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Cell. 1982 Oct;30(3):933-43.

Structure of a yeast pheromone gene (MF alpha): a putative alpha-factor precursor contains four tandem copies of mature alpha-factor.


We have cloned and sequenced a gene (MF alpha) coding for alpha-factor, a tridecapeptide mating factor secreted by yeast alpha cells. A plasmid carrying the MF alpha gene was identified by screening for production of alpha-factor by mat alpha 2 mutants, which fail to secrete alpha-factor because of simultaneous synthesis and degradation of the factor. The cloned segment codes for four mature alpha-factor within a putative precursor of 165 amino acids. The putative precursor begins as a signal sequence for secretion. The next segment, of approximately 60 amino acids, contains three potential glycosylation sites. The carboxy-terminal half of the precursor contains four tandem copies of mature alpha-factor, each preceded by spacer peptides of six or eight amino acids (variations of Lys-Arg-Glu-Ala-Asp-Ala-Glu-Ala), which are hypothesized to contain proteolytic processing signals.

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