Identification of a Novel Allele of SIR3 Defective in the Maintenance, but Not the Establishment, of Silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Shinichiro Enomoto, Stephen D. Johnston, Judith Berman


Using a screen for genes that affect telomere function, we isolated sir3-P898R, an allele of SIR3 that reduces telomeric silencing yet does not affect mating. While sir3-P898R mutations cause no detectable mating defect in quantitative assays, they result in synergistic mating defects in combination with mutations such as sir1 that affect the establishment of silencing. In contrast, sir3-P898R in combination with a cac1 mutation, which affects the maintenance of silencing, does not result in synergistic mating defects. MATa sir3-P898R mutants form shmoo clusters in response to α-factor, and sir3-P898R strains are capable of establishing silencing at a previously derepressed HML locus with kinetics like that of wild-type SIR3 strains. These results imply that Sir3-P898Rp is defective in the maintenance, but not the establishment of silencing. In addition, overexpression of a C-terminal fragment of Sir3-P898R results in a dominant nonmating phenotype: HM silencing is completely lost at both HML and HMR. Furthermore, HM silencing is most vulnerable to disruption by the Sir3-P898R C terminus immediately after S-phase, the time when new silent chromatin is assembled onto newly replicated DNA.

  • Received October 12, 1999.
  • Accepted March 3, 2000.
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