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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1993 Aug 1;304(2):392-401.

Two purine biosynthetic enzymes that are required for cadmium tolerance in Schizosaccharomyces pombe utilize cysteine sulfinate in vitro.

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Plant Gene Expression Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Albany, California.


In plants and in certain fungi, exposure to heavy metals induces the synthesis of metal-binding peptides commonly known as phytochelatins. With cadmium, phytochelatins can sequester the metal into a sulfide-containing complex. From genetic analysis of fission yeast mutants, we previously reported that two genes in purine biosynthesis, encoding adenylosuccinate synthetase and succinoaminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (SAICAR) synthetase, are required for the biogenesis of the phytochelatin-cadmium-sulfide complex in vivo. We suggested that a sulfur analog of aspartate, cysteine sulfinate, might be utilized by these enzymes and that the cysteine sulfinate-derived products would then become intermediates or carriers in a sulfur transfer pathway leading to the sulfide found within the metal chelate. In this paper, we report that partially purified adenylosuccinate synthetase and SAICAR synthetase are capable of utilizing cysteine sulfinate in vitro to form sulfur analog products. Adenylosuccinate lyase, however, fails to catalyze further conversion of these sulfur derivatives. These observations support the genetic data implicating a link among purine biosynthetic enzymes, sulfur metabolism, and cadmium tolerance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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