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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Jun;85(11):3855-9.

STE2 protein of Saccharomyces kluyveri is a member of the rhodopsin/beta-adrenergic receptor family and is responsible for recognition of the peptide ligand alpha factor.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


We have cloned the gene for the alpha-factor receptor of the yeast Saccharomyces kluyveri by using the Saccharomyces cerevisiae receptor gene (c-STE2) as a probe. The nucleotide sequence of the S. kluyveri gene (k-STE2) shows that its predicted polypeptide contains seven hydrophobic segments capable of spanning a lipid bilayer and thus that, like c-STE2, it appears to be a member of the rhodopsin/beta-adrenergic receptor family. The k-STE2 polypeptide is 50% identical to that coded by c-STE2, with high conservation (greater than 67%) in the putative membrane-spanning domains. The carboxyl-terminal amino acid sequences are not similar, but both are very hydrophilic and rich in serine and threonine residues. The k-STE2 gene is functional in S. cerevisiae: it reverses the mating defect of an S. cerevisiae mutant defective in its STE2 gene. S. cerevisiae strains expressing k-STE2 rather than c-STE2 exhibit the mating-factor selectivity characteristic of S. kluyveri: better response to S. kluyveri alpha factor than to S. cerevisiae alpha factor. (S. cerevisiae normally responds much better to its own alpha-factor peptide than to the related alpha-factor peptide of S. kluyveri.) This observation demonstrates that the STE2 gene is responsible for ligand selectivity and provides additional evidence that the STE2 protein is the receptor for alpha factor.

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