Dual role for the yeast THI4 gene in thiamine biosynthesis and DNA damage tolerance

Carlos R. Machado, Uta M. Praekelt, Regina Costa De Oliveira, Ana Carolina C. Barbosa, Kerry L. Byrne, Peter A. Meacock, Carlos F.M. Menck

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


The THI4 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes an enzyme of the thiamine biosynthetic pathway. The plant homolog thi1, from Arabidopsis thaliana, is also involved in thiamine biosynthesis; but was originally cloned due to its capacity to complement DNA repair deficient phenotypes in Escherichia coli. Here, the behavior of a thi4 disrupted strain was examined for increased sensitivity to treatment with the DNA damaging agents ultraviolet radiation (UV, 254 nm) and methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). Although the thi4 null mutant showed a similar level of survival as the wild-type strain, a higher frequency of respiratory mutants was induced by the two treatments. A similar phenotype was seen with wild-type strains expressing an antisense THI4 construct. Further analysis of respiratory mutants revealed that these were due to mutations of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) rather than nuclear DNA, consisting of ρ- petite mutants. Moreover, the frequency of mutations was unaffected by the presence or absence of thiamine in the growth medium, and the defect leading to induction of petites in the thi4 mutant was corrected by expression of the Arabidopsis thi1 gene. Thus, Thi4 and its plant homolog appear to be dual functional proteins with roles in thiamine biosynthesis and mitochondrial DNA damage tolerance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-121
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA damage tolerance
  • Plant DNA repair
  • THI4
  • Thiamine biosynthesis
  • mtDNA stability


Dive into the research topics of 'Dual role for the yeast THI4 gene in thiamine biosynthesis and DNA damage tolerance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this