The nucleotide sequence of the URA3 gene encoding orotidine-5'-phosphate decarboxylase (OMP DCase) of the human opportunistic pathogen yeast Candida lusitaniae was determined by degenerate PCR and chromosome walking. Deduced amino acid sequence showed strong homologies (59-85% identity) with OMP DCases of different Saccharomycetales and allowed identification of the known conserved domains. Very close upstream from the URA3 gene, the 3'-end of a gene encoding a Gea2-like protein was identified. A non-revertible C. lusitaniae ura3 mutant was selected on the basis of 5-fluoroorotic acid resistance. The mutation was a single point mutation resulting in the amino acid substitution D95V in a highly conserved domain, and in a concomitant EcoRV restriction site polymorphism. The mutant strain was successfully transformed to prototrophy following electroporation with the URA3 gene cloned in an integrative vector, with frequencies of 100-200 transformants per micro g of DNA. Southern blot analysis revealed that almost all transformants were derived from homologous recombination events at the resident locus. The GeneBank Accession No. for C. lusitaniae URA3 gene is AF450297.
Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.