Identification and characterization of genes and mutants for an N-terminal acetyltransferase from yeast

EMBO J. 1989 Jul;8(7):2067-75. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1989.tb03615.x.


A gene from Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been mapped, cloned, sequenced and shown to encode a catalytic subunit of an N-terminal acetyltransferase. Regions of this gene, NAT1, and the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase genes of bacteria have limited but significant homology. A nat1 null mutant is viable but exhibits a variety of phenotypes, including reduced acetyltransferase activity, derepression of a silent mating type locus (HML) and failure to enter G0. All these phenotypes are identical to those of a previously characterized mutant, ard1. NAT1 and ARD1 are distinct genes that encode proteins with no obvious similarity. Concomitant overexpression of both NAT1 and ARD1 in yeast causes a 20-fold increase in acetyltransferase activity in vitro, whereas overexpression of either NAT1 or ARD1 alone does not raise activity over basal levels. A functional iso-1-cytochrome c protein, which is N-terminally acetylated in a NAT1 strain, is not acetylated in an isogenic nat1 mutant. At least 20 other yeast proteins, including histone H2B, are not N-terminally acetylated in either nat1 or ard1 mutants. These results suggest that NAT1 and ARD1 proteins function together to catalyze the N-terminal acetylation of a subset of yeast proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetyltransferases / genetics*
  • Acetyltransferases / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytochrome c Group / genetics
  • Cytochromes c*
  • Genes*
  • Genes, Fungal*
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal*
  • Histones / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • N-Terminal Acetyltransferase A
  • Phenotype
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • CYC1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Histones
  • NAT1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Cytochromes c
  • Acetyltransferases
  • protein N-terminal acetyltransferase
  • N-Terminal Acetyltransferase A
  • ARD1 protein, S cerevisiae

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X15135