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

Inactivation of homocitrate synthase causes lysine auxotrophy in copper/zinc-containing superoxide dismutase-deficient yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe lacking copper/zinc-containing superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD) is auxotrophic for lysine and sulfurous amino acids under aerobic growth conditions. A multicopy suppressor gene (phx1+) that restored the growth of CuZn-SOD-deficient cells on minimal medium was isolated. It encodes a putative DNA-binding protein with a conserved homeobox domain. Overproduction of Phx1 increased the amount of several proteins, and one of those turned out to be a putative homocitrate synthase (HCS) encoded by the lys4+ gene in S. pombe as judged by mass spectrometric analysis. Consistent with this observation, overexpression of the lys4+ gene increased HCS enzyme activity and was sufficient to suppress the lysine requirement of the CuZn-SOD-deficient cells. Enzyme activity and Western blot analyses revealed that the activity and protein level of HCS were dramatically reduced upon depletion of CuZn-SOD. Treatment of exponentially growing S. pombe cells with paraquat, a superoxide generator, caused a decrease in the amount of Lys4 protein as expected. These results led us to conclude that HCS, the first enzyme in the alpha-aminoadipate-mediated pathway for lysine synthesis common in fungi and some bacteria, is a labile target of oxidative stress caused by CuZn-SOD depletion and that its synthesis is positively regulated by the putative transcriptional regulator Phx1.[1]


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