Key words Chromosome segregation
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene RHC21 is a homologue of the fission yeast rad21 +gene, which affects the sensitivity of cells to γ-irradiation and is essential for cell growth in S. pombe. Disruption of the RHC21 gene showed that it is also essential in S. cerevisiae. To examine its function in cell growth further, we have isolated temperature-sensitive mutants for the RHC21 gene and characterized one of them, termed rhc21-sk16. When this mutant was incubated at 36° C, the percentage of large-budded cells was increased. Most of the large-budded cells had aberrant nuclear structures, such as unequally extended nuclear DNA with incompletely elongated spindles across the mother-daughter neck or only in a mother cell. Furthermore, a circular minichromosome is more unstable in the mutant than in the wild-type, even at 25° C. Flow cytometry showed that the bulk of DNA replication takes place normally at the restrictive temperature in the mutant. These results indicated that the RHC21 gene is required for proper segregation of the chromosomes. In addition, we found that the mutant is sensitive not only to UV radiation and γ-rays but also to the antimicrotubule agent nocodazole at 25° C. This suggests that the RHC21 gene is involved in the microtubule function. We discuss how the RHC21 gene product may be involved in chromosome segregation and microtubule function.
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