Subunit a of the vacuolar membrane H(+)-translocating adenosine triphosphatase of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains a catalytic site for ATP hydrolysis. N-terminal sequences of six tryptic peptides of the subunit were determined. Based on the peptide sequence information, a 39-base oligonucleotide probe was synthesized, and the gene encoding the subunit (VMA1) was isolated from a genomic DNA library by hybridization. The nucleotide sequence of the gene predicts a polypeptide of 1,071 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 118,635 daltons, which is much larger than the value 67 kDa estimated on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels. N- and C-terminal regions of the deduced sequence (residues 1-284 and 739-1,071) are very similar to those of the catalytic subunits of carrot (69 kDa) and Neurospora crassa (67 kDa) vacuolar membrane H(+)-ATPases (62 and 73% identity over 600 residues, respectively). The homologous regions also show about 25% sequence identity over 400 residues with beta-subunits of F0F1-ATPases. In contrast, the internal region containing 454 amino acid residues (residues 285-738) shows no detectable sequence similarities to any known ATPase subunits and instead is similar to a yeast endonuclease encoded by the HO gene. None of the six tryptic peptides is located in this internal region. Northern blotting analysis detected a single mRNA of 3.5 kilobases, indicating that the gene has no introns. Although the reason for the discrepancy in molecular mass is unclear at present, these results suggest that a novel processing mechanism, which might involve a post-translational excision of the internal region followed by peptide ligation, operates on the yeast VMA1 product. The VMA1 gene has proven to be the same gene as the TFP1 gene (Shih, C.-K., Wagner, R., Feinstein, S., Kanik-Ennulat, C., and Neff, N. (1988) Mol. Cell. Biol. 8, 3094-3103) whose dominant mutant allele (TFP1-408) confers a dominant trifluoperazine resistance and Ca2(+)-sensitive growth. This and our findings suggest that the vacuolar membrane H(+)-ATPase participates in maintenance of cytoplasmic Ca2+ homeostasis.
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