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FEBS Lett. 1996 Feb 26;381(1-2):87-92.

Transformation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with a cDNA encoding a sterol C-methyltransferase from Arabidopsis thaliana results in the synthesis of 24-ethyl sterols.

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Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes, Département de Biologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, Institut de Botanique, Strasbourg, France.


Using an EST-cDNA probe, a full-length cDNA (411) sequence of 1411 bp was isolated from A. thaliana. This sequence contained features typical of methyltransferases in general and in particular showed 38% identity with ERG6, a S. cerevisiae gene which encodes the zymosterol-C-24-methyltransferase. A yeast vector containing this ORF (4118-pYeDP60) was used to transform a wild type S. cerevisiae which accumulates predominantly ergosterol, a 24-methyl sterol as well as a mutant erg6 null mutant accumulating principally zymosterol, a sterol non-alkylated at C-24. In both cases, several 24-ethyl- and 24-ethylidene sterols were synthetized indicating that the 4118 cDNA encodes a plant sterol C-methyltransferase able to perform two sequential methylations of the sterol side chain.

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