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EMBO J. 1995 Mar 15;14(6):1057-66.

A role of Sep1 (= Kem1, Xrn1) as a microtubule-associated protein in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Institute of General Microbiology, University of Bern, Switzerland.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells lacking the SEP1 (also known as XRN1, KEM1, DST2, RAR5) gene function exhibit a number of phenotypes in cellular processes related to microtubule function. Mutant cells show increased sensitivity to the microtubule-destabilizing drug benomyl, increased chromosome loss, a karyogamy defect, impaired spindle pole body separation, and defective nuclear migration towards the bud neck. Analysis of the arrest morphology and of the survival during arrest strongly suggests a structural defect accounting for the benomyl hypersensitivity, rather than a regulatory defect in a checkpoint. Biochemical analysis of the purified Sep1 protein demonstrates its ability to promote the polymerization of procine brain and authentic S.cerevisiae tubulin into flexible microtubules in vitro. Furthermore, Sep1 co-sediments with these microtubules in sucrose cushion centrifugation. Genetic analysis of double mutant strains containing a mutation in SEP1 and in one of the genes coding for alpha- or beta-tubulin further suggests interaction between Sep1 and microtubules. Taken together these three lines of evidence constitute compelling evidence for a role of Sep1 as an accessory protein in microtubule function in the yeast S.cerevisiae.

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