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1.  Impact of a Constitutively Active Luteinizing Hormone Receptor on Testicular Gene Expression and Postnatal Leydig Cell Development 
The actions of luteinizing hormone (LH) mediated through its receptor (LHR) are critical for testicular steroidogenesis and Leydig cell differentiation. We have previously characterized transgenic mice expressing a genetically engineered, constitutively active yoked hormone-receptor complex (YHR), in which a fusion protein of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was covalently linked to LHR. Elevated testosterone levels were detected in male mice expressing YHR (YHR+) at 3 and 5 weeks of age, accompanied by decreases in testicular weight and serum levels of LH and FSH. Here we report a temporal study to identify testicular genes whose expression is altered in YHR+ mice during postnatal development. The mRNA expression levels for the steroidogenic enzymes, P450 17α-hydroxylase, 17β-hyroxysteroid dehydrogenase3 and 5α-reductase1 were down-regulated in 3 and 5 week old YHR+ testis. This result coupled with an immunohistochemical analysis of Leydig cell specific proteins and quantification of Leydig cell numbers identified a decrease in adult Leydig cells in YHR+ mice. Surprisingly, no change was detected for cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage or steroidogenic acute regulatory protein RNA levels between WT and YHR+ mice. In contrast, mRNA levels for insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 were up-regulated in 3 and 5 week old YHR+ mice. The mRNA levels for several germ cell-specific proteins were up-regulated at 5 weeks of age in both WT and YHR+ mice. We conclude that premature high levels of testosterone alter the expression of a select number of testicular genes and impair the differentiation of adult Leydig cells in mice.
PMCID: PMC2653066  PMID: 19013498
Luteinizing hormone receptor; gene expression; Leydig cell development
2.  YHR150w and YDR479c encode peroxisomal integral membrane proteins involved in the regulation of peroxisome number, size, and distribution in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2003;161(2):321-332.
The peroxin Pex24p of the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica exhibits high sequence similarity to two hypothetical proteins, Yhr150p and Ydr479p, encoded by the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. Like YlPex24p, both Yhr150p and Ydr479p have been shown to be integral to the peroxisomal membrane, but unlike YlPex24p, their levels of synthesis are not increased upon a shift of cells from glucose- to oleic acid–containing medium. Peroxisomes of cells deleted for either or both of the YHR150w and YDR479c genes are increased in number, exhibit extensive clustering, are smaller in area than peroxisomes of wild-type cells, and often exhibit membrane thickening between adjacent peroxisomes in a cluster. Peroxisomes isolated from cells deleted for both genes have a decreased buoyant density compared with peroxisomes isolated from wild-type cells and still exhibit clustering and peroxisomal membrane thickening. Overexpression of the genes PEX25 or VPS1, but not the gene PEX11, restored the wild-type phenotype to cells deleted for one or both of the YHR150w and YDR479c genes. Together, our data suggest a role for Yhr150p and Ydr479p, together with Pex25p and Vps1p, in regulating peroxisome number, size, and distribution in S. cerevisiae. Because of their role in peroxisome dynamics, YHR150w and YDR479c have been designated as PEX28 and PEX29, respectively, and their encoded peroxins as Pex28p and Pex29p.
PMCID: PMC2172915  PMID: 12707309
biogenesis; peroxin; protein similarity; open reading frame; membrane fission
3.  Repressors and Upstream Repressing Sequences of the Stress-Regulated ENA1 Gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: bZIP Protein Sko1p Confers HOG-Dependent Osmotic Regulation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1999;19(1):537-546.
The yeast ENA1/PMR2A gene encodes a cation extrusion ATPase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is essential for survival under salt stress conditions. One important mechanism of ENA1 transcriptional regulation is based on repression under normal growth conditions, which is relieved by either osmotic induction or glucose starvation. Analysis of the ENA1 promoter revealed a Mig1p-binding motif (−533 to −544) which was characterized as an upstream repressing sequence (URSMIG-ENA1) regulated by carbon source. Its function was abolished in a mig1 mig2 double-deletion strain as well as in either ssn6 or tup1 single mutants. A second URS at −502 to −513 is responsible for transcriptional repression regulated by osmotic stress and is similar to mammalian cyclic AMP response elements (CREs) that are recognized by CREB proteins. This URSCRE-ENA1 element requires for its repression function the yeast CREB homolog Sko1p (Acr1p) as well as the integrity of the Ssn6p-Tup1p corepressor complex. When targeted to the GAL1 promoter by fusing with the Gal4p DNA-binding domain, Sko1p acts as an Ssn6/Tup1p-dependent repressor regulated by osmotic stress. A glutathione S-transferase–Sko1 fusion protein binds specifically to the URSCRE-ENA1 element. Furthermore, a hog1 mitogen-activated protein kinase deletion strain could not counteract repression on URSCRE-ENA1 during osmotic shock. The loss of SKO1 completely restored ENA1 expression in a hog1 mutant and partially suppressed the osmotic stress sensitivity, qualifying Sko1p as a downstream effector of the HOG pathway. Our results indicate that different signalling pathways (HOG osmotic pathway and glucose repression pathway) use distinct promoter elements of ENA1 (URSCRE-ENA1 and URSMIG-ENA1) via specific transcriptional repressors (Sko1p and Mig1/2p) and via the general Ssn6p-Tup1p complex. The physiological importance of the relief from repression during salt stress was also demonstrated by the increased tolerance of sko1 or ssn6 mutants to Na+ or Li+ stress.
PMCID: PMC83911  PMID: 9858577
4.  Regulation of the Candida albicans Cell Wall Damage Response by Transcription Factor Sko1 and PAS Kinase Psk1 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(7):2741-2751.
The environmental niche of each fungus places distinct functional demands on the cell wall. Hence cell wall regulatory pathways may be highly divergent. We have pursued this hypothesis through analysis of Candida albicans transcription factor mutants that are hypersensitive to caspofungin, an inhibitor of beta-1,3-glucan synthase. We report here that mutations in SKO1 cause this phenotype. C. albicans Sko1 undergoes Hog1-dependent phosphorylation after osmotic stress, like its Saccharomyces cerevisiae orthologues, thus arguing that this Hog1-Sko1 relationship is conserved. However, Sko1 has a distinct role in the response to cell wall inhibition because 1) sko1 mutants are much more sensitive to caspofungin than hog1 mutants; 2) Sko1 does not undergo detectable phosphorylation in response to caspofungin; 3) SKO1 transcript levels are induced by caspofungin in both wild-type and hog1 mutant strains; and 4) sko1 mutants are defective in expression of caspofungin-inducible genes that are not induced by osmotic stress. Upstream Sko1 regulators were identified from a panel of caspofungin-hypersensitive protein kinase–defective mutants. Our results show that protein kinase Psk1 is required for expression of SKO1 and of Sko1-dependent genes in response to caspofungin. Thus Psk1 and Sko1 lie in a newly described signal transduction pathway.
PMCID: PMC2441657  PMID: 18434592
5.  Role of the HaHOG1 MAP Kinase in Response of the Conifer Root and But Rot Pathogen (Heterobasidion annosum) to Osmotic and Oxidative Stress 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31186.
The basidiomycete Heterobasidion annosum (Fr.) Bref. s.l. is a filamentous white rot fungus, considered to be the most economically important pathogen of conifer trees. Despite the severity of the tree infection, very little is known about the molecular and biochemical aspects related to adaptation to abiotic stresses. In this study, the osmotic and oxidative tolerance as well as the role of the HaHOG1 Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) gene were investigated. The transcript levels of the yeast orthologues GPD1, HSP78, STL1, GRE2 and the ATPase pumps ENA1, PMR1, PMC1 known to have an important role in osmotolerance were also quantified under salt osmotic conditions. The HaHOG1 gene was used for a heterologous expression and functional study in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Δhog1 strain. Moreover, the phosphorylation level of HaHog1p was studied under salt osmotic and oxidative stress. The result showed that H. annosum displayed a decreased growth when exposed to an increased concentration of osmotic and oxidative stressors. GPD1, HSP78, STL1 and GRE2 showed an induction already at 10 min after exposure to salt stress. Among the ATPase pumps studied, PMC1 was highly induced when the fungus was exposed to 0.2 M CaCl2 for 60 min. The heterologous expression of the HaHOG1 sequence in yeast confirmed that the gene is able to restore the osmotolerance and oxidative tolerance in the S. cerevisiae hog1Δ mutant strain. The HaHog1p was strongly phosphorylated in the presence of NaCl, KCl, H2O2 but not in the presence of CaCl2 and MgCl2. The GFP-HaHog1p fusion protein accumulated in the nuclei of the S. cerevisiae hog1Δ cells when exposed to high osmotic conditions but not under oxidative stress. These results provide the first insights about the response of H. annosum to osmotic and oxidative stress and elucidate the role of the HaHOG1 gene in such conditions.
PMCID: PMC3271117  PMID: 22319614
6.  Osmotic Stress-Induced Gene Expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Requires Msn1p and the Novel Nuclear Factor Hot1p 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1999;19(8):5474-5485.
After a sudden shift to high osmolarity, Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells respond by transiently inducing the expression of stress-protective genes. Msn2p and Msn4p have been described as two transcription factors that determine the extent of this response. In msn2 msn4 mutants, however, many promoters still show a distinct rise in transcriptional activity upon osmotic stress. Here we describe two structurally related nuclear factors, Msn1p and a newly identified protein, Hot1p (for high-osmolarity-induced transcription), which are also involved in osmotic stress-induced transcription. hot1 single mutants are specifically compromised in the transient induction of GPD1 and GPP2, which encode enzymes involved in glycerol biosynthesis, and exhibit delayed glycerol accumulation after stress exposure. Similar to a gpd1 mutation, a hot1 defect can rescue cells from inappropriately high HOG pathway activity. In contrast, Hot1p has little influence on the osmotic stress induction of CTT1, where Msn1p appears to play a more prominent role. Cells lacking Msn1p, Msn2p, Msn4p, and Hot1p are almost devoid of the short-term transcriptional response of the genes GPD1, GPP2, CTT1, and HSP12 to osmotic stress. Such cells also show a distinct reduction in the nuclear residence of the mitogen-activated protein kinase Hog1p upon osmotic stress. Thus, Hot1p and Msn1p may define an additional tier of transcriptional regulators that control responses to high-osmolarity stress.
PMCID: PMC84389  PMID: 10409737
7.  Three Yeast Proteins Related to the Human Candidate Tumor Suppressor p33ING1 Are Associated with Histone Acetyltransferase Activities 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(11):3807-3816.
Three Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteins (Yng1/YOR064c, Yng2/YHR090c, and Pho23) and two Schizosaccharomyces pombe proteins (Png1/CAA15917 and Png2/CAA21250) share significant sequence identity with the human candidate tumor suppressor p33ING1 in their C-terminal regions. The homologous regions contain PHD finger domains which have been implicated in chromatin-mediated transcriptional regulation. We show that GFP-Yng2, like human Ing1, is localized in the nucleus. Deletion of YNG2 results in several phenotypes, including an abnormal multibudded morphology, an inability to utilize nonfermentable carbon sources, heat shock sensitivity, slow growth, temperature sensitivity, and sensitivity to caffeine. These phenotypes are suppressed by expression of either human Ing1 or S. pombe Png1, suggesting that the yeast and human proteins are functionally conserved. Yng1- and Pho23-deficient cells also share some of these phenotypes. We demonstrated by yeast two-hybrid and coimmunoprecipitation tests that Yng2 interacts with Tra1, a component of histone acetyltransferase (HAT) complexes. We further demonstrated by coimmunoprecipitation that HA-Yng1, HA-Yng2, HA-Pho23, and HA-Ing1 are associated with HAT activities in yeast. Genetic and biochemical evidence indicate that the Yng2-associated HAT is Esa1, suggesting that Yng2 is a component of the NuA4 HAT complex. These studies suggest that the yeast Ing1-related proteins are involved in chromatin remodeling. They further suggest that these functions may be conserved in mammals and provide a possible mechanism for the human Ing1 candidate tumor suppressor.
PMCID: PMC85704  PMID: 10805724
8.  The IRE1α/XBP1s Pathway Is Essential for the Glucose Response and Protection of β Cells 
PLoS Biology  2015;13(10):e1002277.
Although glucose uniquely stimulates proinsulin biosynthesis in β cells, surprisingly little is known of the underlying mechanism(s). Here, we demonstrate that glucose activates the unfolded protein response transducer inositol-requiring enzyme 1 alpha (IRE1α) to initiate X-box-binding protein 1 (Xbp1) mRNA splicing in adult primary β cells. Using mRNA sequencing (mRNA-Seq), we show that unconventional Xbp1 mRNA splicing is required to increase and decrease the expression of several hundred mRNAs encoding functions that expand the protein secretory capacity for increased insulin production and protect from oxidative damage, respectively. At 2 wk after tamoxifen-mediated Ire1α deletion, mice develop hyperglycemia and hypoinsulinemia, due to defective β cell function that was exacerbated upon feeding and glucose stimulation. Although previous reports suggest IRE1α degrades insulin mRNAs, Ire1α deletion did not alter insulin mRNA expression either in the presence or absence of glucose stimulation. Instead, β cell failure upon Ire1α deletion was primarily due to reduced proinsulin mRNA translation primarily because of defective glucose-stimulated induction of a dozen genes required for the signal recognition particle (SRP), SRP receptors, the translocon, the signal peptidase complex, and over 100 other genes with many other intracellular functions. In contrast, Ire1α deletion in β cells increased the expression of over 300 mRNAs encoding functions that cause inflammation and oxidative stress, yet only a few of these accumulated during high glucose. Antioxidant treatment significantly reduced glucose intolerance and markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in mice with β cell-specific Ire1α deletion. The results demonstrate that glucose activates IRE1α-mediated Xbp1 splicing to expand the secretory capacity of the β cell for increased proinsulin synthesis and to limit oxidative stress that leads to β cell failure.
Each time one eats, the endoplasmic reticulum of the pancreatic beta cells is forced to produce more insulin, thereby activating the IRE1α branch of the unfolded protein response pathway.
Author Summary
One of the most remarkable features of the pancreatic beta cells—those that produce and secrete insulin to regulate glucose homeostasis—is their capacity to increase the synthesis of proinsulin (the insulin precursor) up to 10-fold after glucose stimulation. This dramatic increase in the synthesis of proinsulin is a challenge to the proximal secretory pathway and triggers an adaptive stress response, the unfolded protein response, which is coordinated by the IRE1α enzyme and the X-box-binding protein 1 (XBP1) transcription factor. Deletion of IRE1α specifically from the pancreatic beta cells in adult mice resulted in overt diabetic phenotypes such as high blood glucose. mRNA analysis revealed several hundred genes whose expression was coordinately regulated by glucose and IRE1α and whose functions are important for the beta cell secretory pathway. Furthermore, IRE1α also regulates the expression of mRNAs involved in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and we could show that, in fact, oxidative stress is a primary mechanism that causes beta cell failure upon collapse of the secretory pathway. Finally, in experiments with murine and human islets (the regions of the pancreas where secretory beta cells are located), we observed that while IRE1α does not regulate the expression of the gene encoding insulin, it determines final insulin levels by controlling translation of proinsulin mRNA.
PMCID: PMC4607427  PMID: 26469762
9.  Distinct glucose-dependent stress responses revealed by translational profiling in pancreatic β-cells 
The Journal of endocrinology  2007;192(1):179-187.
In pancreatic β-cells, following an acute (within 1 h) increase in glucose concentration, there are rapid changes in the expression of a large subset of proteins. The change in the expression of many of these proteins is mediated by a post-transcriptional mechanism through either increases or decreases in the rate of translation from pre-existing transcripts. These proteins, whose synthesis is rapidly up- or down-regulated in response to glucose, are likely important in mounting the correct response to changes in plasma glucose concentrations. However, the vast majority of these proteins remain unidentified. Therefore, in order to identify these proteins, we analysed changes in the levels of mRNAs associated with polysomes (i.e. actively translating mRNAs) isolated from mouse insulinoma 6 cells incubated at either 0·5 or 20 mM glucose for 1 h. Changes in the levels of polysomal mRNAs in response to glucose were analysed using affymetrix oligonucleotide microarrays (translational profiling). This work revealed that, in response to a change in glucose concentration, the abundance of 313 transcripts associated with polysomes changed by more than 1·5-fold, of which the abundance of 37 changed by more than twofold. The majority of these transcripts encoded proteins associated with metabolism or gene expression. More detailed analysis showed that a number of mRNAs encoding proteins associated with the induction of oxidative stress, including thioredoxin-2 and thioredoxin-interacting protein were rapidly redistributed onto heavier polysomes at high glucose concentration, indicating an increase in their expression. At low glucose concentration, when the general rate of protein synthesis is low, a number of mRNAs encoding integrated stress response proteins, including ATF4 and CHOP10, associate with heavier polysomes, indicating that their expression is up-regulated. In conclusion, translational profiling has revealed that, at either low or at high glucose concentration, β-cells rapidly increase the synthesis of a specific subset of proteins that are likely important in maintaining β-cell integrity and survival during conditions of nutritional stress.
PMCID: PMC1831533  PMID: 17210755
10.  Distinct glucose-dependent stress responses revealed by translational profiling in pancreatic β-cells 
The Journal of Endocrinology  2007;192(1):179-187.
In pancreatic β-cells, following an acute (within 1 h) increase in glucose concentration, there are rapid changes in the expression of a large subset of proteins. The change in the expression of many of these proteins is mediated by a post-transcriptional mechanism through either increases or decreases in the rate of translation from pre-existing transcripts. These proteins, whose synthesis is rapidly up- or down-regulated in response to glucose, are likely important in mounting the correct response to changes in plasma glucose concentrations. However, the vast majority of these proteins remain unidentified. Therefore, in order to identify these proteins, we analysed changes in the levels of mRNAs associated with polysomes (i.e. actively translating mRNAs) isolated from mouse insulinoma 6 cells incubated at either 0·5 or 20 mM glucose for 1 h. Changes in the levels of polysomal mRNAs in response to glucose were analysed using affymetrix oligonucleotide microarrays (translational profiling). This work revealed that, in response to a change in glucose concentration, the abundance of 313 transcripts associated with polysomes changed by more than 1·5-fold, of which the abundance of 37 changed by more than twofold. The majority of these transcripts encoded proteins associated with metabolism or gene expression. More detailed analysis showed that a number of mRNAs encoding proteins associated with the induction of oxidative stress, including thioredoxin-2 and thioredoxin-interacting protein were rapidly redistributed onto heavier polysomes at high glucose concentration, indicating an increase in their expression. At low glucose concentration, when the general rate of protein synthesis is low, a number of mRNAs encoding integrated stress response proteins, including ATF4 and CHOP10, associate with heavier polysomes, indicating that their expression is up-regulated. In conclusion, translational profiling has revealed that, at either low or at high glucose concentration, β-cells rapidly increase the synthesis of a specific subset of proteins that are likely important in maintaining β-cell integrity and survival during conditions of nutritional stress.
PMCID: PMC1831533  PMID: 17210755
11.  Genomewide Identification of Sko1 Target Promoters Reveals a Regulatory Network That Operates in Response to Osmotic Stress in Saccharomyces cerevisiae†  
Eukaryotic Cell  2005;4(8):1343-1352.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the ATF/CREB transcription factor Sko1 (Acr1) regulates the expression of genes induced by osmotic stress under the control of the high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. By combining chromatin immunoprecipitation and microarrays containing essentially all intergenic regions, we estimate that yeast cells contain approximately 40 Sko1 target promoters in vivo; 20 Sko1 target promoters were validated by direct analysis of individual loci. The ATF/CREB consensus sequence is not statistically overrepresented in confirmed Sko1 target promoters, although some sites are evolutionarily conserved among related yeast species, suggesting that they are functionally important in vivo. These observations suggest that Sko1 association in vivo is affected by factors beyond the protein-DNA interaction defined in vitro. Sko1 binds a number of promoters for genes directly involved in defense functions that relieve osmotic stress. In addition, Sko1 binds to the promoters of genes encoding transcription factors, including Msn2, Mot3, Rox1, Mga1, and Gat2. Stress-induced expression of MSN2, MOT3, and MGA1 is diminished in sko1 mutant cells, while transcriptional regulation of ROX1 seems to be unaffected. Lastly, Sko1 targets PTP3, which encodes a phosphatase that negatively regulates Hog1 kinase activity, and Sko1 is required for osmotic induction of PTP3 expression. Taken together our results suggest that Sko1 operates a transcriptional network upon osmotic stress, which involves other specific transcription factors and a phosphatase that regulates the key component of the signal transduction pathway.
PMCID: PMC1214534  PMID: 16087739
12.  The Hog1 SAPK controls the Rtg1/Rtg3 transcriptional complex activity by multiple regulatory mechanisms 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(21):4286-4296.
The retrograde (RTG) pathway transcription factors Rtg1 and Rtg3 are shown to be targets of the Hog1 stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK). Hog1 acts on the RTG complex at multiple levels to mediate gene expression upon stress. The SAPK is required for the nuclear accumulation of the complex, the recruitment of the complex at RTG-responsive promoters, and the regulation of Rtg3 transcriptional activity.
Cells modulate expression of nuclear genes in response to alterations in mitochondrial function, a response termed retrograde (RTG) regulation. In budding yeast, the RTG pathway relies on Rtg1 and Rtg3 basic helix-loop-helix leucine Zipper transcription factors. Exposure of yeast to external hyperosmolarity activates the Hog1 stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK), which is a key player in the regulation of gene expression upon stress. Several transcription factors, including Sko1, Hot1, the redundant Msn2 and Msn4, and Smp1, have been shown to be directly controlled by the Hog1 SAPK. The mechanisms by which Hog1 regulates their activity differ from one to another. In this paper, we show that Rtg1 and Rtg3 transcription factors are new targets of the Hog1 SAPK. In response to osmostress, RTG-dependent genes are induced in a Hog1-dependent manner, and Hog1 is required for Rtg1/3 complex nuclear accumulation. In addition, Hog1 activity regulates Rtg1/3 binding to chromatin and transcriptional activity. Therefore Hog1 modulates Rtg1/3 complex activity by multiple mechanisms in response to stress. Overall our data suggest that Hog1, through activation of the RTG pathway, contributes to ensure mitochondrial function as part of the Hog1-mediated osmoadaptive response.
PMCID: PMC3484105  PMID: 22956768
13.  Yarrowia lipolytica Cells Mutant for the PEX24 Gene Encoding a Peroxisomal Membrane Peroxin Mislocalize Peroxisomal Proteins and Accumulate Membrane Structures Containing Both Peroxisomal Matrix and Membrane Proteins 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2002;13(8):2681-2691.
Peroxins are proteins required for peroxisome assembly and are encoded by the PEX genes. Functional complementation of the oleic acid–nonutilizing strain mut1-1 of the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica has identified the novel gene, PEX24. PEX24 encodes Pex24p, a protein of 550 amino acids (61,100 Da). Pex24p is an integral membrane protein of peroxisomes that exhibits high sequence homology to two hypothetical proteins encoded by the open reading frames YHR150W and YDR479C of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. Pex24p is detectable in wild-type cells grown in glucose-containing medium, and its levels are significantly increased by incubation of cells in oleic acid–containing medium, the metabolism of which requires intact peroxisomes. pex24 mutants are compromised in the targeting of both matrix and membrane proteins to peroxisomes. Although pex24 mutants fail to assemble functional peroxisomes, they do harbor membrane structures that contain subsets of peroxisomal proteins.
PMCID: PMC117934  PMID: 12181338
14.  Rrp47p Is an Exosome-Associated Protein Required for the 3′ Processing of Stable RNAs 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(19):6982-6992.
Related exosome complexes of 3′→5′ exonucleases are present in the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Purification of exosome complexes from whole-cell lysates identified a Mg2+-labile factor present in substoichiometric amounts. This protein was identified as the nuclear protein Yhr081p, the homologue of human C1D, which we have designated Rrp47p (for rRNA processing). Immunoprecipitation of epitope-tagged Rrp47p confirmed its interaction with the exosome and revealed its association with Rrp6p, a 3′→5′ exonuclease specific to the nuclear exosome fraction. Northern analyses demonstrated that Rrp47p is required for the exosome-dependent processing of rRNA and small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) precursors. Rrp47p also participates in the 3′ processing of U4 and U5 small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs). The defects in the processing of stable RNAs seen in rrp47-Δ strains closely resemble those of strains lacking Rrp6p. In contrast, Rrp47p is not required for the Rrp6p-dependent degradation of 3′-extended nuclear pre-mRNAs or the cytoplasmic 3′→5′ mRNA decay pathway. We propose that Rrp47p functions as a substrate-specific nuclear cofactor for exosome activity in the processing of stable RNAs.
PMCID: PMC193929  PMID: 12972615
15.  The Yeast Mitochondrial Carrier Leu5p and Its Human Homologue Graves' Disease Protein Are Required for Accumulation of Coenzyme A in the Matrix† 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2001;21(4):1089-1097.
The transport of metabolites, coenzymes, and ions across the mitochondrial inner membrane is still poorly understood. In most cases, membrane transport is facilitated by the so-called mitochondrial carrier proteins. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains 35 members of the carrier family, but a function has been identified for only 13 proteins. Here, we investigated the yeast carrier Leu5p (encoded by the gene YHR002w) and its close human homologue Graves' disease protein. Leu5p is inserted into the mitochondrial inner membrane along the specialized import pathway used by carrier proteins. Deletion of LEU5 (strain Δleu5) was accompanied by a 15-fold reduction of mitochondrial coenzyme A (CoA) levels but did not affect the cytosolic CoA content. As a consequence, the activities of several mitochondrial CoA-dependent enzymes were strongly decreased in Δleu5 cells. Our in vitro and in vivo analyses assign a function to Leu5p in the accumulation of CoA in mitochondria, presumably by serving as a transporter of CoA or a precursor thereof. Expression of the Graves' disease protein in Δleu5 cells can replace the function of Leu5p, demonstrating that the human protein represents the orthologue of yeast Leu5p. The function of the human protein might not be directly linked to the disease, as antisera derived from patients with active Graves' disease do not recognize the protein after expression in yeast, suggesting that it does not represent a major autoantigen. The two carrier proteins characterized herein are the first components for which a role in the subcellular distribution of CoA has been identified.
PMCID: PMC99563  PMID: 11158296
16.  Novel insights into iron metabolism by integrating deletome and transcriptome analysis in an iron deficiency model of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:130.
Iron-deficiency anemia is the most prevalent form of anemia world-wide. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used as a model of cellular iron deficiency, in part because many of its cellular pathways are conserved. To better understand how cells respond to changes in iron availability, we profiled the yeast genome with a parallel analysis of homozygous deletion mutants to identify essential components and cellular processes required for optimal growth under iron-limited conditions. To complement this analysis, we compared those genes identified as important for fitness to those that were differentially-expressed in the same conditions. The resulting analysis provides a global perspective on the cellular processes involved in iron metabolism.
Using functional profiling, we identified several genes known to be involved in high affinity iron uptake, in addition to novel genes that may play a role in iron metabolism. Our results provide support for the primary involvement in iron homeostasis of vacuolar and endosomal compartments, as well as vesicular transport to and from these compartments. We also observed an unexpected importance of the peroxisome for growth in iron-limited media. Although these components were essential for growth in low-iron conditions, most of them were not differentially-expressed. Genes with altered expression in iron deficiency were mainly associated with iron uptake and transport mechanisms, with little overlap with those that were functionally required. To better understand this relationship, we used expression-profiling of selected mutants that exhibited slow growth in iron-deficient conditions, and as a result, obtained additional insight into the roles of CTI6, DAP1, MRS4 and YHR045W in iron metabolism.
Comparison between functional and gene expression data in iron deficiency highlighted the complementary utility of these two approaches to identify important functional components. This should be taken into consideration when designing and analyzing data from these type of studies. We used this and other published data to develop a molecular interaction network of iron metabolism in yeast.
PMCID: PMC2669097  PMID: 19321002
17.  Peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase from Sulfolobus solfataricus 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(12):3227-3235.
An enzyme capable of liberating functional tRNALys from Escherichia coli diacetyl-lysyl-tRNALys was purified from the archae Sulfolobus solfataricus. Contrasting with the specificity of peptidyl- tRNA hydrolase (PTH) from E.coli, the S.solfataricus enzyme readily accepts E.coli formyl-methionyl-tRNAfMet as a substrate. N-terminal sequencing of this enzyme identifies a gene that has homologs in the whole archaeal kingdom. Involvement of this gene (SS00175) in the recycling of peptidyl-tRNA is supported by its capacity to complement an E.coli strain lacking PTH activity. The archaeal gene, the product of which appears markedly different from bacterial PTHs, also has homologs in all the available eukaryal genomes. Since most of the eukaryotes already display a bacterial-like PTH gene, this observation suggests the occurrence in many eukaryotes of two distinct PTH activities, either of a bacterial or of an archaeal type. Indeed, the bacterial- and archaeal-like genes encoding the two full-length PTHs of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, YHR189w and YBL057c, respectively, can each rescue the growth of an E.coli strain lacking endogeneous PTH. In vitro assays confirm that the two enzymes ensure the recycling of tRNALys from diacetyl-lysyl-tRNALys. Finally, the growth of yeast cells in which either YHR189w or YBL057c has been disrupted was compared under various culture conditions. Evidence is presented that YHR189w, the gene encoding a bacterial-like PTH, should be involved in mitochondrial function.
PMCID: PMC162332  PMID: 12799450
18.  High-Copy Overexpression Screening Reveals PDR5 as the Main Doxorubicin Resistance Gene in Yeast 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(12):e0145108.
Doxorubicin is one of the most potent anticancer drugs used in the treatment of various cancer types. The efficacy of doxorubicin is influenced by the drug resistance mechanisms and its cytotoxicity. In this study, we performed a high-copy screening analysis to find genes that play a role in doxorubicin resistance and found several genes (CUE5, AKL1, CAN1, YHR177W and PDR5) that provide resistance. Among these genes, overexpression of PDR5 provided a remarkable resistance, and deletion of it significantly rendered the tolerance level for the drug. Q-PCR analyses suggested that transcriptional regulation of these genes was not dependent on doxorubicin treatment. Additionally, we profiled the global expression pattern of cells in response to doxorubicin treatment and highlighted the genes and pathways that are important in doxorubicin tolerance/toxicity. Our results suggest that many efflux pumps and DNA metabolism genes are upregulated by the drug and required for doxorubicin tolerance.
PMCID: PMC4687100  PMID: 26690737
19.  GPD1, which encodes glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, is essential for growth under osmotic stress in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and its expression is regulated by the high-osmolarity glycerol response pathway. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1994;14(6):4135-4144.
The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae responds to osmotic stress, i.e., an increase in osmolarity of the growth medium, by enhanced production and intracellular accumulation of glycerol as a compatible solute. We have cloned a gene encoding the key enzyme of glycerol synthesis, the NADH-dependent cytosolic glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, and we named it GPD1. gpd1 delta mutants produced very little glycerol, and they were sensitive to osmotic stress. Thus, glycerol production is indeed essential for the growth of yeast cells during reduced water availability. hog1 delta mutants lacking a protein kinase involved in osmostress-induced signal transduction (the high-osmolarity glycerol response [HOG] pathway) failed to increase glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity and mRNA levels when osmotic stress was imposed. Thus, expression of GPD1 is regulated through the HOG pathway. However, there may be Hog1-independent mechanisms mediating osmostress-induced glycerol accumulation, since a hog1 delta strain could still enhance its glycerol content, although less than the wild type. hog1 delta mutants are more sensitive to osmotic stress than isogenic gpd1 delta strains, and gpd1 delta hog1 delta double mutants are even more sensitive than either single mutant. Thus, the HOG pathway most probably has additional targets in the mechanism of adaptation to hypertonic medium.
PMCID: PMC358779  PMID: 8196651
20.  Post-transcriptional regulation in the myo1Δ mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:690.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae myosin type II-deficient (myo1Δ) strains remain viable and divide, despite the absence of a cytokinetic ring, by activation of the PKC1-dependent cell wall integrity pathway (CWIP). Since the myo1Δ transcriptional fingerprint is a subset of the CWIP fingerprint, the myo1Δ strain may provide a simplified paradigm for cell wall stress survival.
To explore the post-transcriptional regulation of the myo1Δ stress response, 1,301 differentially regulated ribosome-bound mRNAs were identified by microarray analysis of which 204 were co-regulated by transcription and translation. Four categories of mRNA were significantly affected - protein biosynthesis, metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and unknown functions. Nine genes of the 20 CWIP fingerprint genes were post-transcriptionally regulated. Down and up regulation of selected ribosomal protein and cell wall biosynthesis mRNAs was validated by their distribution in polysomes from wild type and myo1Δ strains. Western blot analysis revealed accumulation of the phosphorylated form of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2α-P) and a reduction in the steady state levels of the translation initiation factor eIF4Gp in myo1Δ strains. Deletion of GCN2 in myo1Δ abolished eIF2αp phosphorylation, and showed a severe growth defect. The presence of P-bodies in myo1Δ strains suggests that the process of mRNA sequestration is active, however, the three representative down regulated RP mRNAs, RPS8A, RPL3 and RPL7B were present at equivalent levels in Dcp2p-mCh-positive immunoprecipitated fractions from myo1Δ and wild type cells. These same RP mRNAs were also selectively co-precipitated with eIF2α-P in myo1Δ strains.
Quantitative analysis of ribosome-associated mRNAs and their polyribosome distributions suggests selective regulation of mRNA translation efficiency in myo1Δ strains. Inhibition of translation initiation factor eIF2α (eIF2α-P) in these strains was by Gcn2p-dependent phosphorylation. The increase in the levels of eIF2α-P; the genetic interaction between GCN2 and MYO1; and the reduced levels of eIF4Gp suggest that other signaling pathways, in addition to the CWIP, may be important for myo1Δ strain survival. Selective co-immunoprecipitation of RP mRNAs with eIF2α-P in myo1Δ strains suggests a novel mode of translational regulation. These results indicate that post-transcriptional control is important in the myo1Δ stress response and possibly other stresses in yeast.
PMCID: PMC3017085  PMID: 21126371
21.  The Saccharomyces cerevisiae HSP12 gene is activated by the high-osmolarity glycerol pathway and negatively regulated by protein kinase A. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1995;15(11):6232-6245.
The HSP12 gene encodes one of the two major small heat shock proteins of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Hsp12 accumulates massively in yeast cells exposed to heat shock, osmostress, oxidative stress, and high concentrations of alcohol as well as in early-stationary-phase cells. We have cloned an extended 5'-flanking region of the HSP12 gene in order to identify cis-acting elements involved in regulation of this highly expressed stress gene. A detailed analysis of the HSP12 promoter region revealed that five repeats of the stress-responsive CCCCT motif (stress-responsive element [STRE]) are essential to confer wild-type induced levels on a reporter gene upon osmostress, heat shock, and entry into stationary phase. Disruption of the HOG1 and PBS2 genes leads to a dramatic decrease of the HSP12 inducibility in osmostressed cells, whereas overproduction of Hog1 produces a fivefold increase in wild-type induced levels upon a shift to a high salt concentration. On the other hand, mutations resulting in high protein kinase A (PKA) activity reduce or abolish the accumulation of the HSP12 mRNA in stressed cells. Conversely, mutants containing defective PKA catalytic subunits exhibit high basal levels of HSP12 mRNA. Taken together, these results suggest that HSP12 is a target of the high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG) response pathway under negative control of the Ras-PKA pathway. Furthermore, they confirm earlier observations that STRE-like sequences are responsive to a broad range of stresses and that the HOG and Ras-PKA pathways have antagonistic effects upon CCCCT-driven transcription.
PMCID: PMC230875  PMID: 7565776
22.  Sequestration of Highly Expressed mRNAs in Cytoplasmic Granules, P-Bodies, and Stress Granules Enhances Cell Viability 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(2):e1002527.
Transcriptome analyses indicate that a core 10%–15% of the yeast genome is modulated by a variety of different stresses. However, not all the induced genes undergo translation, and null mutants of many induced genes do not show elevated sensitivity to the particular stress. Elucidation of the RNA lifecycle reveals accumulation of non-translating mRNAs in cytoplasmic granules, P-bodies, and stress granules for future regulation. P-bodies contain enzymes for mRNA degradation; under stress conditions mRNAs may be transferred to stress granules for storage and return to translation. Protein degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system is elevated by stress; and here we analyzed the steady state levels, decay, and subcellular localization of the mRNA of the gene encoding the F-box protein, UFO1, that is induced by stress. Using the MS2L mRNA reporter system UFO1 mRNA was observed in granules that colocalized with P-bodies and stress granules. These P-bodies stored diverse mRNAs. Granules of two mRNAs transported prior to translation, ASH1-MS2L and OXA1-MS2L, docked with P-bodies. HSP12 mRNA that gave rise to highly elevated protein levels was not observed in granules under these stress conditions. ecd3, pat1 double mutants that are defective in P-body formation were sensitive to mRNAs expressed ectopically from strong promoters. These highly expressed mRNAs showed elevated translation compared with wild-type cells, and the viability of the mutants was strongly reduced. ecd3, pat1 mutants also exhibited increased sensitivity to different stresses. Our interpretation is that sequestration of highly expressed mRNAs in P-bodies is essential for viability. Storage of mRNAs for future regulation may contribute to the discrepancy between the steady state levels of many stress-induced mRNAs and their proteins. Sorting of mRNAs for future translation or decay by individual cells could generate potentially different phenotypes in a genetically identical population and enhance its ability to withstand stress.
Author Summary
10%–15% of the yeast genome is modulated by stress; however, there is a discrepancy between the genes that are upregulated and the sensitivity of the null mutants of those genes to the stress. The question is: what happens to these highly expressed mRNAs? mRNAs have a complex lifecycle and non-translating mRNAs can be stored in cytoplasmic granules, processing P-bodies, and stress granules for decay or future translation, respectively. UFO1 encodes a component of the regulated protein degradation system, and its transcription is elevated by stress; however, the deletion mutants do not show enhanced sensitivity. UFO1 mRNA is stored in P-bodies and stress granules. Storage of mRNAs may contribute to the discrepancy between the steady state levels of stress-induced mRNAs and their proteins. To test this hypothesis, we expressed high levels of mRNA in cells unable to form P-bodies. We found that translation of these mRNAs was 3–8 fold higher than in wild-type cells. Furthermore high level expression of mRNA affected the viability of the mutants. The ability to store mRNAs for future translation or decay would generate different phenotypes in a genetically identical population and enhance its ability to withstand stress.
PMCID: PMC3285586  PMID: 22383896
23.  Molecular Mechanisms of Hypoxic Responses via Unique Roles of Ras1, Cdc24 and Ptp3 in a Human Fungal Pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans  
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(4):e1004292.
Cryptococcus neoformans encounters a low oxygen environment when it enters the human host. Here, we show that the conserved Ras1 (a small GTPase) and Cdc24 (the guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Cdc42) play an essential role in cryptococcal growth in hypoxia. Suppressor studies indicate that PTP3 functions epistatically downstream of both RAS1 and CDC24 in regulating hypoxic growth. Ptp3 shares sequence similarity to the family of phosphotyrosine-specific protein phosphatases and the ptp3Δ strain failed to grow in 1% O2. We demonstrate that RAS1, CDC24 and PTP3 function in parallel to regulate thermal tolerance but RAS1 and CDC24 function linearly in regulating hypoxic growth while CDC24 and PTP3 reside in compensatory pathways. The ras1Δ and cdc24Δ strains ceased to grow at 1% O2 and became enlarged but viable single cells. Actin polarization in these cells, however, was normal for up to eight hours after transferring to hypoxic conditions. Double deletions of the genes encoding Rho GTPase Cdc42 and Cdc420, but not of the genes encoding Rac1 and Rac2, caused a slight growth retardation in hypoxia. Furthermore, growth in hypoxia was not affected by the deletion of several central genes functioning in the pathways of cAMP, Hog1, or the two-component like phosphorylation system that are critical in the cryptococcal response to osmotic and genotoxic stresses. Interestingly, although deletion of HOG1 rescued the hypoxic growth defect of ras1Δ, cdc24Δ, and ptp3Δ, Hog1 was not hyperphosphorylated in these three mutants in hypoxic conditions. RNA sequencing analysis indicated that RAS1, CDC24 and PTP3 acted upon the expression of genes involved in ergosterol biosynthesis, chromosome organization, RNA processing and protein translation. Moreover, growth of the wild-type strain under low oxygen conditions was affected by sub-inhibitory concentrations of the compounds that inhibit these biological processes, demonstrating the importance of these biological processes in the cryptococcal hypoxia response.
Author Summary
When Cryptococcus neoformans, an environmental fungal pathogen, enters the human host, it encounters a low oxygen condition. The well conserved Ras1 and Cdc24 proteins are known for their key roles in maintenance of the actin cytoskeletal integrity in eukaryotic cells. In this work, we show a unique role of RAS1 and CDC24 in the growth of C. neoformans in a low oxygen environment. Actin polarization, however, appeared normal in the ras1Δ and cdc24Δ strains under hypoxic conditions for up to eight hours. We show that PTP3 is required for hypoxic growth and it can rescue the hypoxic growth defect in ras1Δ and cdc24Δ. Genetic analysis suggested that RAS1 and CDC24 function linearly while CDC24 and PTP3 function parallelly in regulating hypoxic growth. RNA sequencing combined with analysis by small molecular inhibitors revealed that RAS1, CDC24 and PTP3 regulate several biological processes such as ergosterol biosynthesis, chromosome organization, RNA processing and protein translation which are required in the cryptococcal response to hypoxic conditions.
PMCID: PMC3998916  PMID: 24762475
24.  Quantitative evaluation of yeast's requirement for glycerol formation in very high ethanol performance fed-batch process 
Glycerol is the major by-product accounting for up to 5% of the carbon in Saccharomyces cerevisiae ethanolic fermentation. Decreasing glycerol formation may redirect part of the carbon toward ethanol production. However, abolishment of glycerol formation strongly affects yeast's robustness towards different types of stress occurring in an industrial process. In order to assess whether glycerol production can be reduced to a certain extent without jeopardising growth and stress tolerance, the yeast's capacity to synthesize glycerol was adjusted by fine-tuning the activity of the rate-controlling enzyme glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPDH). Two engineered strains whose specific GPDH activity was significantly reduced by two different degrees were comprehensively characterized in a previously developed Very High Ethanol Performance (VHEP) fed-batch process.
The prototrophic strain CEN.PK113-7D was chosen for decreasing glycerol formation capacity. The fine-tuned reduction of specific GPDH activity was achieved by replacing the native GPD1 promoter in the yeast genome by previously generated well-characterized TEF promoter mutant versions in a gpd2Δ background. Two TEF promoter mutant versions were selected for this study, resulting in a residual GPDH activity of 55 and 6%, respectively. The corresponding strains were referred to here as TEFmut7 and TEFmut2. The genetic modifications were accompanied to a strong reduction in glycerol yield on glucose; the level of reduction compared to the wild-type was 61% in TEFmut7 and 88% in TEFmut2. The overall ethanol production yield on glucose was improved from 0.43 g g-1 in the wild type to 0.44 g g-1 measured in TEFmut7 and 0.45 g g-1 in TEFmut2. Although maximal growth rate in the engineered strains was reduced by 20 and 30%, for TEFmut7 and TEFmut2 respectively, strains' ethanol stress robustness was hardly affected; i.e. values for final ethanol concentration (117 ± 4 g L-1), growth-inhibiting ethanol concentration (87 ± 3 g L-1) and volumetric ethanol productivity (2.1 ± 0.15 g l-1 h-1) measured in wild-type remained virtually unchanged in the engineered strains.
This work demonstrates the power of fine-tuned pathway engineering, particularly when a compromise has to be found between high product yield on one hand and acceptable growth, productivity and stress resistance on the other hand. Under the conditions used in this study (VHEP fed-batch), the two strains with "fine-tuned" GPD1 expression in a gpd2Δ background showed slightly better ethanol yield improvement than previously achieved with the single deletion strains gpd1Δ or gpd2Δ. Although glycerol reduction is known to be even higher in a gpd1Δ gpd2Δ double deletion strain, our strains could much better cope with process stress as reflected by better growth and viability.
PMCID: PMC2887396  PMID: 20492645
25.  Aca1 and Aca2, ATF/CREB Activators in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Are Important for Carbon Source Utilization but Not the Response to Stress 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(12):4340-4349.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the family of ATF/CREB transcriptional regulators consists of a repressor, Acr1 (Sko1), and two activators, Aca1 and Aca2. The AP-1 factor Gen4 does not activate transcription through ATF/CREB sites in vivo even though it binds these sites in vitro. Unlike ATF/CREB activators in other species, Aca1- and Aca2-dependent transcription is not affected by protein kinase A or by stress, and Aca1 and Aca2 are not required for Hog1-dependent salt induction of transcription through an optimal ATF/CREB site. Aca2 is important for a variety of biological functions including growth on nonoptimal carbon sources, and Aca2-dependent activation is modestly regulated by carbon source. Strains lacking Aca1 are phenotypically normal, but overexpression of Aca1 suppresses some defects associated with the loss of Aca2, indicating a functional overlap between Aca1 and Aca2. Acr1 represses transcription both by recruiting the Cyc8-Tup1 corepressor and by directly competing with Aca1 and Aca2 for target sites. Acr1 does not fully account for osmotic regulation through ATF/CREB sites, and a novel Hog1-dependent activator(s) that is not a bZIP protein is required for ATF/CREB site activation in response to high salt. In addition, Acr1 does not affect a number of phenotypes that arise from loss of Aca2. Thus, members of the S. cerevisiae ATF/CREB family have overlapping, but distinct, biological functions and target genes.
PMCID: PMC85801  PMID: 10825197

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