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Two sporulation-specific chitin deacetylase-encoding genes are required for the ascospore wall rigidity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Christodoulidou A., Bouriotis V., Thireos G.

The formation of the ascospore wall of Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires the coordinate activity of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of its components such as chitosan, the deacetylated form of chitin. We have cloned the CDA1 and CDA2 genes which together account for the total chitin deacetylase activity of the organism. We have shown that expression of these genes is restricted to a distinct time period during sporulation. The two genes are functionally redundant, each contributing equally to the total chitin deacetylase activity. Diploids disrupted for both genes sporulate as efficiently as wild type cells, and the resulting mutant spores are viable under standard laboratory conditions. However, they fail to emit the natural fluorescence of yeast spores imparted by the dityrosine residues of the outermost ascospore wall layer. Moreover, mutant spores are relatively sensitive to hydrolytic enzymes, ether, and heat shock, a fact that underscores the importance of the CDA genes for the proper formation of the ascospore wall.

J. Biol. Chem. 271:31420-31425(1996) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]