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J Bacteriol. 1992 Sep;174(17):5702-10.

The acyl dihydroxyacetone phosphate pathway enzymes for glycerolipid biosynthesis are present in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109.


The presence of the acyl dihydroxyacetone phosphate (acyl DHAP) pathway in yeasts was investigated by examining three key enzyme activities of this pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In the total membrane fraction of S. cerevisiae, we confirmed the presence of both DHAP acyltransferase (DHAPAT; Km = 1.27 mM; Vmax = 5.9 nmol/min/mg of protein) and sn-glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT; Km = 0.28 mM; Vmax = 12.6 nmol/min/mg of protein). The properties of these two acyltransferases are similar with respect to thermal stability and optimum temperature of activity but differ with respect to pH optimum (6.5 for GPAT and 7.4 for DHAPAT) and sensitivity toward the sulfhydryl blocking agent N-ethylmaleimide. Total membrane fraction of S. cerevisiae also exhibited acyl/alkyl DHAP reductase (EC activity, which has not been reported previously. The reductase has a Vmax of 3.8 nmol/min/mg of protein for the reduction of hexadecyl DHAP (Km = 15 microM) by NADPH (Km = 20 microM). Both acyl DHAP and alkyl DHAP acted as substrates. NADPH was the specific cofactor. Divalent cations and N-ethylmaleimide inhibited the enzymatic reaction. Reductase activity in the total membrane fraction from aerobically grown yeast cells was twice that from anaerobically grown cells. Similarly, DHAPAT and GPAT activities were also greater in aerobically grown yeast cells. The presence of these enzymes, together with the absence of both ether glycerolipids and the ether lipid-synthesizing enzyme (alkyl DHAP synthase) in S. cerevisiae, indicates that non-ether glycerolipids are synthesized in this organism via the acyl DHAP pathway.

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