Biochemical Studies of Zmpste24-deficient Mice

Gordon K. Leung, Walter K. Schmidt, Martin O. Bergo, Bryant Gavino, Darren H. Wong, Amy Tam, Matthew N. Ashby, Susan Michaelis, Stephen G. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Genetic studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae identified two genes, STE24 and RCE1, involved in cleaving the three carboxyl-terminal amino acids from isoprenylated proteins that terminate with a CAAX sequence motif. Ste24p cleaves the carboxyl-terminal "-AAX" from the yeast mating pheromone a-factor, whereas Rce1p cleaves the -AAX from both a-factor and Ras2p. Ste24p also cleaves the amino terminus of a-factor. The mouse genome contains orthologues for both yeast RCE1 and STE24. We previously demonstrated, with a gene-knock-out experiment, that mouse Rce1 is essential for development and that Rce1 is entirely responsible for the carboxyl-terminal proteolytic processing of the mouse Ras proteins. In this study, we cloned mouse Zmpste24, the orthologue for yeast STE24 and showed that it could promote a-factor production when expressed in yeast. Then, to assess the importance of Zmpste24 in development, we generated Zmpste24-deficient mice. Unlike the Rce1 knockout mice, Zmpste24-deficient mice survived development and were fertile. Since no natural substrates for mammalian Zmpste24 have been identified, yeast a-factor was used as a surrogate substrate to investigate the biochemical activities in membranes from the cells and tissues of Zmpste24-deficient mice. We demonstrate that Zmpste24-deficient mouse membranes, like Ste24p-deficient yeast membranes, have diminished CAAX proteolytic activity and lack the ability to cleave the amino terminus of the a-factor precursor. Thus, both enzymatic activities of yeast Ste24p are conserved in mouse Zmpste24, but these enzymatic activities are not essential for mouse development or for fertility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29051-29058
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 3 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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