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A functional prepro-alpha-factor gene in Saccharomyces yeasts can contain three, four, or five repeats of the mature pheromone sequence

A functional prepro-alpha-factor gene in Saccharomyces yeasts can contain three, four, or five repeats of the mature pheromone sequence

Molecular and Cellular Biology 3(8): 1440-1450

ISSN/ISBN: 0270-7306

PMID: 6353204

DOI: 10.1128/mcb.3.8.1440

The chromosomal region containing a structural gene for the mating pheromone precursor prepro-alpha-factor was examined in a variety of Saccharomyces yeasts by using a cloned putative prepro-alpha-factor gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the probe. Analysis by restriction endonuclease digestion and Southern blot hybridization indicated that the physical arrangement of this region is highly conserved in all the Saccharomyces species analyzed, but displays length polymorphisms of limited size (50 to 60 base pairs). The observed polymorphisms were shown to be due solely to differences in the number of tandemly arranged spacer peptide/pheromone units within the coding sequence of these genes. Analysis of polyadenylated RNA indicated that these genes specified RNA transcripts and that these RNA molecules could be translated in vitro into prepro-alpha-factor polypeptides immunoprecipitable with anti-alpha-factor antibodies. The sizes of both the mRNAs and the proteins synthesized from them reflected exactly the differences observed in the lengths of the genes. These findings demonstrate conclusively that the putative prepro-alpha-factor DNA cloned from S. cerevisiae, as well as the sequences detected in the other Saccharomyces species, are indeed expressed and functional genes, and suggest that proper proteolytic processing of prepro-alpha-factor is unaffected by the number of pheromone repeats encoded within this precursor protein.

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Accession: 042065217

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