The recessive, temperature-sensitive bimA1 mutation of Aspergillus nidulans blocks nuclei in metaphase at restrictive temperature. To determine whether the bimA product is essential, integrative transformation was used to create a mutation in the bimA gene. The mutation was maintained in a heterokaryon and the phenotype of spores produced by the heterokaryon was analyzed. Molecular disruption of the wild-type bimA gene is recessive in the heterokaryon and causes a metaphase block, demonstrating that bimA is an essential gene for mitosis. bimA was cloned by DNA-mediated complementation of its mutant phenotype at restrictive temperature, and the nucleotide sequence of a full-length cDNA was determined. A single large open reading frame was identified in the cDNA sequence, which predicts a protein containing 806 amino acid residues that is related (30.4% identity) to the Schizosaccharomyces pombe nuc2+ gene product, which also is required for completion of mitosis. The sequence of the bimA gene indicates that it is a member of a family of mostly nuclear proteins that contain a degenerate 34 amino acid repeat, the TPR (tetratricopeptide repeat) gene family.

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