We have shown previously that deletion of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae UMP1 gene encoding the 20S proteasome maturase causes sensitivity to UV radiation. In the current report, we have extended this finding to show that mutations specifically compromising chymotrypsin-like or trypsin-like activity of 20S proteasome peptidases also result in increased UV sensitivity. We have also established that mutations affecting proteasome activity, namely ump1Delta, pre2-K108R and pup1-T20A, result in spontaneous and UV-induced mutator phenotypes. To elucidate the origin of these DNA repair phenotypes of the proteasomal mutants, we performed epistasis analysis, with respect to UV sensitivity, using yeast strains with the UMP1 deletion in different DNA repair backgrounds. We show that UMP1 is not epistatic to RAD23 and RAD2, which are involved in the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. Instead, our results indicate that UMP1 as well as PUP1 and PRE2 (encoding catalytic subunits of 20S proteasome) belong to an epistatic group of genes functioning in post-replication DNA repair (PRR) and are hypostatic to RAD18, which, in complex with RAD6, plays a central role in PRR. We also show that UMP1 is epistatic to REV3 and RAD30, although the relationship of UMP1 with these genes is different.
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