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EMBO J. 1995 Jul 3;14(13):3021-7.

A potassium transporter of the yeast Schwanniomyces occidentalis homologous to the Kup system of Escherichia coli has a high concentrative capacity.

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Departamento de Biotecnología, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos, Madrid, Spain.


The yeast Schwanniomyces occidentalis has a high-affinity K+ uptake system with a high concentrative capacity, which is able to deplete the external K+ to < 0.03 microM. We have cloned the gene HAK1 of S.occidentalis which complements defective K+ uptake by trk1 and trk1 trk2 mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. When HAK1 was expressed in a trk1 trk2 S.cerevisiae mutant, transport affinities for K+ and other alkali cations resembled those of S.occidentalis. The predicted amino acid sequence of the HAK1 protein shows significant homology with the hydrophobic region of the Kup transporter of Escherichia coli. In S.occidentalis HAK1 expresses in K(+)-limiting conditions. Our data indicate that in K(+)-starved cells the system encoded by HAK1 is the major K+ transporter of S.occidentalis.

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