Compartment acidification is required for efficient sorting of proteins to the vacuole in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

J Biol Chem. 1992 Feb 15;267(5):3416-22.


The vacuole of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains a proton-translocating ATPase that acidifies the vacuolar lumen and generates a pH gradient across the vacuole membrane. We have investigated the role of compartment acidification of the vacuolar system in the sorting of vacuolar proteins. Strains with chromosomal disruptions of the genes encoding the A, B, or c subunit of the vacuolar ATPase are unable to acidify their vacuoles. These vat mutant strains accumulate and secrete precursor forms of the soluble vacuolar hydrolases carboxypeptidase Y and proteinase A. The kinetics of secretion suggests that missorting occurs in the Golgi complex or in post-Golgi vesicles. The presence of mature forms of the vacuolar proteins within the cell indicates that vat mutations do not cause defects in zymogen processing. Precursor forms of the membrane-associated vacuolar hydrolase alkaline phosphatase are also accumulated in vat mutant cells but to a lesser extent, suggesting that sorting of vacuolar membrane proteins is less sensitive to changes in the lumenal pH. A similar type of missorting defect can be induced in wild-type cells at pH 7.5. These results indicate that acidification of the vacuolar system is important for efficient sorting of proteins to the vacuole.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / genetics*
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Carboxypeptidases / genetics*
  • Carboxypeptidases / metabolism
  • Cathepsin A
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Genes, Fungal*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Plasmids
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Spheroplasts / metabolism
  • Vacuoles / metabolism*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Carboxypeptidases
  • Cathepsin A
  • PRC1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • serine carboxypeptidase
  • aspartic proteinase A
  • PEP4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases