Separase: Function Beyond Cohesion Cleavage and an Emerging Oncogene.
- Ravinder Kumar
- Journal of cellular biochemistry
Separase/Esp1 is a protease required at the onset of anaphase to cleave cohesin and thereby enable sister chromatid separation. Esp1 also promotes release of the Cdc14 phosphatase from the nucleolus to enable mitotic exit. To uncover other potential roles for separase, we performed two complementary genome-wide genetic interaction screens with a strain carrying the budding yeast esp1-1 separase mutation. We identified 161 genes that when mutated aggravate esp1-1 growth and 44 genes that upon increased dosage are detrimental to esp1-1 viability. In addition to the expected cell cycle and sister chromatid segregation genes that were identified, 24% of the genes identified in the esp1-1 genetic screens have a role in Ty1 element retrotransposition. Retrotransposons, like retroviruses, replicate through reverse transcription of an mRNA intermediate and the resultant cDNA product is integrated into the genome by a conserved transposon or retrovirus encoded integrase protein. We purified Esp1 from yeast and identified an interaction between Esp1 and Ty1 integrase using mass spectrometry that was subsequently confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation analysis. Ty1 transposon mobility and insertion upstream of the SUF16 tRNA gene are both reduced in an esp1-1 strain but increased in cohesin mutant strains. Securin/Pds1, which is required for efficient localization of Esp1 to the nucleus, is also required for efficient Ty1 transposition. We propose that Esp1 serves two roles to mediate Ty1 transposition - one to remove cohesin and the second to target Ty1-IN to chromatin.