• 2μ plasmid;
  • yeast;
  • GFP;
  • nuclear organisation;
  • mitosis


Circular plasmids in yeast carrying only an origin of DNA replication (ARS) exhibit maternal inheritance bias (MIB) and are poorly transmitted from mother to daughter cell during division. A variety of different sequences that overcome MIB have been described, including centromeric sequences (CEN), telomere-associated repeats, silencer sequences and a specific system encoded by the endogenous 2μ circle plasmid requiring the cis-acting locus STB and the proteins Rep1 and Rep2. In each case, DNA segregation between mother and daughter cells is dependent on DNA-protein interactions. Using plasmids carrying multiple copies of a lac repressor binding sequence, we have localised DNA molecules in the yeast nucleus using a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-lac repressor fusion protein. We compared GFP localised plasmids carrying a centromere sequence with plasmids based on 2μ circle carrying or lacking the STB sequences required for their segregation. We show that GFP localised plasmid carrying the complete STB locus co-localises with the plasmid proteins Rep1 and Rep2 to discrete chromatin sites. These sites are distinct from both the telomeres and from sites of cohesin binding. Deletion of the region of STB essential for the stability of the plasmid, leads to a loss of plasmid association with chromatin, relocalisation of plasmids towards the nuclear periphery, and a decrease in the Rep1 protein associated with the plasmid. We conclude that specific plasmid localisation is likely to be important in the overcoming of MIB in yeast.