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Membrane topology of the yeast uracil permease

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The uracil permease of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a 633 residue polytopic plasma membrane protein. Hydropathy profile analysis indicates that this protein has long hydrophilic N-and C-termini and 10–12 potential transmembrane segments. Previous results based on analysis of hybrid proteins allowed identification of the first transmembrane segment of uracil permease, and provided a preliminary indication of the cytoplasmic orientation of its N-terminus. In this work, other experimental approaches were used to confirm this orientation, and to determine that of the C-terminus. Epitopes in the N-and the C-termini of the protein were protected against trypsin degradation on intact protoplasts, but readily digested on permeabilized protoplasts. Immunofluorescent analysis showed that antibodies to the last 10 amino acids of uracil permease bind to detergent-treated protoplasts, but not to intact ones. Carboxypeptidase digested the C-terminus of uracil permease inserted into sealed dog-pancreas microsomes. These results establish that both N- and C-termini are cytoplasmic, the permease polypeptide spanning the membrane an even number of times. The orientation of several hydrophilic loops with respect to the membrane was investigated by introducing potential glycosylation sites into these regions. We checked whether the resulting mutant proteins were glycosylated when expressed in the presence of dog-pancreas microsomes. Our data show that two loops of the protein are lumenal. Together with previous results, this work indicates that uracil permease is a 10 membrane-spanning protein, with rather small external loops and three main cytoplasmic regions (the N-and C-termini and a central 60-residue loop).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: CNRS–Institut Jacques Monod, Universit√© PARIS VII, 2, place Jussieu 75251 Paris, Cedex 05, France.

Publication date: September 1, 1996

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