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Yeast. 2009 Nov;26(11):587-93. doi: 10.1002/yea.1708.

MPR1 as a novel selection marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Tsukuba Research Laboratories, Eisai Co. Ltd, Ibaraki, Japan.


L-Azetidine-2-carboxylic acid (AZC) is a toxic four-membered ring analogue of L-proline that is transported into cells by proline transporters. AZC and L-proline in the cells are competitively incorporated into nascent proteins. When AZC is present in a minimum medium, misfolded proteins are synthesized in the cells, thereby inhibiting cell growth. The MPR1 gene has been isolated from the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sigma1278b as a multicopy suppressor of AZC-induced growth inhibition. MPR1 encodes a novel acetyltransferase that detoxifies AZC via N-acetylation. Since MPR1 is absent in the laboratory strain of S. cerevisiae S288C, it could be a positive selection marker that confers AZC resistance in the S288C background strains. To examine the usefulness of MPR1, we constructed some plasmid vectors that harboured MPR1 under the control of various promoters and introduced them into the S288C-derived strains. The expression of MPR1 conferred AZC resistance that was largely dependent on the expression level of MPR1. In an additional experiment, the galactose-inducible MPR1 and ppr1(+), the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe homologue of MPR1, were used for gene disruption by homologous recombination, and here AZC-resistant colonies were also successfully selected. We concluded that our MPR1-AZC system provides a powerful tool for yeast transformation.

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