JCVI: Depletion of UBC9 Causes Nuclear Defects During the Vegetative and Sexual Life Cycles in Tetrahymena Thermophila.
 
 
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Citation

Yang Q, Nasir AM, Coyne RS, Forney JD

Depletion of UBC9 Causes Nuclear Defects During the Vegetative and Sexual Life Cycles in Tetrahymena Thermophila.

Eukaryotic Cell. 2015 Dec 01; 14: 1240-52.

External Citation

Abstract

Ubc9p is the sole E2-conjugating enzyme for SUMOylation, and its proper function is required for regulating key nuclear events such as transcription, DNA repair, and mitosis. In Tetrahymena thermophila, the genome is separated into a diploid germ line micronucleus (MIC) that divides by mitosis and a polyploid somatic macronucleus (MAC) that divides amitotically. This unusual nuclear organization provides novel opportunities for the study of SUMOylation and Ubc9p function. We identified the UBC9 gene and demonstrated that its complete deletion from both MIC and MAC genomes is lethal. Rescue of the lethal phenotype with a GFP-UBC9 fusion gene driven by a metallothionein promoter generated a cell line with CdCl2-dependent expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-Ubc9p. Depletion of Ubc9p in vegetative cells resulted in the loss of MICs, but MACs continued to divide. In contrast, expression of catalytically inactive Ubc9p resulted in the accumulation of multiple MICs. Critical roles for Ubc9p were also identified during the sexual life cycle of Tetrahymena. Cell lines that were depleted for Ubc9p did not form mating pairs and therefore could not complete any of the subsequent stages of conjugation, including meiosis and macronuclear development. Mating between cells expressing catalytically inactive Ubc9p resulted in arrest during macronuclear development, consistent with our observation that Ubc9p accumulates in the developing macronucleus.