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

Yeast aconitase in two locations and two metabolic pathways: seeing small amounts is believing.

The distribution of identical enzymatic activities between different subcellular compartments is a fundamental process of living cells. At present, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae aconitase enzyme has been detected only in mitochondria, where it functions in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and is considered a mitochondrial matrix marker. We developed two strategies for physical and functional detection of aconitase in the yeast cytosol: 1) we fused the alpha peptide of the beta-galactosidase enzyme to aconitase and observed alpha complementation in the cytosol; and 2) we created an ACO1-URA3 hybrid gene, which allowed isolation of strains in which the hybrid protein is exclusively targeted to mitochondria. These strains display a specific phenotype consistent with glyoxylate shunt elimination. Together, our data indicate that yeast aconitase isoenzymes distribute between two distinct subcellular compartments and participate in two separate metabolic pathways; the glyoxylate shunt in the cytosol and the TCA cycle in mitochondria. We maintain that such dual distribution phenomena have a wider occurrence than recorded currently, the reason being that in certain cases there is a small fraction of one of the isoenzymes, in one of the locations, making its detection very difficult. We term this phenomenon of highly uneven isoenzyme distribution "eclipsed distribution."[1]


  1. Yeast aconitase in two locations and two metabolic pathways: seeing small amounts is believing. Regev-Rudzki, N., Karniely, S., Ben-Haim, N.N., Pines, O. Mol. Biol. Cell (2005) [Pubmed]
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