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

A novel family of TRF (DNA topoisomerase I-related function) genes required for proper nuclear segregation.

We recently reported the identification of a gene, TRF4 (for DNA topoisomerase related function), in a screen for mutations that are synthetically lethal with mutations in DNA topoisomerase I ( top1). Here we describe the isolation of a second member of the TRF4 gene family, TRF5. Overexpression of TRF5 complements the inviability of top1 trf4 double mutants. The predicted Trf5 protein is 55% identical and 72% similar to Trf4p. As with Trf4p, a region of Trf5p is homologous to the catalytically dispensable N-terminus of Top1p. The TRF4/5 function is essential as trf4 trf5 double mutants are inviable. A trf4 (ts) trf5 double mutant is hypersensitive to the anti-microtubule agent thiabendazole at a semi-permissive temperature, suggesting that TRF4/5 function is required at the time of mitosis. Examination of nuclear morphology in a trf4 (ts) trf5 mutant at a restrictive temperature reveals the presence of many cells undergoing aberrant nuclear division, as well as many anucleate cells, demonstrating that the TRF4/5 function is required for proper mitosis. Database searches reveal the existence of probable Schizosaccharomyces pombe and human homologs of Trf4p, indicating that TRF4 is the canonical member of a gene family that is highly conserved evolutionarily.[1]


  1. A novel family of TRF (DNA topoisomerase I-related function) genes required for proper nuclear segregation. Castaño, I.B., Heath-Pagliuso, S., Sadoff, B.U., Fitzhugh, D.J., Christman, M.F. Nucleic Acids Res. (1996) [Pubmed]
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