Reference: Cumberledge S and Carbon J (1987) Mutational analysis of meiotic and mitotic centromere function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 117(2):203-12

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Abstract


A centromere (CEN) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae consists of approximately 150 bp of DNA and contains 3 conserved sequence elements: a high A + T region 78-86 bp in length (element II), flanked on the left by a conserved 8-bp element I sequence (PuTCACPuTG), and on the right by a conserved 25-bp element III sequence. We have carried out a structure-function analysis of the element I and II regions of CEN3 by constructing mutations in these sequences and subsequently determining their effect on mitotic and meiotic chromosome segregation. We have also examined the mitotic and meiotic segregation behavior of ARS plasmids containing the structurally altered CEN3 sequences. Replacing the periodic tracts of A residues within element II with random A + T sequences of equal length increases the frequency of mitotic chromosome nondisjunction only 4-fold; whereas, reducing the A + T content of element II while preserving the length results in a 40-fold increase in the frequence of chromosome nondisjunction. Structural alterations in the element II region that do not decrease the overall length have little effect on the meiotic segregation behavior of the altered chromosomes. Centromeres containing a deletion of element I or a portion of element II retain considerable mitotic activity, yet plasmids carrying these same mutations segregate randomly during meiosis I, indicating these sequences to be essential for maintaining attachment of the replicated sister chromatids during the first meiotic division. The presence of an intact element I sequence properly spaced from the element III region is absolutely essential for proper meiotic function of the centromere.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
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Cumberledge S, Carbon J
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