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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1979 Feb 26;572(2):352-62.

Mutant and immunochemical studies on the involvement of cytochrome b5 in fatty acid desaturation by yeast microsomes.


The involvement of cytochrome b5 in palmitoyl-CoA desaturation by yeast microsomes was studied by using yeast mutants requiring unsaturated fatty acids and an antibody to yeast cytochrome b5. The mutants used were an unsaturated fatty acid auxotroph (strain E5) and a pleiotropic mutant (strain Ole 3) which requires either Tween 80 and ergosterol or delta-aminolevulinic acid for growth. Microsomes from the wild-type strain possessed both the desaturase activity and cytochrome b5, whereas those from mutant E5 contained the cytochrome but lacked the desaturase activity. Microsomes from mutant Ole 3 grown with Tween 80 plus ergosterol were devoid of both the desaturase activity and cytochrome b5, but those from delta-aminolevulinic acid-grown mutant Ole 3 contained cytochrome b5 and catalyzed the desaturation. The cytochrome b5 content in microsomes from mutant Ole 3 could be varied by changing the delta-aminolevulinic acid concentration in the growth medium, and the desaturase activity of the microsomes increased as their cytochrome b5 content was increased. The antibody to yeast cytochrome b5, but not the control gamma-globulin fraction, inhibited the NADH-cytochrome c reductase and NADH-dependent desaturase activities of the wild-type microsomes. It is concluded that cytochrome b5 is actually involved in the desaturase system of yeast microsomes. The lack of desaturase activity in mutant Ole 3 grown with Tween 80 plus ergosterol seems to be due to the absence of cytochrome b5 in microsomes, whereas the genetic lesion in mutant E5 appears to be located at ther terminal desaturase.

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