The activity and stability of the palmitoyl-coenzyme A (CoA) desaturase complex of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was influenced by several factors. Cells, grown nonaerobically and then incubated with glucose, either in air or under N2, showed a marked increase in desaturase activity. Cycloheximide, added during such incubations, prevented the increase in activity, suggesting de novo synthesis. The stability of the desaturase from cells grown nonaerobically was affected by subsequent treatment of the cells; enzyme from freshly harvested cells, or from cells that were then shaken under nitrogen, readily lost activity upon washing or during density gradient analysis, whereas aerated cells, in the presence or absence of glucose, yielded stable enzyme preparations. The loss of activity in nonaerobic preparations could be reversed by adding soluble supernatant from these homogenates and could be prevented by growing the cells in the presence of palmitoleic acid and ergosterol, but not with several other lipids tested
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