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Title: Genes affecting the centromeres of the fission yeast
Author: Lord, Phillip
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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In the fission yeast, S. pombe the centromeres have been extensively characterised, and consist of a largely unique central core, surrounded by a large inverted repeat. Previous studies have shown that marker genes inserted into these regions are transcriptionally silenced. Several genes have been isolated which are required for this transcriptional silencing. One of these, swi6*, has been shown to localise to the centromere in vivo and it thought to form part of the functional kinetochore. In this thesis I describe the first molecular characterisation of another gene, clr4* which is also required for centromeric silencing, and for localisation of Swi6p to the centromere. This gene and several of its alleles have been fully sequenced, and shown to contain both a chromo-domain and a SET domain. This pattern of domain organisation has previously been shown to occur in the Drosophila gene Suvar (3)9, indicating that the silencing processes in this organisms are similar to those seen in S. pombe. Four of the mutant alleles sequenced result from point mutations, and of these, three alter conserved residues in the SET domain. The clr4* gene was disrupted leaving only 38 amino acids at the 5' end of the native open reading frame intact. This disruption was shown to have a phenotype similar or identical to that of the originally isolated clr40s5 allele. I also describe the characterisation of a novel gene, eval+ which was isolated due to its effect on transcriptional silencing of reporter genes placed within the central core of the S. pombe centromeres. This gene has been fully sequenced and shown to contain a SANT domain. Possible functions for this gene in the cell are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available