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J Biol Chem. 1996 Nov 15;271(46):29094-9.

Structurally related Spc1p and Spc2p of yeast signal peptidase complex are functionally distinct.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-2363, USA. Ennohart@orion.rz.mdcBerlin.DE


Two subunits of the mammalian signal peptidase complex, SPC12 and SPC25, share similar membrane topologies with the majority of each protein oriented toward the cytoplasm. Such similarities may suggest that these proteins perform redundant functions in signal peptidase activity. In the present study, we addressed this issue through analysis of the yeast homologs to SPC12 and SPC25, Spc1p and Spc2p. We show that both Spc1p and Spc2p are nonessential for signal peptidase activity and growth of yeast cells and that null mutations in the genes encoding Spc1p and Spc2p are synthetically lethal with a conditional mutation affecting Sec11p, an essential subunit of yeast signal peptidase. However, a high copy plasmid encoding Spc1p suppresses the conditional sec11 mutation, whereas the corresponding plasmid encoding Spc2p does not suppress sec11. Moreover, Spc2p, but not Spc1p, is important for signal peptidase activity and cell viability at high temperatures. These results indicate that although both Spc1p and Spc2p are noncatalytic, they are functionally distinct. Evidence is also presented that a double mutant lacking Spc1p and Spc2p grows well relative to wild type yeast cells, indicating that the signal peptidase complex missing at least two of its subunits is sufficient for signal peptidase activity in vivo.

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