Alanine : glyoxylate aminotransferase is one of three different enzymes used for glycine synthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The open reading frame YFL030w (named AGX1 in the following), encoding this enzyme, was identified by comparing enzyme specific activities in knockout strains. While 100% activity was detectable in the parental strain, 2% was found in a YFL030w::kanMX4 strain. The ORF found at that locus was suspected to encode alanine : glyoxylate aminotransferase because its predicted amino acid sequence showed 23% identity to the human homologue. Since the YFL030w::kanMX4 strain showed no glycine auxtrophic phenotype, AGX1 was replaced by KanMX4 in a Delta GLY1 Delta SHM1 Delta SHM2 background. These background mutations, which cause inactivation of threonine aldolase, mitochondrial and cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferase, respectively, lead to a conditional glycine auxotrophy. This means that growth is not possible on glucose but on ethanol as the sole carbon source. Additional disruption of AGX1 revealed a complete glycine auxotrophy. Complementation was observed by transformation with a plasmid-encoded AGX1.
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