Database search for yeast vacuolar nucleic acid hydrolases
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The yeast vacuole has an important role in the degradation of cellular material. The vacuole has a low pH that is regulated by H+-ATPases at its limiting membrane that is necessary for the activation of hydrolases involved in the catabolic process. This organelle contains a variety of hydrolases, such as proteases, lipidases, glycosydases and phosphatases, which are delivered to the vacuole via biosynthetic routes. Degradative pathways deliver the cargoes that are targeted for destruction from different locations, including structures containing nucleic acids. It remains completely unclear, however, how the DNA and RNA is degraded in the vacuole. The most obvious possibility is that there are one or more nucleases in this organelle. Here, we present a computational database search for nucleic acid hydrolases in the yeast genome. This search identified a few potential genes that could potentially act as vacuolar nucleases and they are discussed in detail.