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Mol Gen Genet. 1996 May 23;251(2):153-60.

Two-hybrid interaction of a human UBC9 homolog with centromere proteins of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Myco Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Using a two-hybrid system, we cloned a human cDNA encoding a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (UBC), hUBC9, which interacts specifically with all three subunits of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae centromere DNA-binding core complex, CBF3. The hUBC9 protein shows highest homology to a new member of the UBC family: 54% identity to S. cerevisiae Ubc9p and 64% identity to Schizosaccharomyces pombe (Sp) hus5. Overexpression of hUBC9 partially suppresses a S. cerevisiae ubc9 temperature-sensitive mutation, indicating that the UBC9 gene family is also functionally conserved. Like hUBC9, Sphus5 also interacts specifically with all three subunits of the CBF3 complex. However, S. cerevisiae Ubc9p interacts only with the Cbf3p subunit (64 kDa) of the CBF3 complex, indicating the specificity of the interaction between S. cerevisiae Ubc9 and Cbf3p proteins. The function of Ubc9p in the G2/M phase of S. cerevisiae could be related to regulation of centromere proteins in chromosome segregation in mitosis. Therefore, the ubiquitination process and centromere function may be linked to chromosome segregation. We also provide further in vivo evidence that Mck1p, a protein kinase, is specifically associated with the centromere proteins Cbf2p and Cbf5p, which were previously shown to interact in vitro.

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