Rad24 functions in the DNA damage checkpoint pathway of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here, analysis of Rad24 in whole cell extracts demonstrated that its mass was considerably greater than its predicted molecular weight, suggesting that Rad24 is a component of a protein complex. The Rad24 complex was purified to homogeneity. In addition to Rad24, the complex included polypeptides of 40 kDa and 35 kDa. The 40 kDa species was found by mass spectrometry to contain Rfc2 and Rfc3, subunits of replication factor C (RFC), a five subunit protein that is required for the loading of polymerases onto DNA during replication and repair. We hypothesised that other RFC subunits, all of which share sequence homologies with Rad24, might also be components of the Rad24 complex. Reciprocal co-immunoprecipitation studies were performed using extracts prepared from strains containing epitope-tagged RFC proteins. These experiments showed that the small RFC proteins, Rfc2, Rfc3, Rfc4 and Rfc5, interacted with Rad24, whereas the Rfc1 subunit did not. We suggest that this RFC-like Rad24 complex may function as a structure-specific sensor in the DNA damage checkpoint pathway.
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