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Biochem Cell Biol. 1989 Sep;67(9):612-31.

Pyrimidine biosynthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: the ura2 cluster gene, its multifunctional enzyme product, and other structural or regulatory genes involved in de novo UMP synthesis.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'enzymologie, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


There are six enzymatic steps in the de novo biosynthesis of uridine monophosphate (UMP). In yeast, six structural genes (ura2, ura4, ura1, ura5, ura10, and ura3) and one regulatory gene (PPR1) are involved in this metabolic pathway. Gene ura2 codes for a multifunctional protein that carries the first two enzymatic activities of the pathway, i.e., carbamylphosphate synthetase (CPSase) and aspartate transcarbamylase (ATCase). Gene ura2 has been cloned and sequenced, revealing the presence of three open reading frames, one of which codes for the multifunctional protein, a polypeptide of 2212 amino acids, with a mRNA of 7 +/- 0.3 kilobases. Expression of gene ura2 is regulated at the transcriptional level. As I indicate here, it could also be controlled at the posttranscriptional level since all the consensus sequences for a 1.2-kilobases intron are present in the coding sequence of the open reading frame. The deducted amino acid sequence has allowed the identification of four domains. Starting from the amino terminus of the protein, these are glutamine amido transferase, CPSase, a domain that resembles dihydroorotase (DHOase-like) but does not have DHOase activity, and ATCase. There are also two sites of interest that match known concensus phosphorylation sites; one is located in the distal part of the CPSase domain, the other in the connector region between DHOase-like and ATCase domains. The protein has been purified as a multienzyme aggregate and as a multifunctional protein. The latter form, when isolated from a protease B deficient strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, contained mostly polypeptide chains of 220 kilodaltons. Work is currently in progress to determine the site(s) of phosphorylation of this protein in vitro. ATCase activity of both wild-type and protease-deficient strains has been found to be localized in the nucleus. Channeling of carbamyl phosphate, the first intermediate in the pathway, has been demonstrated both in vitro and in permeabilized cells. The other genes of UMP biosynthesis, except for ura5, are regulated by induction of their transcription by the combined action of the product of the ppr1 gene and the inducer, dihydroorotate. Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase activity was found in the cytoplasm. Two isoenzymes of orotate phosphoribosyl transferase have been found, coded for by ura5 and ura10. The products of genes ura10 and ura3 are proposed to participate in the channeling of orotidine monophosphate. The discussion considers the problem posed by the isolation of both multienzyme complexes and multifunctional proteins resulting from the expression of the same cluster genes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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