Reference: Flores Martinez A and Schwencke J (1988) Chitin synthetase activity is bound to chitosomes and to the plasma membrane in protoplasts of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biochim Biophys Acta 946(2):328-36

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Abstract


The sub-cellular distribution of chitin synthetase was studied in homogenates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae protoplasts. Use of a mild disruption method minimized rupture of vacuoles and ensuing contamination of subcellular fractions by vacuolar proteinases. After fractionation of whole or partially purified homogenates through an isopycnic sucrose gradient chitin synthetase activity was found to be distributed between two distinct particulate fractions with different buoyant density and particle diameter. When whole homogenates were used, about 52% of the chitin synthetase loaded was localized in a microvesicular population identified as chitosomes (diameter 40-110 nm; buoyant density (d) = 1.146 g/cm3). Another vesicular population containing 26% of the activity was identified as plasma membrane vesicles because of its large mean diameter (260 nm), its high buoyant density (d = 1.203 g/cm3) and by the presence of the vanadate-sensitive ATPase activity. Moreover, after surface labeling of protoplasts with 3H-concanavalin A, the label cosedimented with the presumed plasma membrane vesicles. There was a negligible cross-contamination of the chitosome fraction by yeast plasma membrane markers. In both the plasma membrane and the chitosome fractions, the chitin synthetase was stable and essentially zymogenic. Activation of the chitosome fraction produces microfibrils 100-250 nm in length. Our results support the idea that chitosomes do not originate by plasma membrane vesiculation but are defined sub-cellular organelles containing most of the chitin synthetase in protoplasts of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Journal Article
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Flores Martinez A, Schwencke J
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