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Anal Biochem. 1999 Nov 1;275(1):109-15.

Characterization of novel peptide agonists of the alpha mating factor of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Laboratory of Molecular Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal Unit, 1st Department of Medicine, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Kiel, 24105, Germany.


Alpha-factor [WHWLQLKPGQPMY], a secreted tridecapeptide pheromone, is required for mating between the a- and alpha-haploid mating types of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (MATa, MATalpha). New analogues of alpha-factor were synthesized and evaluated by morphogenesis assays and receptor binding studies. The Y(0)Nle(12)F(13) analogue [YWHWLQLKPGQPNleF] (MFN5) caused growth arrest and morphological alteration in MATa cells in a fashion identical to that of the native pheromone. Binding of (125)I-labeled MFN5 was saturable, and reversible as shown by equipotent label displacement by MFN5 and native alpha-mating factor. Scatchard analysis of equilibrium binding data on plasma membranes and intact cells indicated the existence of a single high-affinity binding site (K(d) = 6.4 x 10(-8)). Specific binding of (125)I-labeled MFN5 was significantly reduced by guanosine nucleotides. Affinity cross-linking of (125)I-labeled MFN5 to MATa cell membranes identified a specifically labeled 49-kDa protein. The novel synthetic alpha-factor analogue MFN5 can be easily iodinated and used as a probe for the alpha-factor receptor.

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