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Curr Genet. 1995 Sep;28(4):367-73.

Identification of the heterothallic mutation in HO-endonuclease of S. cerevisiae using HO/ho chimeric genes.

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Department of Life Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel.


HO-endonuclease initiates a mating-type switch in the yeast S. cerevisiae by making a double-strand cleavage in the DNA of the mating-type gene, MAT. Heterothallic strains of yeast have a stable mating type and contain a recessive ho allele. Here we report the sequence of the ho allele; ho has four point mutations all of which encode for substitute amino acids. The fourth mutation is a leucine to histidine substitution within a presumptive zinc finger. Chimeric HO/ho genes were constructed in vivo by converting different parts of the sequence of the genomic ho allele to the HO sequence by gene conversion. HO activity was assessed by three bioassays: a mating-type switch, extinction of expression of an a-specific reporter gene, and the appearance of Canr Ade- papillae resulting from excision of an engineered Ty element containing the HO-endonuclease target site and a SUP4 degrees gene. We found that the replacement of the fourth point mutation in ho to the HO sequence restored HO activity to the chimeric endonuclease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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