Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol:97 issue:17 pages:9531-9536
We have previously identified a Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant that is markedly more resistant than wild-type to Dahlia merckii antimicrobial peptide 1 (DmAMP1), an antifungal plant defensin isolated from seeds of dahlia (Dahlia merckii). A complementation approach was followed that consisted of the introduction of a genomic library of DmAMP1-sensitive wild-type yeast into the DmAMP1-resistant yeast mutant and screening for restored sensitivity to DmAMP1. The gene determining sensitivity of S. cerevisiae to DmAMP1 was identified as IPT1, a gene encoding an enzyme involved in the last step of the synthesis of the sphingolipid mannose-(inositol-phosphate)(2)-ceramide. Strains with a nonfunctional IPT1 allele lacked mannose-(inositol-phosphate)(2)-ceramide in their plasma membranes, bound significantly less DmAMP1 compared with wild-type strains, and were highly resistant to DmAMP1-mediated membrane permeabilization. All of these phenotypic deviations could be restored by reintroduction of a functional IPT1 gene. Our data support a model in which membrane patches containing sphingolipids act as binding sites for DmAMP1 or, alternatively, are required to anchor membrane or cell wall-associated proteins, which themselves interact with DmAMP1.