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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 May 27;1663(1-2):9-13.

Targeting of proteins involved in sterol biosynthesis to lipid particles of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Institut für Biochemie, Technische Universität Graz, Petersgasse 12/2, A-8010 Graz, Austria.


In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, three enzymes of the sterol biosynthetic pathway, namely Erg1p, Erg6p and Erg7p, are located in lipid particles. Whereas Erg1p (squalene epoxidase) is also present in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to a significant amount, only traces of Erg6p (sterol C-24 methyltransferase) and Erg7p (lanosterol synthase) are found in the ER. We have chosen these three Erg-proteins as typical representatives of lipid particle proteins to study targeting to their destination. Lipid particle proteins do not contain obvious targeting motifs, but the only common structural feature is the presence of one or two hydrophobic domains near the C-termini. We constructed truncated versions of Erg1p, Erg6p and Erg7p to test the role of these hydrophobic domains in subcellular distribution. Our results demonstrate that lack of the hydrophobic domains prevents at least in part the association of the proteins with lipid particles and causes their retention to the ER. This result strongly supports the view that ER and lipid particles are related organelles.

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