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Lipids. 1993 Nov;28(11):963-7.

Sterol synthesis and viability of erg11 (cytochrome P450 lanosterol demethylase) mutations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans.

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Department of Biology, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis 46202-5132.


The identification of the precise structural features of yeast sterol molecules required for the essential "sparking" function has been a controversial area of research. Recent cloning and gene disruption studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have shown that C-24 methylation (ERG6), C-5 desaturation (ERG3) and delta 8-delta 7 isomerization (ERG2) are not required, while C-14 demethylation (ERG11) and C-14 reduction (ERG24) are each required for aerobic viability. Earlier observations had indicated that C-14 demethylase deficient strains could be restored to aerobic growth by suppressor mutations that caused a deficiency in C-5 desaturase. These strains were reported to synthesize some ergosterol, indicating that they contained leaky mutations in both ERG11 and ERG3, thereby making it impossible to determine whether the removal of the C-14 methyl group was required for aerobic viability. The availability of the ERG11 and ERG3 genes has been used in this study to construct strains that contain null mutants in both ERG11 and ERG3. Results show that these double disruption strains are viable and that spontaneously arising suppressors of the ERG11 disruption are erg3 mutants. The erg11 mutants of S. cerevisiae are compared to similar mutants of Candida albicans that are viable in the absence of the erg3 lesion.

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