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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 1975; 72(10): 3952–3955.
PMCID: PMC433115

Chitin synthetase zymogen is attached to the yeast plasma membrane.


Pretreatment of yeast protoplasts with concanavalin A, according to the method used by G. A. Scarborough for Neurospora (J. Biol. Chem. 250, 1106-1111, 1975), reinforced the plasma membranes, and helped to maintain their integrity during subsequent lysis of the protoplasts. After purification by centrifuging on a Renografin density gradient, practically intact membranes were obtained. Previous labeling of the protoplasts with 125I or with [3H]concanavalin A resulted in recovery of the radioactivity in the membrane fraction. The bulk of the chitin synthetase (chitin synthase; UDP-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-D-glucose:chitin 4-beta-acetamidodeoxyglucosyltransferase; EC recovered in the gradient was also found In this fraction; in the zymogen form. About 20% of the activity sedimented in a plasma-membrane-free fraction at lower density. Glutaraldehyde inactivated chitin synthetase when it was added to a lysate, but not when applied to intact protoplasts. It is concluded that chitin synthetase is so oriented in the membrane that it is only accessible from the inside of the cell. These results confirm our previous hypothesis that the chitin synthetase zymogen is associated with the plasma membrane, a basic assumption for the explanation of localized activation of the enzyme and initiation of septum formation.

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Selected References

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Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


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