Plasmid associations with residual nuclear structures in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Michael N. Conrad, Virginia A. Zakian

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5 Scopus citations


Acentric yeast plasmids are mitotically unstable, apparently because they cannot freely diffuse after replicating and therefore are not included in the daughter nucleus. This behavior could result if plasmids remain attached to structural elements of the nucleus after replicating. Since DNA replication is believed to take place on the nuclear matrix, we tested whether there was a correlation between the mitotic stability of a given plasmid and the extent to which it was found associated with residual nuclear structures. Residual nuclei were prepared from yeast nuclei by extraction with either high salt, 2 M NaCl, or low salt, 10 mM lithium diiodosalicylate (LIS). Hybridization analysis was used to estimate the fraction of plasmid molecules remaining after nuclei were extracted. We examined the extent of matrix association of three ARSI plasmids, Trpl-RI circle (1.45 kb), YRp7 (5.7 kb) and pXBAT (45.1 kb) with mitotic loss rates ranging from 3-25%. In addition we examined the matrix binding of the endogenous 2 μm plasmid and the 2 μm-derived YEp 13 which is relatively stable in the presence of 2 μm and less stable in cir° strains. Among the ARS1 plasmids we observed a negative correlation between stability and matrix association, consistent with models in which binding to the nuclear matrix prevents passive segregation of ARS1 plasmid molecules. No such correlation was observed among the 2 μn plasmids. Among all plasmids examined there is a positive correlation between size and matrix association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


  • Nuclear matrix
  • Plasmid stability
  • Yeast


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