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Molecular Biology of the Cell


To identify genes whose products play potential roles in the nucleocytoplasmic export of messenger RNA, we isolated temperature-sensitive strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and examined them by fluorescent in situ hybridization. With the use of a digoxigen-tagged oligo-(dT)50 probe, we identified those that showed nuclear accumulation of poly(A)+ RNA when cells were shifted to the nonpermissive temperature. We describe here the properties of yeast strains bearing the rat3-1 mutation (RAT-ribonucleic acid trafficking) and the cloning of the RAT3 gene. When cultured at the permissive temperature of 23 degrees C, fewer than 10% of cells carrying the rat3-1 allele showed nuclear accumulation of poly(A)+ RNA, whereas approximately 70% showed nuclear accumulation of poly(A)+ RNA, whereas approximately 70% showed nuclear accumulation of poly(A)+ RNA after a shift to 37 degrees C for 4 h. In wild-type cells, nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are distributed relatively evenly around the nuclear envelope. Both indirect immunofluorescence analysis and electron microscopy of rat3-1 cells indicated that NPCs were clustered into one or a few regions of the NE in mutant cells. Similar NPC clustering was seen in mutant cells cultured at temperatures between 15 degrees C and 37 degrees C. The RAT3 gene encodes an 1157-amino acid protein without similarity to other known proteins. It is essential for growth only at 37 degrees C. Cells carrying a disruption of the RAT3 gene were very similar to cells carrying the original rat3-1 mutation; they showed temperature-dependent nuclear accumulation of poly(A)+ RNA and exhibited constitutive clustering of NPCs. Epitope tagging of Rat3p demonstrated that it is located at the nuclear periphery and co-localizes with nuclear pore proteins recognized by the RL1 monoclonal antibody. We refer to this nucleoporin as Rat3p/Nup133p.



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