Biology

Evolutionary repair: Changes in multiple functional modules allow meiotic cohesin to support mitosis


by Yu-Ying Phoebe Hsieh, Vasso Makrantoni, Daniel Robertson, Adèle L. Marston, Andrew W. Murray

The role of proteins often changes during evolution, but we do not know how cells adapt when a protein is asked to participate in a different biological function. We forced the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to use the meiosis-specific kleisin, recombination 8 (Rec8), during the mitotic cell cycle, instead of its paralog, Scc1. This perturbation impairs sister chromosome linkage, advances the timing of genome replication, and reduces reproductive fitness by 45%. We evolved 15 parallel populations for 1,750 generations, substantially increasing their fitness, and analyzed the genotypes and phenotypes of the evolved cells. Only one population contained a mutation in Rec8, but many populations had mutations in the transcriptional mediator complex, cohesin-related genes, and cell cycle regulators that induce S phase. These mutations improve sister chromosome cohesion and delay genome replication in Rec8-expressing cells. We conclude that changes in known and novel partners allow cells to use an existing protein to participate in new biological functions.

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