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Cell. 1986 Aug 1;46(3):345-53.

Down regulation of the alpha-factor pheromone receptor in S. cerevisiae.


The peptide pheromone, alpha-factor, was found to elicit down regulation of receptor sites on yeast a cell targets. Cellular uptake of alpha-factor accompanied the loss of receptor sites. Receptor-deficient a cells bearing a deletion of the STE2 gene were unable to internalize alpha-factor. Cultures were found to reaccumulate receptor sites following the initial period of down regulation; reaccumulation was dependent upon protein synthesis. Pheromone-resistant mutants, ste4-3 and ste5-3, retained the ability to down regulate receptors but failed to show reaccumulation. Our results suggest that alpha-factor-receptor complexes enter the cell by receptor-mediated endocytosis and that receptors are continuously lost and resynthesized in the presence of alpha-factor. We found no reduction of alpha-factor binding capacity in a cell cultures that had adapted to alpha-factor.

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