Biochemistry, Department of


Date of this Version



THE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY VOL. 291, NO. 18, pp. 9796–9806, April 29, 2016


© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Acquisition and distribution of metal ions support a number of biological processes. Here we show that respiratory growth of and iron acquisition by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae relies on potassium (K+) compartmentalization to the trans-Golgi network via Kha1p, a K+/H+ exchanger. K+ in the trans-Golgi network facilitates binding of copper to the Fet3p multi-copper ferroxidase. The effect of K+ is not dependent on stable binding with Fet3p or alteration of the characteristics of the secretory pathway. The data suggest that K+ acts as a chemical factor in Fet3p maturation, a role similar to that of cations in folding of nucleic acids. Up-regulation of KHA1 gene in response to iron limitation via iron-specific transcription factors indicates that K+ compartmentalization is linked to cellular iron homeostasis. Our study reveals a novel functional role of K+ in the binding of copper to apoFet3p and identifies a K+/H+ exchanger at the secretory pathway as a new molecular factor associated with iron uptake in yeast.