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EMBO J. 2000 Jun 15;19(12):2824-33.

Sphingoid base synthesis requirement for endocytosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Biozentrum of the University of Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


The internalization step of endocytosis in yeast requires actin and sterols for maximum efficiency. In addition, many receptors and plasma membrane proteins must be phosphorylated and ubiquitylated prior to internalization. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae end8-1 mutant is allelic to lcb1, a mutant defective in the first step of sphingoid base synthesis. Upon arrest of sphingoid base synthesis a rapid block in endocytosis is seen. This block can be overcome by exogenous sphingoid base. Under conditions where endogenous sphingosine base synthesis was blocked and exogenous sphingoid bases could not be converted to phosphorylated sphingoid bases or to ceramide, sphingoid bases could still suppress the endocytic defect. Therefore, the required lipid is most likely a sphingoid base. Interestingly, sphingoid base synthesis is required for proper actin organization, but is not required for receptor phosphorylation. This is the first case of a physiological role for sphingoid base synthesis, other than as a precursor for ceramide or phosphorylated sphingoid base synthesis.

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