Kre1p, the plasma membrane receptor for the yeast K1 viral toxin

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Saccharomyces cerevisiae K1 killer strains are infected by the M1 double-stranded RNA virus encoding a secreted protein toxin that kills sensitive cells by disrupting cytoplasmic membrane function. Toxin binding to spheroplasts is mediated by Kre1p, a cell wall protein initially attached to the plasma membrane by its C-terminal GPI anchor. Kre1p binds toxin directly. Both cells and spheroplasts of Δkre1 mutants are completely toxin resistant; binding to cell walls and spheroplasts is reduced to 10% and <0.5%, respectively. Expression of K28-Kre1p, an inactive C-terminal fragment of Kre1p retaining its toxin affinity and membrane anchor, fully restored toxin binding and sensitivity to spheroplasts, while intact cells remained resistant. Kre1p is apparently the toxin membrane receptor required for subsequent lethal ion channel formation.




Breinig, F., Tipper, D. J., & Schmitt, M. J. (2002). Kre1p, the plasma membrane receptor for the yeast K1 viral toxin. Cell, 108(3), 395–405.

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