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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Jan 13;417(2):673-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.11.138. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Hydroxylation state of fatty acid and long-chain base moieties of sphingolipid determine the sensitivity to growth inhibition due to AUR1 repression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Kyushu University, 6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan.


The structures of ceramide found in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are classified into five groups according to the hydroxylation states of the long-chain base and fatty acid moieties. This diversity is created through the action of enzymes encoded by SUR2, SCS7, and as yet unidentified hydroxylation enzyme(s). Aur1p is an enzyme catalyzing the formation of inositol phosphorylceramide in the yeast, and the defect leads to strong growth inhibition due to accumulation of ceramide and reductions in complex sphingolipid levels. In this study, we found that the deletion of SCS7 results in the enhancement of growth inhibition due to repression of AUR1 expression under the control of a tetracycline-regulatable promoter, whereas the deletion of SUR2 attenuates the growth inhibition. Under AUR1-repressive conditions, SCS7 and SUR2 mutants showed reductions in the complex sphingolipid levels and the accumulation of ceramide, like wild-type cells. On the other hand, the deletion of SCS7 had no effect on the growth inhibition through reductions in the complex sphingolipid levels caused by repression of LIP1 encoding a ceramide synthase subunit. Furthermore, the deletion of SUR2 did not suppress the growth inhibition under LIP1-repressive conditions. Therefore, it is suggested that the deletion of sphingolipid hydroxylases changes the toxicity of ceramide under AUR1-repressive conditions.

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