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Gene. 1991 Dec 1;108(1):81-9.

Protein disulfide isomerase is essential for viability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Biological Laboratory, University of Kent, Canterbury, U.K.


Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) is an enzyme involved in the catalysis of disulfide bond formation in secretory and cell-surface proteins. Using an oligodeoxyribonucleotide designed to detect the conserved 'thioredoxin-like' active site of vertebrate PDIs, we have isolated a gene encoding PDI from the lower eukaryote, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The nucleotide sequence and deduced open reading frame of the cloned gene predict a 530-amino-acid (aa) protein of Mr 59,082 and a pI of 4.1, physical properties characteristic of mammalian PDIs. Furthermore, the aa sequence shows 30-32% identity with mammalian and avian PDI sequences and has a very similar overall organisation, namely the presence of two approx. 100-aa segments, each of which is repeated, with the most significant homologies to mammalian and avian PDIs being in the regions (a, a') that contain the conserved 'thioredoxin-like' active site. The N-terminal region has the characteristics of a cleavable secretory signal sequence and the C-terminal four aa (-His-Asp-Glu-Leu) are consistent with the protein being a component of the S. cerevisiae endoplasmic reticulum. Transformants carrying multiple copies of this gene (designated PDI1) have tenfold higher levels of PDI activity and overproduce a protein of the predicted Mr. The PDI1 gene is unique in the yeast genome and encodes a single 1.8-kb transcript that is not found in stationary phase cells. Disruption of the PDI1 gene is haplo-lethal indicating that the product of this gene is essential for viability.

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