide synthetic lethal screening with multiple alleles of a single gene, demonstrates that functionally distinct mutants uncover different cellular processes required for chromosome maintenance. Two of our screens identified APQ12, which encodes a nuclear envelope protein that is required for proper nucleocytoplasmic transport of mRNA. We find that apq12 mutants are delayed in anaphase, rereplicate their DNA, and rebud prior to completion of cytokinesis, suggesting a defect in controlling mitotic progression. Our analysis reveals a novel relationship between nucleocytoplasmic transport and chromosome stability.

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