We identified a novel fission yeast gene, ned1(+), with pleiotropic mutations that have a high incidence of chromosome missegregation, aberrantly shaped nuclei, overdeveloped endoplasmic reticulum-like membranes, and increased sensitivity to a microtubule destabilizing agent. Ned1 protein, which was phosphorylated in a growth-related manner, interacted in a yeast two-hybrid system with Dis3 as well as with Pim1/RCC1 (nucleotide exchange factor for Ran). Ned1 also interacted with an essential nucleoporin, a probable homologue of mammalian Nup98/96. The ned1 gene displayed a variety of genetic interactions with factors involved in nuclear transport and chromosome segregation, including the crm1 (exportin), spi1 (small GTPase Ran), pim1, and dis genes. A substitution mutation that affected the two-hybrid interaction with Dis3 increased chromosome instability, suggesting the functional importance of the interaction. Overproduction of Ned1 protein induced formation of an abnormal microtubule bundle within the nucleus, apparently independently of the spindle pole body, but dependent on pim1(+) activity. The ned1(+) gene belongs to an evolutionarily conserved gene family, which includes the mouse Lpin genes, one of whose mutations is responsible for lipodystrophy.
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