To identify genes necessary for sphingolipid synthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae we developed a procedure to enrich for mutants unable to incorporate exogenous long chain base into sphingolipids. We show here that a mutant strain, AG84-3, isolated by using the enrichment procedure, makes sphingolipids from endogenously synthesized but not from exogenously supplied long chain base. A gene termed LCB3 (YJL134W, GenBank designation X87371x21), which complements the long chain base utilization defect of strain AG84-3, was isolated from a genomic DNA library. The gene is predicted to encode a protein with multiple membrane-spanning domains and a COOH-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositiol cleavage/attachment site. Deletion of the lcb3 gene in a wild type genetic background reduces the rate of exogenous long chain base incorporation into sphingolipids and makes the host strain more resistant to growth inhibition by long chain bases. Only one protein in current data bases, the S. cerevisiae open-reading frame YKR053C, whose function is unknown, shows homology to the Lcb3 protein. The two proteins are not, however, functional homologs because deletion of the YKR053C open reading frame does not impair long chain base utilization or enhance resistance of cells to growth inhibition by long chain bases. Based upon these data we hypothesize that the Lcb3 protein is a plasma membrane transporter capable of transporting sphingoid long chain bases into cells. It is the first candidate for such a transporter and the first member of what appears to be a new class of membrane-bound proteins.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - Jun 27 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology