The CENP-B homolog, Abp1, interacts with the initiation protein Cdc23 (MCM10) and is required for efficient DNA replication in fission yeast.
Abp1, and the closely related Cbh1 and Cbh2 are homologous to the human centromere-binding protein CENP-B that has been implicated in the assembly of centromeric heterochromatin. Fission yeast cells lacking Abp1 show an increase in mini-chromosome instability suggesting that Abp1 is important for chromosome segregation and/or DNA synthesis. Here we show that Abp1 interacts with the DNA replication protein Cdc23 (MCM10) in a two-hybrid assay, and that the Deltaabp1 mutant displays a synthetic phenotype with a cdc23 temperature-sensitive mutant. Moreover, genetic interactions were also observed between abp1+ and four additional DNA replication initiation genes cdc18+, cdc21+, orc1+, and orc2+. Interestingly, we find that S phase is delayed in cells deleted for abp1+ when released from a G1 block. However, no delay is observed when cells are released from an early S phase arrest induced by hydroxyurea suggesting that Abp1 functions prior to, or coincident with, the initiation of DNA replication.