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J Mol Biol. 1986 Dec 20;192(4):805-14.

A mutant that affects the function of autonomously replicating sequences in yeast.


We previously reported the isolation of a series of mcm mutants that are defective in the maintenance of minichromosomes in yeast. These minichromosomes are circular plasmids, each containing an autonomously replicating sequence (ARS) and a centromere. One of the mcm mutants, mcm2, has the following phenotype: at room temperature it affects the stability of only some minichromosomes depending on the ARS present, while at high temperature it affects all minichromosomes tested irrespective of the ARS present. Here we show that the mcm defect as well as its temperature-dependent specificity for ARSs can be demonstrated with circular as well as linear plasmids that do not contain centromeric sequences. Larger chromosomes containing multiple ARSs are also unstable in this mutant. Further analyses indicate that the mcm2 mutation causes the loss, rather than the aberrant segregation, of the circular minichromosomes. In addition, this mutation appears to stimulate mitotic recombination frequencies. These properties of the mcm2 mutant are consistent with the idea that the mcm2 mutation results in a defect in the initiation of DNA replication at ARSs, the putative chromosomal replication origins in yeast.

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