Bdf1, a yeast chromosomal protein required for sporulation.
The BDF1 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is required for sporulation. Under starvation conditions, most cells from the bdf1 null mutant fail to undergo one or both meiotic divisions, and there is an absolute defect in spore formation. The Bdf1 protein localizes to the nucleus throughout all stages of the mitotic and meiotic cell cycles. Analysis of spread meiotic nuclei reveals that the Bdf1 protein is localized fairly uniformly along chromosomes, except that it is excluded specifically from the nucleolus. A bdf1 null mutant displays a reduced rate of vegetative growth and sensitivity to a DNA-damaging agent. The BDF1 gene encodes a 77-kDa protein that contains two bromodomains, sequence motifs of unknown function. Separation-of-function alleles suggest that only one of the two bromodomains is required for sporulation, whereas both are required for Bdf1 function in vegetative cells. We propose that the Bdf1 protein is a component of chromatin and that the mitotic and meiotic defects of the bdf1 null mutant result from alterations in chromatin structure.