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Nucleic Acids Res. 1996 Jun 15;24(12):2404-10.

A novel family of TRF (DNA topoisomerase I-related function) genes required for proper nuclear segregation.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


We recently reported the identification of a gene, TRF4 (for DNA topoisomerase related function), in a screen for mutations that are synthetically lethal with mutations in DNA topoisomerase I (top1). Here we describe the isolation of a second member of the TRF4 gene family, TRF5. Overexpression of TRF5 complements the inviability of top1 trf4 double mutants. The predicted Trf5 protein is 55% identical and 72% similar to Trf4p. As with Trf4p, a region of Trf5p is homologous to the catalytically dispensable N-terminus of Top1p. The TRF4/5 function is essential as trf4 trf5 double mutants are inviable. A trf4 (ts) trf5 double mutant is hypersensitive to the anti-microtubule agent thiabendazole at a semi-permissive temperature, suggesting that TRF4/5 function is required at the time of mitosis. Examination of nuclear morphology in a trf4 (ts) trf5 mutant at a restrictive temperature reveals the presence of many cells undergoing aberrant nuclear division, as well as many anucleate cells, demonstrating that the TRF4/5 function is required for proper mitosis. Database searches reveal the existence of probable Schizosaccharomyces pombe and human homologs of Trf4p, indicating that TRF4 is the canonical member of a gene family that is highly conserved evolutionarily.

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