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Mol Biol Cell. 2000 Jul;11(7):2267-81.

Inositol phosphorylceramide synthase is located in the Golgi apparatus of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge CB2 2QH, United Kingdom.


The plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells differs in lipid composition from most of the internal organelles, presumably reflecting differences in many of its functions. In particular, the plasma membrane is rich in sphingolipids and sterols, one property of which is to decrease the permeability and increase the thickness of lipid bilayers. In this paper, we examine the length of transmembrane domains throughout the yeast secretory pathway. Although the transmembrane domains of cis and medial Golgi residents are similar to those of endoplasmic reticulum proteins, these domains lengthen substantially beyond the medial Golgi, suggesting a thickening of the bilayer. Yeast sphingolipids have particularly long acyl chains, and Aur1p, the inositol phosphorylceramide synthase that initiates yeast sphingolipid synthesis, was found to be located in the Golgi apparatus by both immunofluorescence and membrane fractionation, with its active site apparently in the Golgi lumen. Thus, it appears that sphingolipid synthesis in yeast takes place in the Golgi, separated from glycerophospholipid synthesis in the endoplasmic reticulum. A similar separation has been found in mammalian cells, and this conservation suggests that such an arrangement of enzymes within the secretory pathway could be important for the creation of bilayers of different thickness within the cell.

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