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EMBO J. Jul 1989; 8(7): 2057–2065.
PMCID: PMC401090

Characterization of genes required for protein sorting and vacuolar function in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Abstract

To further our studies of protein sorting and biogenesis of the lysosome-like vacuole in yeast, we have isolated spontaneous mutations in 11 new VPL complementation groups, as well as additional alleles of the eight previously described VPL genes. These mutants were identified by selecting for cells that mislocalize vacuolar proteins to the cell surface. Morphological examination of the vpl mutants indicated that most contain vacuoles of normal appearance; however, some of the mutants generally lack a large vacuole, and instead accumulate smaller organelles. Of the 19 VPL complementation groups, 12 were found to be identical to 12 of 33 VPT complementation groups identified in a separate study. Moreover, the end1 mutant and all of the previously reported pep mutants, with the exception of pep4, were found to exhibit a profound vacuolar protein sorting defect, and complementation tests between the PEP, VPL VPT and END1 groups demonstrated that there are extensive overlaps between these groups. Collectively, mutants in these four collections define 49 complementation groups required to deliver or retain soluble vacuolar enzymes, including carboxypeptidase Y (CPY) and proteinase A. We have also isolated 462 new mutants that lack normal levels of vacuolar CPY activity. Among these latter mutants, only pep4 mutants were found to be specifically defective in vacuolar zymogen activation. We conclude that there is a large number of gene products required for sorting or retention of vacuolar proteins in yeast, and only a single gene, PEP4, that is essential for activation of CPY and other vacuolar zymogens.

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