Molecular cloning and characterization of the gene encoding cholinephosphate cytidylyltransferase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae


Correspondence to S. Yamashita, Department of Biochemistry, Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan 371


  • 1The structural gene for cholinephosphate cytidylyltransferase (CCT) was isolated from a Saccharomyces cerevisiae genomic library by means of complementation in a mutant of the yeast defective in the enzyme. The cloned DNA restored both the growth and cholinephosphate cytidylyltransferase activity of the mutant. Whereas the enzyme of the mutant was thermolabile, the enzyme produced by the transformant was indistinguishable in heat stability from that produced by the wild type.
  • 2Strains carrying a multicopy recombinant plasmid overproduced cholinephosphate cytidylyltransferase. The overproduction of the enzyme brought about an increase in the synthesis of CDPcholine in the transformant, but there was no increase in the overall rate of phosphatidylcholine synthesis.
  • 3The cloned DNA was subcloned into a 2.5-kb DNA fragment. The nucleotide sequence which contained CCT was determined by the dideoxy chain-termination method. The sequence contained an open reading frame capable of encoding a protein of 424 amino acid residues with a calculated relative molecular mass of 49379.31. Northern blot analysis showed that this DNA segment is transcribed in yeast cells and the length of the transcript is consistent with the putative translation product.
  • 4Hydropathy analysis according to Kyte and Doolittle indicated that the primary translation product contains extended hydrophilic stretches in its N- and C-terminal regions.
  • 5The primary translation product contains a region showing local sequence homology with nucleotidyl-transfer enzymes such as DNA polymerase (Escherichia coli), CDPdiacylglycerol pyrophosphatase (E. coli), 3-deoxy-manno-octulosonate cytidylyltransferase (E. coli) and DNA ligase (T4 phage), suggesting that these five enzymes are evolutionarily related. Statistically significant sequence homology was also noted between the human c-fos gene product and the enzyme.