The NUM1 gene is involved in the control of nuclear migration in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The content of NUM1 mRNA fluctuates during the cell cycle, reaching a maximum at S/G2 phase, and the translation product Num1p associates with the cortex of mother cells mainly during S, G2, and mitosis, as seen by indirect immunofluorescence. The nuclear spindle in NUM1-deficient large-budded cells often fails to align along the mother/bud axis, while abnormally elongated astral microtubules emanate from both spindle pole bodies. A num1 null mutation confers temperature sensitivity to the cold-sensitive alpha-tubulin mutant tub1-1, and shows synthetic lethality with the beta-tubulin mutant alleles tub2-402, tub2-403, tub2-404, and tub2-405. Deletion mapping has defined three functionally important Num1p regions: a potential EF hand Ca2+ binding site, a cluster of potential phosphorylation sites and a pleckstrin homology domain. The latter domain appears to be involved in targeting Num1p to the mother cell cortex. Our data suggest that the periodically expressed NUM1 gene product controls nuclear migration by affecting astral microtubule functions.

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