Studies on the in vivo function of a phosphatidylinositol transfer protein from Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Jacqueline Fiona Aitken, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins (PI-TP's) catalyze the transfer of phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylcholine between membranes in vitro. However the in vivo function of these proteins is unknown. In this thesis we have used a combined biochemical and genetic approach to determine the importance of PI-TP in vivo. An oligonucleotide based on the amino terminal sequence of the PI-TP from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was used to screen a yeast genomic library for the gene encoding PI-TP (PIT1 gene). Yeast strains transformed with the positive clones showed overproduction of transfer activities and transfer protein in the 100,000 x g supernatants. The 5$\sp\prime$ terminus of the PIT1 gene correlates with the predicted codons for residues 3-30 of the determined protein sequence. Tetrad analysis of a heterozygous diploid (PIT1/pit1::LEU2) revealed that the PIT1 gene is essential for cell growth. Non-viable spores could be rescued by transformation of the above diploid prior to sporulation, with a plasmid borne copy of the wild type gene. Sequencing of the entire PIT1 gene has revealed that the PIT1 gene is identical to the SEC14 gene. The sec14 ts mutant which exhibits conditional defects at the Golgi stage of protein secretion, is also temperature sensitive for PI-TP activity in vitro. These findings represent the first instance in which a physiological function has been assigned to any phospholipid transfer protein.

Subject Area

Biochemistry|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Aitken, Jacqueline Fiona, "Studies on the in vivo function of a phosphatidylinositol transfer protein from Saccharomyces cerevisiae" (1990). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9114744.