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Mol Gen Genet. 1988 Apr;212(1):134-41.

Structure of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae URA4 gene encoding dihydroorotase.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Génetique Physiologique, IBMC du CNRS, Strasbourg, France.


The URA4 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, coding for the third enzyme of the pyrimidine pathway, has been cloned through phenotypic complementation of a ura4 mutant of S. cerevisiae. Subcloning of an original 9 kb DNA fragment, carrying the yeast URA4 gene, allowed us to localize the gene on a 2 kb ClaI--BamHI fragment. The sequence of the URA4 structural gene and surrounding DNA was determined by the dideoxynucleotide chain termination method. The URA4 gene encodes a dihydroorotase subunit of calculated molecular weight 40,600. S1 nuclease mapping indicated that transcription of URA4 is initiated at four major start sites located at positions -41, -30, -22 and -18. A set of potentially significant sequences was identified in the 5' OH non-coding region of the gene. The deduced amino acid sequence of dihydroorotase was examined and compared with homologous amino acid sequences of Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli and Drosophila melanogaster. S. cerevisiae dihydroorotase shows 40% homology with the S. typhimurium and E. coli enzymes and 23% homology with the D. melanogaster enzyme. A potential active site has been predicted for dihydroorotase from these comparisons.

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