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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hansenula polymorpha Swi1p and Snf2p are essential for methanol utilisation.

We have cloned the Hansenula polymorpha SWI1 and SNF2 genes by functional complementation of mutants that are defective in methanol utilisation. These genes encode proteins similar to Saccharomyces cerevisiae Swi1p and Snf2p, which are subunits of the SWI/SNF complex. This complex belongs to the family of nucleosome-remodeling complexes that play a role in transcriptional control of gene expression. Analysis of the phenotypes of constructed H. polymorpha SWI1 and SNF2 disruption strains indicated that these genes are not necessary for growth of cells on glucose, sucrose, or various organic nitrogen sources which involve the activity of peroxisomal oxidases. Both disruption strains showed a moderate growth defect on glycerol and ethanol, but were fully blocked in methanol utilisation. In methanol-induced cells of both disruption strains, two peroxisomal enzymes involved in methanol metabolism, alcohol oxidase and dihydroxyacetone synthase, were hardly detectable, whereas in wild-type cells these proteins were present at very high levels. We show that the reduction in alcohol oxidase protein levels in H. polymorpha SWI1 and SNF2 disruption strains is due to strongly reduced expression of the alcohol oxidase gene. The level of Pex5p, the receptor involved in import of alcohol oxidase and dihydroxyacetone synthase into peroxisomes, was also reduced in both disruption strains compared to that in wild-type cells.[1]


  1. Hansenula polymorpha Swi1p and Snf2p are essential for methanol utilisation. Ozimek, P., Lahtchev, K., Kiel, J.A., Veenhuis, M., van der Klei, I.J. FEMS Yeast Res. (2004) [Pubmed]
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