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Mol Microbiol. 2002 Nov;46(4):1011-22.

Two homologous genes, DCW1 (YKL046c) and DFG5, are essential for cell growth and encode glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane proteins required for cell wall biogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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National Research Institute of Brewing, Higashihiroshima, Japan.


The cell wall of Saccharomyces cerevisiae consists of glucan, chitin and various kinds of mannoproteins. Major parts of mannoproteins are synthesized as glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins and are then transferred to cell wall beta-1,6-glucan. A glycosyltransferase has been hypothesized to catalyse this transfer reaction. A database search revealed that the products of YKL046c and DFG5 are homologous to bacterial mannosidase. These genes are homologous to each other and have primary structures characteristic of GPI-anchored proteins. Although single disruptants of ykl046c and dfg5 were viable, ykl046cDelta was hypersensitive to a cell wall-digesting enzyme (zymolyase), suggesting that this gene is involved in cell wall biosynthesis. We therefore designated this gene as DCW1 (defective cell wall). A double disruptant of dcw1 and dfg5 was synthetically lethal, indicating that the functions of these gene products are redundant, and at least one of them is required for cell growth. Cells deficient in both Dcw1p and Dfg5p were round and large, had cell walls that contained an increased amount of chitin and secreted a major cell wall protein, Cwp1p, into the medium. Biochemical analyses showed that epitope-tagged Dcw1p is an N-glycosylated, GPI-anchored membrane protein and is localized in the membrane fraction including the cell surface. These results suggest that both Dcw1p and Dfg5p are GPI-anchored membrane proteins and are required for normal biosynthesis of the cell wall.

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