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The DGA1 gene determines a second triglyceride synthetic pathway in yeast.

Oelkers P., Cromley D., Padamsee M., Billheimer J.T., Sturley S.L.

Diacylglycerol esterification provides an excellent target for the pharmacological reduction of triglyceride accumulation in several human disease states. We have used Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system to study this critical component of triglyceride synthesis. Recent studies of an oleaginous fungus, Mortierella ramanniana, identified a new family of enzymes with in vitro acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase activity. We show here that DGA1, the sole member of this gene family in yeast, has a physiological role in triglyceride synthesis. Metabolic labeling of DGA1 deletion strains with triglyceride precursors detected significant reductions in triglyceride synthesis. Triglyceride synthesis was virtually abolished in four different growth conditions when DGA1 was deleted in concert with LRO1, an enzyme that esterifies diacylglycerol from a phospholipid acyl donor. The relative contributions of the two enzymes depended on growth conditions. The residual synthesis was lost when ARE2, encoding an acyl-CoA:sterol acyltransferase, was deleted. In vitro microsomal assays verified that DGA1 and ARE2 mediate acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase reactions. Three enzymes can thus account for diacylglycerol esterification in yeast. Yeast strains deficient in both diacylglycerol and sterol esterification showed only a slight growth defect indicating that neutral lipid synthesis is dispensable under common laboratory conditions.

J. Biol. Chem. 277:8877-8881(2002) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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