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

A temperature-sensitive mutation in the WD repeat-containing protein Smu1 is related to maintenance of chromosome integrity.

Temperature-sensitive CHO-K1 mutant cell line tsTM18 exhibits chromosomal instability and cell cycle arrest at S and G2 phases with decreased DNA synthesis at the nonpermissive temperature, 39 degrees C. To identify the causative mutation, we fused tsTM18 cells with normal human cells to generate hybrids carrying fragments of human chromosomes. Analysis of chromosome content of temperature-resistant transformants and introduction of a bacterial artificial chromosome containing part of human chromosome 9 led to isolation of the human SMU1 gene. Comparison of sequences of the Smu1 gene from wild-type and mutant cells revealed that the mutant phenotype is caused by a G-to-A transition that yields a gly-to-arg substitution at position 489 in hamster Smu1. The substituted glycine is located in the WD-repeat domain of Smu1. Single-stranded DNA accumulated in the nuclei of mutant cells at 39 degrees C. Furthermore, cdc2 kinase was not activated during G2 phase, and there was no chromosome segregation due to incomplete assembly of the spindle during M phase. Thus, Smu1 appears to be involved directly or indirectly in DNA replication, activation of cdc2 kinase, spindle assembly, and maintenance of chromosome integrity, reflecting the important roles of Smu1 in cellular function.[1]


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