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Ustilago maydis KP6 killer toxin: structure, expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and relationship to other cellular toxins.

ABSTRACT: There are a number of yeasts that secrete killer toxins, i.e., proteins lethal to sensitive cells of the same or related species. Ustilago maydis, a fungal pathogen of maize, also secretes killer toxins. The best characterized of the U. maydis killer toxins is the KP6 toxin, which consists of two small polypeptides that are not covalently linked. In this work, we show that both are encoded by one segment of the genome of a double-stranded RNA virus. They are synthesized as a preprotoxin that is processed in a manner very similar to that of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae k1 killer toxin, also encoded by a double-strand RNA virus. Active U. maydis KP6 toxin was secreted from S. cerevisiae transformants expressing the KP6 preprotoxin. The two secreted polypeptides were not glycosylated in U. maydis, but one was glycosylated in S. cerevisiae. Comparison of known and predicted cleavage sites among the five killer toxins of known sequence established a three-amino-acid specificity for a KEX2-like enzyme and predicted a new, undescribed processing enzyme in the secretory pathway in the fungi. The mature KP6 toxin polypeptides had hydrophobicity profiles similar to those of other known cellular toxins.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC362239 | BioStudies | 1990-01-01T00:00:00Z


REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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