The distribution of aspartate aminotransferase activity in yeasts was determined. The number of species of the enzyme in each yeast was determined by zymogram analysis. All the yeasts, except for the genus Saccharomyces, showed two or three activity bands on a zymogram. From among the strains, Rhodotorula marina and Torulopsis candida were selected for examination of the existence of yeast mitochondrial isoenzymes, because these strains showed two clear activity bands on the zymogram and contained a high amount of the enzyme. Only one aspartate aminotransferase was purified from T. candida: the component in the minor band on the zymogram was not an isoenzyme of aspartate aminotransferase. On the other hand, two aspartate aminotransferases were purified to homogeneity from R. marina. The components in the main and minor activity bands on the zymogram were identified as the mitochondrial and cytosolic isoenzymes, respectively, in a cell-fractionation experiment. The enzymatic properties of these isoenzymes were determined. The yeast mitochondrial isoenzyme resembled the animal mitochondrial isoenzymes in molecular weight (subunits and native form), absorption spectrum, and substrate specificity. The amino acid composition was closely similar to that of pig mitochondrial isoenzyme. Rabbit antibody against the yeast mitochondrial isoenzyme, however, did not form a precipitin band with the pig mitochondrial isoenzyme.
The Japanese Biochemical Society