Ukr.Biochem.J. 2011; Volume 83, Issue 5, Sep-Oct, pp. 67-81

Cloning and functional analysis of the GSH1/MET1 gene complementing cysteine and glutathione auxotrophy of the methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha

V. M. Ubiyvovk1, O.V. Blazhenko1, M. Zimmermann2, M. J. Sohn3,4, H. A. Kang3,4

1Institute of Cell Biology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Lviv;
2Institute of Biology IV- Microbiology and Genetics RWTH, Aachen, Germany;
3Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB), Daejeon, Korea;
4Department of Life Science, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea;

The Hansenula polymorpha GSH1/MET1 gene was cloned by complementation of glutathione-dependent growth of H. polymorpha gsh1 mutant isolated previously as N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) resistant and cadmium ion sensitive clone. The H. polymorpha GSH1 gene was capable of restoring cadmium ion resistance, MNNG sensitivity, normal glutathione level and cell proliferation on minimal media without addition of cysteine or glutathione, when introduced into the gsh1 mutant cells. It was shown that the H. polymorpha GSH1 gene has homology to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae MET1 gene encoding S-adenosyl-L-methionine uroporphyrinogen III transmethylase, responsible for the biosynthesis of sulfite reductase cofactor, sirohaem. The H. polymorpha GSH1/MET1 gene deletion cassette (Hpgsh1/met1::ScLEU2) was constructed and corresponding null mutants were isolated. Crossing data of the point gsh1 and null gsh1/met1 mutants demonstrated that both alleles were located to the same gene. The null gsh1/met1 mutant showed total growth restoration on minimal media supplemented with cysteine or glutathione as a sole sulfur source, but not with inorganic (sulfate, sulfite) or organic (methionine, S-adenosylmethionine) sources of sulfur. Moreover, both the point gsh1 and null gsh1/met1 mutants displayed increased sensitivity to the toxic carbon substrate methanol, formaldehyde, organic peroxide and cadmium ions.

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