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Functional expression of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Na+/H+ antiporter gene, sod2, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Hahnenberger, K.M., Jia, Z., Young, P.G.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1996 v.93 no.10 pp. 5031-5036
Saccharomycetales, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, gene transfer, structural genes, pyrophosphatases, ion transport, sodium, hydrogen ions, genetic transformation, gene expression, enzyme activity
In the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, tolerance to high sodium and lithium concentrations requires the functioning of the sod2, Na+/H+ antiporter. We have directly measured the activity of this antiporter and demonstrated reconstitution of the activity in gene deletion strains. In addition, we have shown that it can be transferred to, and its antiporter activity detected in, the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where it also confers sodium and lithium tolerance. Proton flux through the S. pombe Na+/H+ antiporter was directly measured using microphysiometry. The direction of transmembrane proton flux mediated by this antiporter was reversible, with protons being imported or exported in response to the external concentration of sodium. This bidirectional activity was also detected in S. cerevisiae strains expressing sod2 and expression of this gene complemented the sodium and lithium sensitivity resulting from inactivation of the ENA1/PMR2 encoded Na+-exporting AT-Pases. This suggests that antiporters or sodium pumps can be utilized interchangeably by S. cerevisiae to regulate internal sodium concentration. Potent inhibitors of mammalian Na+/H+ exchangers were found to have no effect on sod2 activity. The proton flux mediated by sod2 was also found to be unaffected by perturbation of membrane potential or the plasma membrane proton gradient.