The ERG6 gene encodes an S-adenosylmethionine dependent sterol C-24 methyltransferase in the ergosterol biosynthetic pathway. In this work we report the results of functional analysis of the Kluyveromyces lactis ERG6 gene. We cloned the KlERG6 gene, which was able to complement the erg6Δ mutation in both K. lactis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The lack of ergosterol in the Klerg6 deletion mutant was accompanied by increased expression of genes encoding the last steps of the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway as well as the KlPDR5 gene encoding an ABC transporter. The Klerg6Δ mutation resulted in reduced cell susceptibility to amphotericin B, nystatin and pimaricin and increased susceptibility to azole antifungals, fluphenazine, terbinafine, brefeldin A and caffeine. The susceptibility phenotype was suppressed by the KlPDR16 gene encoding one of the phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins belonging to the Sec14 family. Decreased activity of KlPdr5p in Klerg6Δ mutant (measured as the ability to efflux rhodamine 6G) together with increased amount of KlPDR5 mRNA suggest that the zymosterol which accumulates in the Klerg6Δ mutant may not fully compensate for ergosterol in the membrane targeting of efflux pumps. These results point to the fact that defects in sterol transmethylation appear to cause a multitude of physiological effects in K. lactis cells. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keywords: ERG6; KlPDR16; Kluyveromyces lactis; ergosterol; susceptibility.
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.