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

Dityrosine is a prominent component of the yeast ascospore wall. A proof of its structure.

The yeast ascospore wall consists of four morphologically distinct layers. The hydrophobic surface layers are biogenically derived from the prospore wall and appear dark after OsO4 staining. They seem to be responsible for the stability of the spores against attack by lytic enzymes. By amino acid analysis of acid hydrolysates of ascospore walls, two new peaks were detected, which were shown to be the racemic and meso form, respectively, of dityrosine. The identity of this hitherto unknown component of the yeast ascospore wall with standard dityrosine was proven by 1H NMR and by mass spectrometry. A 13C NMR spectroscopic investigation of the structure of dityrosine confirmed that, in natural dityrosine, the biphenyl linkage is located ortho, ortho to the hydroxyl groups. Following digestion of the inner layers of isolated ascospore walls it was shown that dityrosine is very probably located only in the surface layers. The same conclusion was reached independently by an investigation of spores of a strain homozygous for the mutation gcn1, which lack the outermost layers of the spore wall and were practically devoid of dityrosine. In sporulating yeast, L-tyrosine was readily incorporated into the dityrosine of the ascospore wall. Control experiments involving vegetative a/alpha cells and nonsporulating alpha/alpha cells under sporulation conditions showed that dityrosine is indeed sporulation-specific.[1]


  1. Dityrosine is a prominent component of the yeast ascospore wall. A proof of its structure. Briza, P., Winkler, G., Kalchhauser, H., Breitenbach, M. J. Biol. Chem. (1986) [Pubmed]
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