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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The DNA helicase activity of yeast Sgs1p is essential for normal lifespan but not for resistance to topoisomerase inhibitors.

The Saccharomyces cerevisiae SGS1 gene is a member of the RecQ family of ATP-dependent DNA helicases, which includes the human WRN, BLM and RECQ4 genes. Mutations in the WRN gene cause the human premature ageing disorder, Werner's syndrome. Deletion of the SGS1 gene also causes premature ageing in yeast, suggesting that the molecular mechanisms of cellular ageing may be evolutionarily conserved. To investigate the role of the RecQ helicase domain in ageing, a point mutation (SGS1 K(706)-->A) known to eliminate the DNA helicase activity of Sgs1p was constructed. This mutant allele failed to rescue the premature ageing of the sgs1Delta strain, demonstrating that Sgs1p DNA helicase activity is required for a normal lifespan. In contrast, the SGS1 K(706)-->A allele was sufficient to rescue the hypersensitivity of the sgs1Delta strain to topoisomerase inhibitors, but not other genotoxic agents. These findings support the idea that Sgs1p fulfils multiple cellular functions, and that DNA helicase activity is dispensable for some of these (e.g. functional interaction with topoisomerases), but essential for others (e.g. longevity).[1]


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