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J Biol Chem. 1988 Nov 25;263(33):17499-507.

Cloning and sequencing of the yeast gene for dolichol phosphate mannose synthase, an essential protein.

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  • 1Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


Dolichol phosphate mannose (Dol-P-Man) synthase (EC catalyzes the formation of Dol-P-Man from Dol-P and GDP-Man. The structural gene for yeast Dol-P-Man synthase (DPM1) was isolated by screening a yeast genomic DNA library for colonies that overexpressed Dol-P-Man synthase activity. This approach relied on a method to screen for Dol-P-Man synthase activity in lysed yeast colonies and used a yeast mutant with very low Dol-P-Man synthase activity in colony lysates. Transformants isolated using this technique expressed Dol-P-Man synthase activity 9-14-fold higher than that of a wild type strain, and all seven plasmids conferring this overproduction had a common region in their yeast genomic DNA insert. DPM1 is the structural gene for yeast Dol-P-Man synthase since Escherichia coli transformants harboring this gene express Dol-P-Man synthase activity in vitro. DNA sequencing of the DPM1 gene revealed an open reading frame of 801 bases. The 30-kDa size of the predicted protein is in excellent agreement with the size of the purified yeast enzyme (Haselbeck, A., and Tanner, W. (1982) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 79, 1520-1524). Analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence reveals the protein has a potential membrane spanning domain of 25 amino acids at its COOH terminus. The protein's NH2 terminus, though not hydrophobic, meets existing criteria for yeast signal sequences, but there is no site for cleavage by signal peptidase. If the NH2 terminus is a functional signal sequence, the protein is predicted to be oriented toward the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum with both NH2 and COOH termini serving as membrane anchors. If there is no signal sequence, the enzyme is predicted to face the cytoplasm and be anchored only by its COOH terminus. The DPM1 gene is essential for viability in yeast since disruption of the gene is lethal. We suspect Dol-P-Man synthase is not an essential protein due to its role in N-glycosylation since mutations in other genes that affect the late steps in lipid-linked oligosaccharide synthesis do not affect cell growth. Instead, DPM1 may be an essential gene because its product is required for O-glycosylation in yeast or because Dol-P-Man synthase is needed in some unidentified pathway.

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