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J Cell Biol. 1988 Jul;107(1):101-14.

Increased amounts of HMG-CoA reductase induce "karmellae": a proliferation of stacked membrane pairs surrounding the yeast nucleus.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


Overproduction of the enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase in yeast resulted in striking morphological effects on the structure of intracellular membranes. Specifically, stacks of paired membranes closely associated with the nuclear envelope were observed in strains that over-produced the HMG1 isozyme, one of two isozymes for HMG-CoA reductase in yeast. These nuclear-associated, paired membranes have been named "karmellae." In strains that overproduced the HMG1 isozyme, HMG-CoA reductase was present in the karmellar layers. At mitosis, karmellae were asymmetrically segregated: the mother cells inherited all of the karmellae and the daughter cells inherited none. A membranous structure of different morphology was occasionally found in cells that overproduced the HMG2 isozyme. These observations further establish the existence of cellular mechanisms that monitor the levels of membrane proteins and compensate for changes in these levels by inducing synthesis of particular types of membrane.

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