• Sterol glucosyltransferase;
  • Pexophagy;
  • Pichia pastoris;
  • Yarrowia lipolytica


Mutants of the methanol-utilizing yeast Pichia pastoris and the alkane-utilizing yeast Yarrowia lipolytica defective in the orthologue of UGT51 (encoding sterol glucosyltransferase) were isolated and compared. These mutants do not contain the specific ergosterol derivate, ergosterol glucoside. We observed that the P. pastoris UGT51 gene is required for pexophagy, the process by which peroxisomes containing methanol-metabolizing enzymes are selectively shipped to and degraded in the vacuole upon shifting methanol-grown cells of this yeast to glucose or ethanol. PpUGT51 is also required for other vacuole related processes. In contrast, the Y. lipolytica UGT51 gene is required for utilization of decane, but not for pexophagy. Thus, sterol glucosyltransferases play different functional roles in P. pastoris and Y. lipolytica.