Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Discoveries In The Yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Date:
November 4, 2009
Source:
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Summary:
Researchers have discovered the structure of the PPC descarboxilase (PPCDC) enzyme present in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a very important organism in biotechnology and an excellent model for biological research. Scientists have verified that its structure differs substantially from that found in humans, which in addition to its characteristic as an essential enzyme makes it a potential therapeutic target.

Researchers at UAB in collaboration with the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, have discovered the structure of the PPC descarboxilase (PPCDC) enzyme present in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a very important organism in biotechnology and an excellent model for biological research. Scientists have verified that its structure differs substantially from that found in humans, which in addition to its characteristic as an essential enzyme makes it a potential therapeutic target.

The study, published in Nature Chemical Biology, was carried out by researchers of the UAB Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, under the coordination of Dr Joaquin Ariρo.

PPCDC is an essential enzyme and plays a key role in the synthesis of Coenzyme A, a molecule universally conserved in eukaryotic cells which intervenes in the degradation of fatty acids, carbohydrates and amino acids in all organisms (bacteria, plants and humans). The gene involved in the formation of PPCDC was identified in plants and humans. In both cases, the enzyme is a homotrimeric complex, i.e. it is formed by the association of three identical proteins. The interaction of the three is precisely what determines the formation of the three identical active sites- areas of the enzyme in which the catalytic process takes place -- it contains. However, its nature in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was a mystery to researchers, given that this organism seems to contain three genes potentially capable of coding a PPCDC (HAL3, VHS3 and YKL088w), but none of them could be associated with this function.

The research carried out by the UAB group has helped to clarify this apparent paradox by demonstrating that the S. cerevisiae enzyme exists as a heterotrimer, i.e. it is formed by 3 non-identical proteins. One of these proteins is necessarily coded by the YKL088w gene (which explains its essential nature) and the other can be two molecules coded by either HAL3 or VHS3, or even one of each. The active site in this case is made up of amino acids of two different proteins: the one coded by gene YKL088w, which provides a catalytic cysteine, and the one coded by HAL3 or VHS3, which provides a histidine, also essential for the catalysis.

This discovery is even more surprising if one takes into account that in recent years the UAB group has discovered that the genes HAL3 and VHS3 function in a completely different manner in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by regulating the activity of a protein phosphatase involved in the saline tolerance and in the cell cycle. Therefore, the proteins coded by HAL3 and VHS3 are examples of "moonlighting" proteins, that is, they are capable of carrying out completely different functions (at least apparently) in the cell.

The research carried out by Dr Ariρo's group in collaboration with the University of Stellenbosch demonstrates that the heterotrimeric structure of the PPCDC can exist in a wide group of yeasts from the Ascomycetes division. This group not only includes yeasts which can be used in biotechnology and industries, such as S. cerevisiae and Pichia pastoris, but also potential pathogens such as Candida albicans. The difference between the PPCDC structure in these organisms and that of the human enzyme, together with its characteristic as an essential enzyme, makes it a possible target for antifungal therapy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joaquin Ariρo et al. Moonlighting Proteins HAL3 and VHS3 Form a Heteromeric PPCDC with YKL088w in Yeast CoA Biosynthesis. Nature Chemical Biology, (in press)

Cite This Page:

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "New Discoveries In The Yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104132810.htm>.
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. (2009, November 4). New Discoveries In The Yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104132810.htm
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "New Discoveries In The Yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104132810.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins