The enzyme CDP-diacylglycerol:sn-glycerol-3-phosphate 3- phosphatidyltransferase (phosphatidylglycerol-phosphate synthase; PGPS4; EC 188.8.131.52) is located in the mitochondrial inner membrane and catalyzes the committed step in the cardiolipin branch of phospholipid synthesis. Previous studies revealed that PGPS is the most highly regulated enzyme in cardiolipin biosynthesis in both Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe. In this work, we report the purification to homogeneity of PGPS from S. pombe. The enzyme was solubilized from the mitochondrial membrane of S. pombe with Triton X-100. The solubilized enzyme, together with the associated detergent and intrinsic lipids, had a molecular mass of 120 kDa, as determined by gel filtration. The enzyme was further purified using salt- induced phase separation, gel filtration, and ionic exchange, hydroxylapatite, and affinity chromatographies. The procedure yielded a homogeneous protein preparation, evidenced by both SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and agarose isoelectric focusing under nondenaturing conditions. The purified enzyme had an apparent molecular mass of 60 kDa as determined by SDS-PAGE. The enzyme showed a strong dependence on lipid cofactors for activity in vitro. While both phosphatidic acid and CDP- diacylglycerol appeared to be activators, the most significant activation was observed with cardiolipin. The possible physiological significance of the lipid cofactor effect is discussed. This is the first purification of a eucaryotic PGPS enzyme to date, and the first purification of a phospholipid biosynthetic enzyme from S. pombe.
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