The RAD6 gene of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is required for DNA repair, for DNA damage-induced mutagenesis, and for sporulation, and it encodes a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme. We have cloned the RAD6 homolog from Drosophila melanogaster and find that its encoded protein displays a very high degree of identity in amino acid sequence with the homologous RAD6 proteins from the two divergent yeasts, S. cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and from human. Genetic complementation studies indicate that the Drosophila RAD6 homolog can functionally substitute for the S. cerevisiae RAD6 gene in its DNA-repair and UV-mutagenesis functions but cannot substitute in sporulation. The high degree of structural and functional conservation of RAD6 in eukaryotic evolution suggests that the various protein components involved in RAD6-dependent DNA repair and mutagenesis functions have also been conserved.

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam