SUMMARY PARAGRAPH for REP2
The 2-micron plasmid is a relatively small (6318 bp) nuclear multicopy extrachromosomal element found in most common strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Its presence confers no obvious advantage to its host, nor does it appear to impose any disadvantage at its steady-state copy number of 40-60 molecules (4). The plasmid contains 4 protein-coding loci (FLP1, REP1, REP2, RAF1) and 4 cis-acting loci (an origin of replication, a partitioning locus called STB, and 2 Flp Recombination Targets or FRTs) (5).
The 2-micron plasmid propagates itself with chromosome-like stability through the combined action of a plasmid amplification system and a plasmid partitioning system. The amplification system compensates for any copy number decreases caused by missegregation events, and consists of Flp1p along with a pair of 599-bp FRT sites present in the plasmid genome in a head-to-head orientation (6). The partitioning system ensures roughly equal distribution of replicated plasmids to daughter cells by overcoming the normal segregation bias that favors the mother cell over daughters in plasmid retention (6). This system comprises Rep1p, Rep2p, and the partitioning locus STB which consists of two subloci, one containing approximately six iterations of a consensus 65-bp repeat, and another which is involved in maintaining the active configuration of STB and contains the termination site for two transcripts directed toward the plasmid replication origin (6). Multiple copies of the 2-micron plasmid exist as a tight-knit cluster within the nucleus that stays together throughout the cell cycle (7), and this plasmid cluster is the segregation entity, effectively reducing copy number to one (7, 8).
Last updated: 2006-08-17