Functional conservation of multiple elements in yeast chromosomal replicators

Hai Rao, York Marahrens, Bruce Stillman

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120 Scopus citations


Replicators that control the initiation of DNA replication in the chromosomes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae retain their function when cloned into plasmids, where they are commonly referred to as autonomously replicating sequences (ARSs). Previous studies of the structure of ARS1 in both plasmid and chromosome contexts have shown that it contains one essential DNA element, A, that includes a match to the ARS consensus sequence (ACS), and three additional elements, B1, B2, and B3, that are also important for ARS function. Elements A and B3 are bound by a candidate initiator protein called the origin recognition complex and ARS-binding factor 1, respectively. Although the A and B3 elements have been found in other ARSs, sequence comparisons among ARSs have failed to identify B1- and B2-like elements. To assess the generality of the modular nature of yeast replicators, linker substitution mutagenesis of another yeast chromosomal replicator, ARS307, was performed. Three DNA sequence elements were identified in ARS307, and they were demonstrated to be functionally equivalent to the A, B1, and B2 elements present in ARS1. Despite the lack of DNA sequence similarity, the B1 and B2 elements at each ARS were functionally conserved. Single-base substitutions in the core of the ARS1 B1 and B2 elements identified critical nucleotides required for the function of the B1 element. In contrast, no single-point mutations were found to affect B2 function. The results suggest that multiple DNA sequence elements might be a general and conserved feature of replicator sequences in S. cerevisiae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7643-7651
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1994


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