Cloning and characterization of the first two genes of the non-oxidative part of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae pentose-phosphate pathway
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We have cloned and characterized the two remaining unknown genes of the non-oxidative part of the pentose-phosphate pathway of Saccharomyces cerevisiae encoding the enzymes D-ribulose-5-phosphate 3-epimerase (Rpe1p) and D-ribose-5-phosphate ketol-isomerase (Rki1p). Rpe1p has an unexpected high specific activity of 2148 mU × (mg protein)–1 in crude extracts. Deletion mutants of RPE1 show no enzyme activity and are unable to grow on D-xylulose. Unexpectedly, haploid rki1 deletion mutants are not viable. Functional expression of RKI1 was demonstrated following an increase of gene dosage in the haploid rki1 deletion mutant, which restored viability and specific D-ribose-5-phosphate ketol-isomerase activity. Both enzymes show high similarity to the deduced protein sequences of various open reading frames, expressed sequence tags or cDNAs from different organisms.
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