The enzymes for galactose metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae are encoded by three tightly linked genes. Data presented in this paper show that, in contrast to enzymes encoded by other gene clusters in yeast, these three enzymes are translated as separate polypeptides. First, two of the enzymes encoded by the cluster, galactokinase and uridylyl transferase. purified to near homogeneity, are separate polypeptides. Second, no precursor polypeptide-containing sequences common to both these enzymes is detectable in extracts from galactose-induced yeast cells. Third, no partial or absolute polarity of expression of the enzymes is observed in strains containing nonsense mutations in any of the genes of the cluster. Expression of the three galactose metabolic enzymes is co-ordinate, both during induction and during steady-state synthesis. This is true both for wild-type yeast strains and for strains carrying the long-term galactose adaptation mutation, gal3. In GAL3+ strains mutations within the galactose gene cluster have no effect on this co-ordinate expression. However, in gal3- strains, mutations in any of the genes of the cluster completely eliminate expression of the other two genes. These results suggest that the GAL3 gene product is responsible for inducer synthesis and that the actual inducer is an intermediate in galactose metabolism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology