D-Erythroascorbic acid is an important antioxidant molecule in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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D-Arabinono-1,4-lactone oxidase catalysing the final step of D-erythroascorbic acid biosynthesis was purified from the mitochondrial fraction of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Based on the amino acid sequence analysis of the enzyme, an unknown open reading frame (ORF), YML086C, was identified as the ALO1 gene encoding the enzyme. The ORF of ALO1 encoded a polypeptide consisting of 526 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 59 493 Da. The deduced amino acid sequence of the enzyme shared 32% and 21% identity with that of L-gulono-1,4-lactone oxidase from rat and L-galactono-1,4-lactone dehydrogenase from cauliflower, respectively, and contained a putative transmembrane segment and a covalent FAD binding site. Blot hybridization analyses showed that a single copy of the gene was present in the yeast genome and that mRNA of the ALO1 gene was 1.8 kb in size. In the alo1 mutants, D-erythroascorbic acid and the activity of D-arabinono-1,4-lactone oxidase could not be detected. The intracellular concentration of D-erythroascorbic acid and the enzyme activity increased up to 6.9-fold and 7.3-fold, respectively, in the transformant cells carrying ALO1 in multicopy plasmid. The alo1 mutants showed increased sensitivity towards oxidative stress, but overexpression of ALO1 made the cells more resistant to oxidative stress.

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