Reference: Hyle JW, et al. (2003) Functional distinctions between IMP dehydrogenase genes in providing mycophenolate resistance and guanine prototrophy to yeast. J Biol Chem 278(31):28470-8

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Abstract


IMP dehydrogenase (IMPDH) catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the de novo synthesis of GTP. Yeast with mutations in the transcription elongation machinery are sensitive to inhibitors of this enzyme such as 6-azauracil and mycophenolic acid, at least partly because of their inability to transcriptionally induce IMPDH. To understand the molecular basis of this drug-sensitive phenotype, we have dissected the expression and function of a four-gene family in yeast called IMD1 through IMD4. We show here that these family members are distinct, despite a high degree of amino acid identity between the proteins they encode. Extrachromosomal copies of IMD1, IMD3, or IMD4 could not rescue the drug-sensitive phenotype of IMD2 deletants. When overexpressed, IMD3 or IMD4 weakly compensated for deletion of IMD2. IMD1 is transcriptionally silent and bears critical amino acid substitutions compared with IMD2 that destroy its function, offering strong evidence that it is a pseudogene. The simultaneous deletion of all four IMD genes was lethal unless growth media were supplemented with guanine. This suggests that there are no other essential functions of the IMPDH homologs aside from IMP dehydrogenase activity. Although neither IMD3 nor IMD4 could confer drug resistance to cells lacking IMD2, either alone was sufficient to confer guanine prototrophy. The special function of IMD2 was provided by its ability to be transcriptionally induced and the probable intrinsic drug resistance of its enzymatic activity.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Authors
Hyle JW, Shaw RJ, Reines D
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