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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jan 30;279(5):3132-41. Epub 2003 Nov 3.

The AzgA purine transporter of Aspergillus nidulans. Characterization of a protein belonging to a new phylogenetic cluster.

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Unidad Asociada de MicrobiologĂ­a, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la RepĂșblica, Casilla de Correos 1157, Montevideo, Uruguay.


The azgA gene of Aspergillus nidulans encodes a hypoxanthine-adenine-guanine transporter. It has been cloned by a novel transposon methodology. The null phenotype of azgA was defined by a number of mutations, including a large deletion. In mycelia, the azgA gene is, like other genes of purine catabolism, induced by uric acid and repressed by ammonium. Its transcription depends on the pathway-specific UaY zinc binuclear cluster protein and the broad domain AreA GATA factor. AzgA is not closely related to any other characterized membrane protein, but many close homologues of unknown function are present in fungi, plants, and prokaryotes but not metazoa. Two of three data bases and the phylogeny presented in this article places proteins of this family in a cluster clearly separated (but perhaps phylogenetically related) from the NAT family that includes other eukaryotic and prokaryotic nucleobase transporters. Thus AzgA is the first characterized member of this family or subfamily of membrane proteins.

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