The RAD4 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is required for the incision of damaged DNA during nucleotide excision repair. When plasmids containing the wild-type gene were transformed into various Escherichia coli strains, transformation frequencies were drastically reduced. Most plasmids recovered from transformants showed deletions or rearrangements. A minority of plasmids recovered from E. coli HB101 showed no evidence of deletion or rearrangement, but when they were transformed into S. cerevisiae on centromeric vectors, little or no complementation of the UV sensitivity of rad4 mutants was observed. Deliberate insertional mutagenesis of the wild-type RAD4 allele before transformation of E. coli restored transformation to normal levels. Plasmids recovered from these transformants contained an inactive rad4 allele; however, removal of the inserted DNA fragment restored normal RAD4 function. These experiments suggest that expression of the RAD4 gene is lethal to E. coli and show that lethality can be prevented by inactivation of the gene before transformation. Stationary-phase cultures of some strains of E. coli transformed with plasmids containing an inactivated RAD4 gene showed a pronounced delay in the resumption of exponential growth, suggesting that the mutant (and, by inference, possibly wild-type) Rad4 protein interferes with normal growth control in E. coli. The rad4-2, rad4-3, and rad4-4 chromosomal alleles were leaky relative to a rad4 disruption mutant. In addition, overexpression of plasmid-borne mutant rad4 alleles resulted in partial complementation of rad4 strains. These observations suggest that the Rad4 protein is relatively insensitive to mutational inactivation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology