Ro09-0198 (Ro) is a tetracyclic peptide antibiotic that binds specifically to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and causes cytolysis. To investigate the molecular basis of transbilayer movement of PE in biological membranes, we have isolated a series of budding yeast mutants that are hypersensitive to the Ro peptide. One of the most sensitive mutants, designated ros3 (Ro-sensitive 3), showed no significant change in the cellular phospholipid composition or in the sensitivity to amphotericin B, a sterol-binding polyene macrolide antibiotic. These results suggest that the mutation of ros3 affects the PE organization on the plasma membrane, rather than PE synthesis or overall organization of the membrane structures. By functional complementation screening, we identified the gene ROS3 affected in the mutant, and we showed that the hypersensitive phenotype was caused by the defective expression of the ROS3 gene product, Ros3p, an evolutionarily conserved protein with two putative transmembrane domains. Disruption of the ROS3 gene resulted in a marked decrease in the internalization of fluorescence-labeled analogs of PE and phosphatidylcholine, whereas the uptake of fluorescence-labeled phosphatidylserine and endocytic markers was not affected. Neither expression levels nor activities of ATP-binding cassette transporters of the ros3Delta cells differed from those of wild type cells, suggesting that Ros3p is not related to the multidrug resistance activities. Immunochemical analyses of the structure and subcellular localization showed that Ros3p was a glycosylated membrane protein localized in both the plasma membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum, and that a part of Ros3p was associated with the detergent-insoluble glycolipid-enriched complexes. These results indicate that Ros3p is a membrane glycoprotein that plays an important role in the phospholipid translocation across the plasma membrane.
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