In yeast, increased levels of the sterol biosynthetic enzyme, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase isozyme, Hmg1p, induce assembly of nuclear-associated ER membranes called karmellae. To identify additional genes involved in karmellae assembly, we screened temperature-sensitive mutants for karmellae assembly defects. Two independently isolated, temperature-sensitive strains that were also defective for karmellae biogenesis carried mutations in VPS16, a gene involved in vacuolar protein sorting. Karmellae biogenesis was defective in all 13 other vacuole biogenesis mutants tested, although the severity of the karmellae assembly defect varied depending on the particular mutation. The hypersensitivity of 14 vacuole biogenesis mutants to tunicamycin was well correlated with pronounced defects in karmellae assembly, suggesting that the karmellae assembly defect reflected alteration of ER structure or function. Consistent with this hypothesis, seven of eight mutations causing defects in secretion also affected karmellae assembly. However, the vacuole biogenesis mutants were able to proliferate their ER in response to Hmg2p, indicating that the mutants did not have a global defect in the process of ER biogenesis.
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|Published - 2002