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1.  Untangling the Roles of Anti-Apoptosis in Regulating Programmed Cell Death using Humanized Yeast Cells 
Genetically programmed cell death (PCD) mechanisms, including apoptosis, are important for the survival of metazoans since it allows, among things, the removal of damaged cells that interfere with normal function. Cell death due to PCD is observed in normal processes such as aging and in a number of pathophysiologies including hypoxia (common causes of heart attacks and strokes) and subsequent tissue reperfusion. Conversely, the loss of normal apoptotic responses is associated with the development of tumors. So far, limited success in preventing unwanted PCD has been reported with current therapeutic approaches despite the fact that inhibitors of key apoptotic inducers such as caspases have been developed. Alternative approaches have focused on mimicking anti-apoptotic processes observed in cells displaying increased resistance to apoptotic stimuli. Hormesis and pre-conditioning are commonly observed cellular strategies where sub-lethal levels of pro-apoptotic stimuli lead to increased resistance to higher or lethal levels of stress. Increased expression of anti-apoptotic sequences is a common mechanism mediating these protective effects. The relevance of the latter observation is exemplified by the observation that transgenic mice overexpressing anti-apoptotic genes show significant reductions in tissue damage following ischemia. Thus strategies aimed at increasing the levels of anti-apoptotic proteins, using gene therapy or cell penetrating recombinant proteins are being evaluated as novel therapeutics to decrease cell death following acute periods of cell death inducing stress. In spite of its functional and therapeutic importance, more is known regarding the processes involved in apoptosis than anti-apoptosis. The genetically tractable yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has emerged as an exceptional model to study multiple aspects of PCD including the mitochondrial mediated apoptosis observed in metazoans. To increase our knowledge of the process of anti-apoptosis, we screened a human heart cDNA expression library in yeast cells undergoing PCD due to the conditional expression of a mammalian pro-apoptotic Bax cDNA. Analysis of the multiple Bax suppressors identified revealed several previously known as well as a large number of clones representing potential novel anti-apoptotic sequences. The focus of this review is to report on recent achievements in the use of humanized yeast in genetic screens to identify novel stress-induced PCD suppressors, supporting the use of yeast as a unicellular model organism to elucidate anti-apoptotic and cell survival mechanisms.
doi:10.3389/fonc.2012.00059
PMCID: PMC3374133  PMID: 22708116
heart failure; apoptosis; programmed cell death; anti-apoptotic genes; Bax; genetic screen; pre-condition; hormesis
2.  Lipid raft involvement in yeast cell growth and death 
Frontiers in Oncology  2012;2:140.
The notion that cellular membranes contain distinct microdomains, acting as scaffolds for signal transduction processes, has gained considerable momentum. In particular, a class of such domains that is rich in sphingolipids and cholesterol, termed as lipid rafts, is thought to compartmentalize the plasma membrane, and to have important roles in survival and cell death signaling in mammalian cells. Likewise, yeast lipid rafts are membrane domains enriched in sphingolipids and ergosterol, the yeast counterpart of mammalian cholesterol. Sterol-rich membrane domains have been identified in several fungal species, including the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe as well as the pathogens Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans. Yeast rafts have been mainly involved in membrane trafficking, but increasing evidence implicates rafts in a wide range of additional cellular processes. Yeast lipid rafts house biologically important proteins involved in the proper function of yeast, such as proteins that control Na+, K+, and pH homeostasis, which influence many cellular processes, including cell growth and death. Membrane raft constituents affect drug susceptibility, and drugs interacting with sterols alter raft composition and membrane integrity, leading to yeast cell death. Because of the genetic tractability of yeast, analysis of yeast rafts could be an excellent model to approach unanswered questions of mammalian raft biology, and to understand the role of lipid rafts in the regulation of cell death and survival in human cells. A better insight in raft biology might lead to envisage new raft-mediated approaches to the treatment of human diseases where regulation of cell death and survival is critical, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
doi:10.3389/fonc.2012.00140
PMCID: PMC3467458  PMID: 23087902
lipid rafts; membrane domains; ergosterol; yeast; S. cerevisiae; ion homeostasis; nutrient transporters; cell death
3.  Human Bak induces cell death in Schizosaccharomyces pombe with morphological changes similar to those with apoptosis in mammalian cells. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(5):2468-2474.
Apoptosis as a form of programmed cell death (PCD) in multicellular organisms is a well-established genetically controlled process that leads to elimination of unnecessary or damaged cells. Recently, PCD has also been described for unicellular organisms as a process for the socially advantageous regulation of cell survival. The human Bcl-2 family member Bak induces apoptosis in mammalian cells which is counteracted by the Bcl-x(L) protein. We show that Bak also kills the unicellular fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and that this is inhibited by coexpression of human Bcl-x(L). Moreover, the same critical BH3 domain of Bak that is required for induction of apoptosis in mammalian cells is also required for inducing death in yeast. This suggests that Bak kills mammalian and yeast cells by similar mechanisms. The phenotype of the Bak-induced death in yeast involves condensation and fragmentation of the chromatin as well as dissolution of the nuclear envelope, all of which are features of mammalian apoptosis. These data suggest that the evolutionarily conserved metazoan PCD pathway is also present in unicellular yeast.
PMCID: PMC232095  PMID: 9111315
4.  Aging and Cell Death in the Other Yeasts, Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Candida albicans 
FEMS yeast research  2013;14(1):119-135.
How do cells age and die? For the past twenty years, the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been used as a model organism to uncover the genes that regulate lifespan and cell death. More recently, investigators have begun to interrogate the other yeasts, the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and the human fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, to determine if similar longevity and cell death pathways exist in these organisms. After summarizing the longevity and cell death phenotypes in S. cerevisiae, this mini-review surveys the progress made in the study of both aging and programmed cell death (PCD) in the yeast models, with a focus on the biology of S. pombe and C. albicans. Particular emphasis is placed on the similarities and differences between the two types of aging, replicative aging and chronological aging, and between the three types of cell death, intrinsic apoptosis, autophagic cell death, and regulated necrosis, found in these yeasts. The development of the additional microbial models for aging and PCD in the other yeasts may help further elucidate the mechanisms of longevity and cell death regulation in eukaryotes.
doi:10.1111/1567-1364.12113
PMCID: PMC4000287  PMID: 24205865
aging; cell death; S. cerevisiae; Candida albicans; Schizosaccharomyces pombe; apoptosis; autophagy; necrosis
5.  Apoptotic-like programed cell death in fungi: the benefits in filamentous species 
Studies conducted in the early 1990s showed for the first time that Saccharomyces cerevisiae can undergo cell death with hallmarks of animal apoptosis. These findings came as a surprise, since suicide machinery was unexpected in unicellular organisms. Today, apoptosis in yeast is well-documented. Apoptotic death of yeast cells has been described under various conditions and S. cerevisiae homologs of human apoptotic genes have been identified and characterized. These studies also revealed fundamental differences between yeast and animal apoptosis; in S. cerevisiae apoptosis is mainly associated with aging and stress adaptation, unlike animal apoptosis, which is essential for proper development. Further, many apoptosis regulatory genes are either missing, or highly divergent in S. cerevisiae. Therefore, in this review we will use the term apoptosis-like programed cell death (PCD) instead of apoptosis. Despite these significant differences, S. cerevisiae has been instrumental in promoting the study of heterologous apoptotic proteins, particularly from human. Work in fungi other than S. cerevisiae revealed differences in the manifestation of PCD in single cell (yeasts) and multicellular (filamentous) species. Such differences may reflect the higher complexity level of filamentous species, and hence the involvement of PCD in a wider range of processes and life styles. It is also expected that differences might be found in the apoptosis apparatus of yeast and filamentous species. In this review we focus on aspects of PCD that are unique or can be better studied in filamentous species. We will highlight the similarities and differences of the PCD machinery between yeast and filamentous species and show the value of using S. cerevisiae along with filamentous species to study apoptosis.
doi:10.3389/fonc.2012.00097
PMCID: PMC3412994  PMID: 22891165
apoptosis; botrytis; fungi; PCD; Saccharomyces
6.  The role of mitochondria in yeast programmed cell death 
Mammalian apoptosis and yeast programmed cell death (PCD) share a variety of features including reactive oxygen species production, protease activity and a major role played by mitochondria. In view of this, and of the distinctive characteristics differentiating yeast and multicellular organism PCD, the mitochondrial contribution to cell death in the genetically tractable yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been intensively investigated. In this mini-review we report whether and how yeast mitochondrial function and proteins belonging to oxidative phosphorylation, protein trafficking into and out of mitochondria, and mitochondrial dynamics, play a role in PCD. Since in PCD many processes take place over time, emphasis will be placed on an experimental model based on acetic acid-induced PCD (AA-PCD) which has the unique feature of having been investigated as a function of time. As will be described there are at least two AA-PCD pathways each with a multifaceted role played by mitochondrial components, in particular by cytochrome c.
doi:10.3389/fonc.2012.00070
PMCID: PMC3388595  PMID: 22783546
yeast; programmed cell death; mitochondria; acetic acid; cytochrome c; protein trafficking; intracellular signaling
7.  Comparative analysis of programmed cell death pathways in filamentous fungi 
BMC Genomics  2005;6:177.
Background
Fungi can undergo autophagic- or apoptotic-type programmed cell death (PCD) on exposure to antifungal agents, developmental signals, and stress factors. Filamentous fungi can also exhibit a form of cell death called heterokaryon incompatibility (HI) triggered by fusion between two genetically incompatible individuals. With the availability of recently sequenced genomes of Aspergillus fumigatus and several related species, we were able to define putative components of fungi-specific death pathways and the ancestral core apoptotic machinery shared by all fungi and metazoa.
Results
Phylogenetic profiling of HI-associated proteins from four Aspergilli and seven other fungal species revealed lineage-specific protein families, orphan genes, and core genes conserved across all fungi and metazoa. The Aspergilli-specific domain architectures include NACHT family NTPases, which may function as key integrators of stress and nutrient availability signals. They are often found fused to putative effector domains such as Pfs, SesB/LipA, and a newly identified domain, HET-s/LopB. Many putative HI inducers and mediators are specific to filamentous fungi and not found in unicellular yeasts. In addition to their role in HI, several of them appear to be involved in regulation of cell cycle, development and sexual differentiation. Finally, the Aspergilli possess many putative downstream components of the mammalian apoptotic machinery including several proteins not found in the model yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Conclusion
Our analysis identified more than 100 putative PCD associated genes in the Aspergilli, which may help expand the range of currently available treatments for aspergillosis and other invasive fungal diseases. The list includes species-specific protein families as well as conserved core components of the ancestral PCD machinery shared by fungi and metazoa.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-6-177
PMCID: PMC1325252  PMID: 16336669
8.  The unfolded protein response in fission yeast modulates stability of select mRNAs to maintain protein homeostasis 
eLife  2012;1:e00048.
The unfolded protein response (UPR) monitors the protein folding capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In all organisms analyzed to date, the UPR drives transcriptional programs that allow cells to cope with ER stress. The non-conventional splicing of Hac1 (yeasts) and XBP1 (metazoans) mRNA, encoding orthologous UPR transcription activators, is conserved and dependent on Ire1, an ER membrane-resident kinase/endoribonuclease. We found that the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe lacks both a Hac1/XBP1 ortholog and a UPR-dependent-transcriptional-program. Instead, Ire1 initiates the selective decay of a subset of ER-localized-mRNAs that is required to survive ER stress. We identified Bip1 mRNA, encoding a major ER-chaperone, as the sole mRNA cleaved upon Ire1 activation that escapes decay. Instead, truncation of its 3′ UTR, including loss of its polyA tail, stabilized Bip1 mRNA, resulting in increased Bip1 translation. Thus, S. pombe uses a universally conserved stress-sensing machinery in novel ways to maintain homeostasis in the ER.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00048.001
eLife digest
Protein folding—the process by which a sequence of amino acids adopts the precise shape that is needed to perform a specific biological function—is one of the most important processes in all of biology. Any sequence of amino acids has the potential to fold into a large number of different shapes, and misfolded proteins can lead to toxicity and other problems. For example, all cells rely on signaling proteins in the membranes that enclose them to monitor their environment so that they can adapt to changing conditions and, in multicellular organisms, communicate with neighboring cells: without properly folded signaling proteins, chaos would ensue. Moreover, many diseases—including diabetes, cancer, viral infection and neurodegenerative disease—have been linked to protein folding processes. It is not surprising, therefore, that cells have evolved elaborate mechanisms to exert exquisite quality control over protein folding.
One of these mechanisms, called the unfolded protein response (UPR), operates in a compartment within the cell known as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The ER is a labyrinthine network of tubes and sacs within all eukaryotic cells, and most proteins destined for the cell surface or outside the cell adopt their properly folded shapes within this compartment. If the ER does not have enough capacity to fold all of the proteins that are delivered there, the UPR switches on to increase the protein folding capacity, to expand the surface area and volume of the compartment, and to degrade misfolded proteins. If the UPR cannot adequately adjust the folding capacity of the ER to meet the demands of the cell, the UPR triggers a program that kills the cell to prevent putting the whole organism at risk.
Researchers have identified the cellular components that monitor the protein folding conditions inside the ER. All eukaryotic cells, from unicellular yeasts to mammalian cells, contain a highly conserved protein-folding sensor called Ire1. In all species analyzed to date, Ire1 is known to activate the UPR through an messenger RNA (mRNA) splicing mechanism. This splicing event provides the switch that drives a gene expression program in which the production of ER components is increased to boost the protein folding capacity of the compartment.
Kimmig, Diaz et al. now report the first instance of an organism in which the UPR does not involve mRNA splicing or the initiation of a gene expression program. Rather, the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe utilizes Ire1 to an entirely different end. The authors find that the activation of Ire1 in S. pombe leads to the selective decay of a specific class of mRNAs that all encode proteins entering the ER. Thus, rather than increasing the protein folding capacity of the ER when faced with an increased protein folding load, S. pombe cells correct the imbalance by decreasing the load.
The authors also show that a lone mRNA—the mRNA that encodes the molecular chaperone BiP, which is one of the major protein-folding components in the ER—uniquely escapes this decay. Rather than being degraded, Ire1 truncates BiP mRNA and renders it more stable. By studying the UPR in a divergent organism, the authors shed new light on the evolution of a universally important process and illustrate how conserved machinery has been repurposed.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00048.002
doi:10.7554/eLife.00048
PMCID: PMC3470409  PMID: 23066505
Unfolded Protein Response; Ire1; selective mRNA decay; Bip1 mRNA stabilization; ER homeostasis; S. pombe
9.  SCS3 and YFT2 Link Transcription of Phospholipid Biosynthetic Genes to ER Stress and the UPR 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(8):e1002890.
The ability to store nutrients in lipid droplets (LDs) is an ancient function that provides the primary source of metabolic energy during periods of nutrient insufficiency and between meals. The Fat storage-Inducing Transmembrane (FIT) proteins are conserved ER–resident proteins that facilitate fat storage by partitioning energy-rich triglycerides into LDs. FIT2, the ancient ortholog of the FIT gene family first identified in mammals has two homologs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (SCS3 and YFT2) and other fungi of the Saccharomycotina lineage. Despite the coevolution of these genes for more than 170 million years and their divergence from higher eukaryotes, SCS3, YFT2, and the human FIT2 gene retain some common functions: expression of the yeast genes in a human embryonic kidney cell line promotes LD formation, and expression of human FIT2 in yeast rescues the inositol auxotrophy and chemical and genetic phenotypes of strains lacking SCS3. To better understand the function of SCS3 and YFT2, we investigated the chemical sensitivities of strains deleted for either or both genes and identified synthetic genetic interactions against the viable yeast gene-deletion collection. We show that SCS3 and YFT2 have shared and unique functions that connect major biosynthetic processes critical for cell growth. These include lipid metabolism, vesicular trafficking, transcription of phospholipid biosynthetic genes, and protein synthesis. The genetic data indicate that optimal strain fitness requires a balance between phospholipid synthesis and protein synthesis and that deletion of SCS3 and YFT2 impacts a regulatory mechanism that coordinates these processes. Part of this mechanism involves a role for SCS3 in communicating changes in the ER (e.g. due to low inositol) to Opi1-regulated transcription of phospholipid biosynthetic genes. We conclude that SCS3 and YFT2 are required for normal ER membrane biosynthesis in response to perturbations in lipid metabolism and ER stress.
Author Summary
The ability to form lipid droplets is a conserved property of eukaryotic cells that allows the storage of excess metabolic energy in a form that can be readily accessed. In adipose tissue, the storage of excess calories in lipid droplets normally protects other tissues from lipotoxicity and insulin resistance, but this protection is lost with chronic over-nutrition. The FAT storage-inducing transmembrane (FIT) proteins were recently identified as a conserved family of proteins that reside in the lipid bilayer of the endoplasmic reticulum and are implicated in lipid droplet formation. In this work we show that specific functions of the FIT proteins are conserved between yeast and humans and that SCS3 and YFT2, the yeast homologs of mammalian FIT2, are part of a large genetic interaction network connecting lipid metabolism, vesicle trafficking, transcription, and protein synthesis. From these interactions we determined that yeast strains lacking SCS3 and YFT2 are defective in their response to chronic ER stress and cannot induce the unfolded protein response pathway or transcription of phospholipid biosynthetic genes in low inositol. Our findings suggest that the mammalian FIT genes may play an important role in ER stress pathways, which are linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002890
PMCID: PMC3426550  PMID: 22927826
10.  Apoptotic signals induce specific degradation of ribosomal RNA in yeast 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;36(9):2874-2888.
Organisms exposed to reactive oxygen species, generated endogenously during respiration or by environmental conditions, undergo oxidative stress. Stress response can either repair the damage or activate one of the programmed cell death (PCD) mechanisms, for example apoptosis, and finally end in cell death. One striking characteristic, which accompanies apoptosis in both vertebrates and yeast, is a fragmentation of cellular DNA and mammalian apoptosis is often associated with degradation of different RNAs. We show that in yeast exposed to stimuli known to induce apoptosis, such as hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid, hyperosmotic stress and ageing, two large subunit ribosomal RNAs, 25S and 5.8S, became extensively degraded with accumulation of specific intermediates that differ slightly depending on cell death conditions. This process is most likely endonucleolytic, is correlated with stress response, and depends on the mitochondrial respiratory status: rRNA is less susceptible to degradation in respiring cells with functional defence against oxidative stress. In addition, RNA fragmentation is independent of two yeast apoptotic factors, metacaspase Yca1 and apoptosis-inducing factor Aif1, but it relies on the apoptotic chromatin condensation induced by histone H2B modifications. These data describe a novel phenotype for certain stress- and ageing-related PCD pathways in yeast.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkm1100
PMCID: PMC2396418  PMID: 18385160
11.  Physiological regulation of yeast cell death in multicellular colonies is triggered by ammonia 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2005;169(5):711-717.
The existence of programmed cell death (PCD) in yeast and its significance to simple unicellular organisms is still questioned. However, such doubts usually do not reflect the fact that microorganisms in nature exist predominantly within structured, multicellular communities capable of differentiation, in which a profit of individual cells is subordinated to a profit of populations. In this study, we show that some PCD features naturally appear during the development of multicellular Saccharomyces cerevisiae colonies. An ammonia signal emitted by aging colonies triggers metabolic changes that localize yeast death only in the colony center. The remaining population can exploit the released nutrients and survives. In colonies defective in Sok2p transcription factor that are unable to produce ammonia (Váchová, L., F. Devaux, H. Kucerova, M. Ricicova, C. Jacq, and Z. Palková. 2004. J. Biol. Chem. 279:37973–37981), death is spread throughout the whole population, thus decreasing the lifetime of the colony. The absence of Mca1p metacaspase or Aif1p orthologue of mammalian apoptosis-inducing factor does not prevent regulated death in yeast colonies.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200410064
PMCID: PMC2171614  PMID: 15939758
12.  Boolean Model of Yeast Apoptosis as a Tool to Study Yeast and Human Apoptotic Regulations 
Programmed cell death (PCD) is an essential cellular mechanism that is evolutionary conserved, mediated through various pathways and acts by integrating different stimuli. Many diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases and cancers are found to be caused by, or associated with, regulations in the cell death pathways. Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a unicellular eukaryotic organism that shares with human cells components and pathways of the PCD and is therefore used as a model organism. Boolean modeling is becoming promising approach to capture qualitative behavior and describe essential properties of such complex networks. Here we present large literature-based and to our knowledge first Boolean model that combines pathways leading to apoptosis (a type of PCD) in yeast. Analysis of the yeast model confirmed experimental findings of anti-apoptotic role of Bir1p and pro-apoptotic role of Stm1p and revealed activation of the stress protein kinase Hog proposing the maximal level of activation upon heat stress. In addition we extended the yeast model and created an in silico humanized yeast in which human pro- and anti-apoptotic regulators Bcl-2 family and Valosin-contain protein (VCP) are included in the model. We showed that accumulation of Bax in silico humanized yeast shows apoptotic markers and that VCP is essential target of Akt Signaling. The presented Boolean model provides comprehensive description of yeast apoptosis network behavior. Extended model of humanized yeast gives new insights of how complex human disease like neurodegeneration can initially be tested.
doi:10.3389/fphys.2012.00446
PMCID: PMC3518040  PMID: 23233838
apoptosis; Boolean modeling; Stm1; Bir1; Hog1; VCP; Bcl-2 family
13.  Inactivation of the cyclin-dependent kinase Cdc28 abrogates cell cycle arrest induced by DNA damage and disassembly of mitotic spindles in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(5):2723-2734.
Eukaryotic cells may halt cell cycle progression following exposure to certain exogenous agents that damage cellular structures such as DNA or microtubules. This phenomenon has been attributed to functions of cellular control mechanisms termed checkpoints. Studies with the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and mammalian cells have led to the conclusion that cell cycle arrest in response to inhibition of DNA replication or DNA damage is a result of down-regulation of the cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). Based on these studies, it has been proposed that inhibition of the CDK activity may constitute a general mechanism for checkpoint controls. Observations made with the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, however, appear to disagree with this model. It has been shown that high levels of mitotic CDK activity are present in the budding yeast cells arrested in G2/mitosis as the result of DNA damage or replication inhibition. In this report, we show that a novel mutant allele of the CDC28 gene, encoding the budding yeast CDK, allowed cell cycle passage through mitosis and nuclear division in the presence of DNA damage and the microtubule toxin nocodazole at a restrictive temperature. Unlike the checkpoint-defective mutations in CDKs of fission yeast and mammalian cells, the cdc28 mutation that we identified was recessive and resulted in a loss of the CDK activity, including the Clb2-, Clb5-, and Clb6-associated, but not the Clb3-associated, CDK activities. Examination of several known alleles of cdc28 revealed that they were also, albeit partially, defective in cell cycle arrest in response to UV-generated DNA damage. These findings suggest that Cdc28 kinase in budding yeast may be required for cell cycle arrest resulting from DNA damage and disassembly of mitotic spindles.
PMCID: PMC232123  PMID: 9111343
14.  Global Analysis of Fission Yeast Mating Genes Reveals New Autophagy Factors 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(8):e1003715.
Macroautophagy (autophagy) is crucial for cell survival during starvation and plays important roles in animal development and human diseases. Molecular understanding of autophagy has mainly come from the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and it remains unclear to what extent the mechanisms are the same in other organisms. Here, through screening the mating phenotype of a genome-wide deletion collection of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we obtained a comprehensive catalog of autophagy genes in this highly tractable organism, including genes encoding three heretofore unidentified core Atg proteins, Atg10, Atg14, and Atg16, and two novel factors, Ctl1 and Fsc1. We systematically examined the subcellular localization of fission yeast autophagy factors for the first time and characterized the phenotypes of their mutants, thereby uncovering both similarities and differences between the two yeasts. Unlike budding yeast, all three Atg18/WIPI proteins in fission yeast are essential for autophagy, and we found that they play different roles, with Atg18a uniquely required for the targeting of the Atg12–Atg5·Atg16 complex. Our investigation of the two novel factors revealed unforeseen autophagy mechanisms. The choline transporter-like protein Ctl1 interacts with Atg9 and is required for autophagosome formation. The fasciclin domain protein Fsc1 localizes to the vacuole membrane and is required for autophagosome-vacuole fusion but not other vacuolar fusion events. Our study sheds new light on the evolutionary diversity of the autophagy machinery and establishes the fission yeast as a useful model for dissecting the mechanisms of autophagy.
Author Summary
Autophagy is a eukaryotic cellular process that transports cytoplasmic contents into lysosomes/vacuoles for degradation. It has been linked to multiple human diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. The molecular machinery of autophagy was first identified and has been best characterized in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but little is known about the autophagy machinery in another important unicellular model organism, the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. In this study, we performed an unbiased and comprehensive screening of the fission yeast autophagy genes by profiling the mating phenotypes of nearly 3000 deletion strains. Following up on the screening results, we systematically characterized both previously known and newly identified fission yeast autophagy factors by examining their localization and the phenotype of their mutants. Our analysis increased the number of experimentally defined fission yeast autophagy factors from 14 to 23, including two novel factors that act in ways different from all previously known autophagy proteins. Together, our data reveal unexpected evolutionary divergence of autophagy mechanisms and establish a new model system for unraveling the molecular details of the autophagy process.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003715
PMCID: PMC3738441  PMID: 23950735
15.  Cytolethal Distending Toxin from Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Induces DNA Damage, S/G2 Cell Cycle Arrest, and Caspase- Independent Death in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae Model▿  
Infection and Immunity  2009;78(2):783-792.
Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) is a bacterial toxin that induces G2/M cell cycle arrest, cell distension, and/or apoptosis in mammalian cells. It is produced by several Gram-negative species and may contribute to their pathogenicity. The catalytic subunit CdtB has homology with DNase I and may act as a genotoxin. However, the mechanism by which CdtB leads to cell death is not yet clearly understood. Here, we used Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model to study the molecular pathways involved in the function of CdtB from Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, a cause of aggressive periodontitis. We show that A. actinomycetemcomitans CdtB (AaCdtB) expression induces S/G2 arrest and death in a DNase-catalytic residue and nuclear localization-dependent manner in haploid yeasts. Yeast strains defective in homologous recombination (HR) repair, but not other DNA repair pathways, are hypersensitive to AaCdtB, suggesting that HR is required for survival upon CdtB expression. In addition, yeast does not harbor the substrate for the other activity proposed for CdtB function, which is phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-triphosphate phosphatase. Thus, these results suggest that direct DNA-damaging activity alone is sufficient for CdtB toxicity. To investigate how CdtB induces cell death, we examined the effect of CdtB in yeast strains with mutations in apoptotic regulators. Our results suggest that yeast death occurs independently of the yeast metacaspase gene YCA1 and the apoptosis-inducing factor AIF1 but is partially dependent on histone H2B serine 10 phosphorylation. Therefore, we report here the evidence that AaCdtB causes DNA damage that leads to nonapoptotic death in yeast and the first mutation that confers resistance to CdtB.
doi:10.1128/IAI.00857-09
PMCID: PMC2812194  PMID: 19995894
16.  Loss of Histone H3 Methylation at Lysine 4 Triggers Apoptosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(1):e1004095.
Monoubiquitination of histone H2B lysine 123 regulates methylation of histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) and 79 (H3K79) and the lack of H2B ubiquitination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae coincides with metacaspase-dependent apoptosis. Here, we discovered that loss of H3K4 methylation due to depletion of the methyltransferase Set1p (or the two COMPASS subunits Spp1p and Bre2p, respectively) leads to enhanced cell death during chronological aging and increased sensitivity to apoptosis induction. In contrast, loss of H3K79 methylation due to DOT1 disruption only slightly affects yeast survival. SET1 depleted cells accumulate DNA damage and co-disruption of Dot1p, the DNA damage adaptor protein Rad9p, the endonuclease Nuc1p, and the metacaspase Yca1p, respectively, impedes their early death. Furthermore, aged and dying wild-type cells lose H3K4 methylation, whereas depletion of the H3K4 demethylase Jhd2p improves survival, indicating that loss of H3K4 methylation is an important trigger for cell death in S. cerevisiae. Given the evolutionary conservation of H3K4 methylation this likely plays a role in apoptosis regulation in a wide range of organisms.
Author Summary
Covalent histone modifications alter chromatin structure and DNA accessibility, which is playing important roles in a wide range of DNA-based processes, such as transcription regulation and DNA repair, but also cell division and apoptosis. Apoptosis is the most common form of programmed cell death and plays important roles in the development and cellular homeostasis of all metazoans. Deregulation of apoptosis contributes to the pathogenesis of multiple diseases including autoimmune, neoplastic and neurodegenerative disorders. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has progressively evolved as model to study the mechanisms of apoptotic regulation, and we study here the role of an evolutionary conserved trans-histone crosstalk, in particular histone methylation, in apoptotic signaling in yeast. We have identified a novel trigger for cell death in yeast and due to the strong evolutionary conservation our findings may apply to human cells and may be of importance for understanding the molecular mechanism underlying a specific subtype of acute leukemia.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004095
PMCID: PMC3907299  PMID: 24497836
17.  Transcriptional silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe 
Nucleic Acids Research  2002;30(7):1465-1482.
Transcriptional silencing is a heritable form of gene inactivation that involves the assembly of large regions of DNA into a specialized chromatin structure that inhibits transcription. This phenomenon is responsible for inhibiting transcription at silent mating-type loci, telomeres and rDNA repeats in both budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, as well as at centromeres in fission yeast. Although transcriptional silencing in both S.cerevisiae and S.pombe involves modification of chromatin, no apparent amino acid sequence similarities have been reported between the proteins involved in establishment and maintenance of silent chromatin in these two distantly related yeasts. Silencing in S.cerevisiae is mediated by Sir2p-containing complexes, whereas silencing in S.pombe is mediated primarily by Swi6-containing complexes. The Swi6 complexes of S.pombe contain proteins closely related to their counterparts in higher eukaryotes, but have no apparent orthologs in S.cerevisiae. Silencing proteins from both yeasts are also actively involved in other chromosome-related nuclear functions, including DNA repair and the regulation of chromatin structure.
PMCID: PMC101825  PMID: 11917007
18.  Vgl1, a multi-KH domain protein, is a novel component of the fission yeast stress granules required for cell survival under thermal stress 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(19):6555-6566.
Multiple KH-domain proteins, collectively known as vigilins, are evolutionarily highly conserved proteins that are present in eukaryotic organisms from yeast to metazoa. Proposed roles for vigilins include chromosome segregation, messenger RNA (mRNA) metabolism, translation and tRNA transport. As a step toward understanding its biological function, we have identified the fission yeast vigilin, designated Vgl1, and have investigated its role in cellular response to environmental stress. Unlike its counterpart in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we found no indication that Vgl1 is required for the maintenance of cell ploidy in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Instead, Vgl1 is required for cell survival under thermal stress, and vgl1Δ mutants lose their viability more rapidly than wild-type cells when incubated at high temperature. As for Scp160 in S. cerevisiae, Vgl1 bound polysomes accumulated at endoplasmic reticulum (ER) but in a microtubule-independent manner. Under thermal stress, Vgl1 is rapidly relocalized from the ER to cytoplasmic foci that are distinct from P-bodies but contain stress granule markers such as poly(A)-binding protein and components of the translation initiation factor eIF3. Together, these observations demonstrated in S. pombe the presence of RNA granules with similar composition as mammalian stress granules and identified Vgl1 as a novel component that required for cell survival under thermal stress.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkq555
PMCID: PMC2965253  PMID: 20547592
19.  Silencing of Nicotiana benthamiana Neuroblastoma-Amplified Gene causes ER stress and cell death 
BMC Plant Biology  2013;13:69.
Background
Neuroblastoma Amplified Gene (NAG) was identified as a gene co-amplified with the N-myc gene, whose genomic amplification correlates with poor prognosis of neuroblastoma. Later it was found that NAG is localized in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and is a component of the syntaxin 18 complex that is involved in Golgi-to-ER retrograde transport in human cells. Homologous sequences of NAG are found in plant databases, but its function in plant cells remains unknown.
Results
Nicotiana benthamania Neuroblastoma-Amplified Gene (NbNAG) encodes a protein of 2,409 amino acids that contains the secretory pathway Sec39 domain and is mainly localized in the ER. Silencing of NbNAG by virus-induced gene silencing resulted in growth arrest and acute plant death with morphological markers of programmed cell death (PCD), which include chromatin fragmentation and modification of mitochondrial membrane potential. NbNAG deficiency caused induction of ER stress genes, disruption of the ER network, and relocation of bZIP28 transcription factor from the ER membrane to the nucleus, similar to the phenotypes of tunicamycin-induced ER stress in a plant cell. NbNAG silencing caused defects in intracellular transport of diverse cargo proteins, suggesting that a blocked secretion pathway by NbNAG deficiency causes ER stress and programmed cell death.
Conclusions
These results suggest that NAG, a conserved protein from yeast to mammals, plays an essential role in plant growth and development by modulating protein transport pathway, ER stress response and PCD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-69
PMCID: PMC3654999  PMID: 23621803
bZIP28; ER stress gene expression; Promoter-GUS fusion; Protein transport assay; Virus-induced gene silencing
20.  Topoisomerase II– and Condensin-Dependent Breakage of MEC1ATR-Sensitive Fragile Sites Occurs Independently of Spindle Tension, Anaphase, or Cytokinesis 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(10):e1002978.
Fragile sites are loci of recurrent chromosome breakage in the genome. They are found in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans and are implicated in genome instability, evolution, and cancer. In budding yeast, inactivation of Mec1, a homolog of mammalian ATR, leads to chromosome breakage at fragile sites referred to as replication slow zones (RSZs). RSZs are proposed to be homologous to mammalian common fragile sites (CFSs) whose stability is regulated by ATR. Perturbation during S phase, leading to elevated levels of stalled replication forks, is necessary but not sufficient for chromosome breakage at RSZs or CFSs. To address the nature of additional event(s) required for the break formation, we examined involvement of the currently known or implicated mechanisms of endogenous chromosome breakage, including errors in replication fork restart, premature mitotic chromosome condensation, spindle tension, anaphase, and cytokinesis. Results revealed that chromosome breakage at RSZs is independent of the RAD52 epistasis group genes and of TOP3, SGS1, SRS2, MMS4, or MUS81, indicating that homologous recombination and other recombination-related processes associated with replication fork restart are unlikely to be involved. We also found spindle force, anaphase, or cytokinesis to be dispensable. RSZ breakage, however, required genes encoding condensin subunits (YCG1, YSC4) and topoisomerase II (TOP2). We propose that chromosome break formation at RSZs following Mec1 inactivation, a model for mammalian fragile site breakage, is mediated by internal chromosomal stress generated during mitotic chromosome condensation.
Author Summary
Chromosome breakage can occur during normal cell division. When it occurs, the breaks do not arise randomly throughout the genome, but at preferred locations referred to as fragile sites. Chromosome breakage at fragile sites is an evolutionarily conserved phenomenon, implicated in evolution and speciation. In humans, fragile site instability is also implicated in mental retardation and cancer. Despite its biological and clinical relevance, the mechanism(s) by which breaks are introduced at mammalian fragile sites remains unresolved. Although several plausible models have been proposed, it has not been possible to ascertain their contribution, largely due to the lack of a suitable experimental system. Here, we study a yeast model system that closely recapitulates the phenomenon of chromosome breakage at mammalian fragile sites. We eliminate all but one of the currently considered models—premature compaction of the incompletely replicated genome in preparation for their segregation during cell division. We also find that the breakage required functions of three proteins involved in the genome compaction, an essential process that is evolutionarily conserved from bacteria to humans. Our findings suggest that a fundamental chromosomal process required for normal cell division can paradoxically cause genome instability and/or cell death, by triggering chromosome breakage at fragile sites.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002978
PMCID: PMC3486896  PMID: 23133392
21.  The Membrane-Associated Transcription Factor NAC089 Controls ER-Stress-Induced Programmed Cell Death in Plants 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(3):e1004243.
The unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated to sustain cell survival by reducing misfolded protein accumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The UPR also promotes programmed cell death (PCD) when the ER stress is severe; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms are less understood, especially in plants. Previously, two membrane-associated transcriptions factors (MTFs), bZIP28 and bZIP60, were identified as the key regulators for cell survival in the plant ER stress response. Here, we report the identification of another MTF, NAC089, as an important PCD regulator in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants. NAC089 relocates from the ER membrane to the nucleus under ER stress conditions. Inducible expression of a truncated form of NAC089, in which the transmembrane domain is deleted, induces PCD with increased caspase 3/7-like activity and DNA fragmentation. Knock-down NAC089 in Arabidopsis confers ER stress tolerance and impairs ER-stress-induced caspase-like activity. Transcriptional regulation analysis and ChIP-qPCR reveal that NAC089 plays important role in regulating downstream genes involved in PCD, such as NAC094, MC5 and BAG6. Furthermore, NAC089 is up-regulated by ER stress, which is directly controlled by bZIP28 and bZIP60. These results show that nuclear relocation of NAC089 promotes ER-stress-induced PCD, and both pro-survival and pro-death signals are elicited by bZIP28 and bZIP60 during plant ER stress response.
Author Summary
Protein folding is fundamentally important for development and responses to environmental stresses in eukaryotes. When excess misfolded proteins are accumulated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the unfolded protein response (UPR) is triggered to promote cell survival through optimizing protein folding, and also promote programmed cell death (PCD) when the stress is severe. However, the link from ER-stress-sensing to PCD is largely unknown. Here, we report the identification of one membrane-associated transcription factor NAC089 as an important regulator of ER stress-induced PCD in plants. We have established a previously unrecognized molecular connection between ER stress sensors and PCD regulators. We have shown that organelle-to-organelle translocation of a transcription factor is important for its function in transcriptional regulation. Our results have provided novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of PCD in plants, especially under ER stress conditions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004243
PMCID: PMC3967986  PMID: 24675811
22.  Conservation of Glutamine-Rich Transactivation Function between Yeast and Humans 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(8):2774-2782.
Several eukaryotic transcription factors such as Sp1 or Oct1 contain glutamine-rich domains that mediate transcriptional activation. In human cells, promoter-proximally bound glutamine-rich activation domains activate transcription poorly in the absence of acidic type activators bound at distal enhancers, but synergistically stimulate transcription with these remote activators. Glutamine-rich activation domains were previously reported to also function in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe but not in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, suggesting that budding yeast lacks this pathway of transcriptional activation. The strong interaction of an Sp1 glutamine-rich domain with the general transcription factor TAFII110 (TAFII130), and the absence of any obvious TAFII110 homologue in the budding yeast genome, seemed to confirm this notion. We reinvestigated the phenomenon by reconstituting in the budding yeast an enhancer-promoter architecture that is prevalent in higher eukaryotes but less common in yeast. Under these conditions, we observed that glutamine-rich activation domains derived from both mammalian and yeast transcription factors activated only poorly on their own but strongly synergized with acidic activators bound at the remote enhancer position. The level of activation by the glutamine-rich activation domains of Sp1 and Oct1 in combination with a remote enhancer was similar in yeast and human cells. We also found that mutations in a glutamine-rich domain had similar phenotypes in budding yeast and human cells. Our results show that glutamine-rich activation domains behave very similarly in yeast and mammals and that their activity in budding yeast does not depend on the presence of a TAFII110 homologue.
PMCID: PMC85493  PMID: 10733580
23.  Cross-species chemogenomic profiling reveals evolutionarily conserved drug mode of action 
Chemogenomic screens were performed in both budding and fission yeasts, allowing for a cross-species comparison of drug–gene interaction networks.Drug–module interactions were more conserved than individual drug–gene interactions.Combination of data from both species can improve drug–module predictions and helps identify a compound's mode of action.
Understanding the molecular effects of chemical compounds in living cells is an important step toward rational therapeutics. Drug discovery aims to find compounds that will target a specific pathway or pathogen with minimal side effects. However, even when an effective drug is found, its mode of action (MoA) is typically not well understood. The lack of knowledge regarding a drug's MoA makes the drug discovery process slow and rational therapeutics incredibly difficult. More recently, different high-throughput methods have been developed that attempt to discern how a compound exerts its effects in cells. One of these methods relies on measuring the growth of cells carrying different mutations in the presence of the compounds of interest, commonly referred to as chemogenomics (Wuster and Babu, 2008). The differential growth of the different mutants provides clues as to what the compounds target in the cell (Figure 2). For example, if a drug inhibits a branch in a vital two-branch pathway, then mutations in the second branch might result in cell death if the mutants are grown in the presence of the drug (Figure 2C). As these compound–mutant functional interactions are expected to be relatively rare, one can assume that the growth rate of a mutant–drug combination should generally be equal to the product of the growth rate of the untreated mutant with the growth rate of the drug-treated wild type. This expectation is defined as the neutral model and deviations from this provide a quantitative score that allow us to make informed predictions regarding a drug's MoA (Figure 2B; Parsons et al, 2006).
The availability of these high-throughput approaches now allows us to perform cross-species studies of functional interactions between compounds and genes. In this study, we have performed a quantitative analysis of compound–gene interactions for two fungal species (budding yeast (S. cerevisiae) and fission yeast (S. pombe)) that diverged from each other approximately 500–700 million years ago. A collection of 2957 compounds from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) were screened in both species for inhibition of wild-type cell growth. A total of 132 were found to be bioactive in both fungi and 9, along with 12 additional well-characterized drugs, were selected for subsequent screening. Mutant libraries of 727 and 438 gene deletions were used for S. cerevisiae and S. pombe, respectively, and these were selected based on availability of genetic interaction data from previous studies (Collins et al, 2007; Roguev et al, 2008; Fiedler et al, 2009) and contain an overlap of 190 one-to-one orthologs that can be directly compared. Deviations from the neutral expectation were quantified as drug–gene interactions scores (D-scores) for the 21 compounds against the deletion libraries. Replicates of both screens showed very high correlations (S. cerevisiae r=0.72, S. pombe r=0.76) and reproduced well previously known compound–gene interactions (Supplementary information). We then compared the D-scores for the 190 one-to-one orthologs present in the data set of both species. Despite the high reproducibility, we observed a very poor conservation of these compound–gene interaction scores across these species (r=0.13, Figure 4A).
Previous work had shown that, across these same species, genetic interactions within protein complexes were much more conserved than average genetic interactions (Roguev et al, 2008). Similarly we observed a higher cross-species conservation of the compound–module (complex or pathway) interactions than the overall compound–gene interactions. Specifically, the data derived from fission yeast were a poor predictor of S. cerevisaie drug–gene interactions, but a good predictor of budding yeast compound–module connections (Figure 4B). Also, a combined score from both species improved the prediction of compound–module interactions, above the accuracy observed with the S. cerevisae information alone, but this improvement was not observed for the prediction of drug–gene interactions (Figure 4B). Data from both species were used to predict drug–module interactions, and one specific interaction (compound NSC-207895 interaction with DNA repair complexes) was experimentally verified by showing that the compound activates the DNA damage repair pathway in three species (S. cerevisiae, S. pombe and H. sapiens).
To understand why the combination of chemogenomic data from two species might improve drug–module interaction predictions, we also analyzed previously published cross-species genetic–interaction data. We observed a significant correlation between the conservation of drug–gene and gene–gene interactions among the one-to-one orthologs (r=0.28, P-value=0.0078). Additionally, the strongest interactions of benomyl (a microtubule inhibitor) were to complexes that also had strong and conserved genetic interactions with microtubules (Figure 4C). We hypothesize that a significant number of the compound–gene interactions obtained from chemogenomic studies are not direct interactions with the physical target of the compounds, but include many indirect interactions that genetically interact with the main target(s). This would explain why the compound interaction networks show similar evolutionary patterns as the genetic interactions networks.
In summary, these results shed some light on the interplay between the evolution of genetic networks and the evolution of drug response. Understanding how genetic variability across different species might result in different sensitivity to drugs should improve our capacity to design treatments. Concretely, we hope that this line of research might one day help us create drugs and drug combinations that specifically affect a pathogen or diseased tissue, but not the host.
We present a cross-species chemogenomic screening platform using libraries of haploid deletion mutants from two yeast species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We screened a set of compounds of known and unknown mode of action (MoA) and derived quantitative drug scores (or D-scores), identifying mutants that are either sensitive or resistant to particular compounds. We found that compound–functional module relationships are more conserved than individual compound–gene interactions between these two species. Furthermore, we observed that combining data from both species allows for more accurate prediction of MoA. Finally, using this platform, we identified a novel small molecule that acts as a DNA damaging agent and demonstrate that its MoA is conserved in human cells.
doi:10.1038/msb.2010.107
PMCID: PMC3018166  PMID: 21179023
chemogenomics; evolution; modularity
24.  Mutant enrichment of Schizosaccharomyces pombe by inositol-less death. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(12):4078-4085.
Enrichment procedures, such as those utilizing inositol-less death, have proven to be extremely powerful for increasing the efficiency of identification of spontaneous mutants in a variety of procaryotic and eucaryotic organisms. We characterized inositol-less death in several widely used strains of the inositol-requiring yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and determined conditions under which this phenomenon can be used to enrich for mutants. Conflicting reports in the literature on the effects of inositol starvation upon viability of S. pombe had cast doubt on the suitability of using inositol-less death in a mutant enrichment procedure for this organism. We determined that inositol-less death was strain dependent, with differences in viability of up to 5 orders of magnitude observed between the most-sensitive strain, 972, and the least-sensitive strain, SP837. Inositol-less death was also dependent upon the cell concentration at the time of initiation of starvation. While inositol-less death occurred at all four temperatures tested, the kinetics of death was slower at 16 degrees C than at 23, 30, or 37 degrees C. Inositol-less death was observed during growth in fermentable and nonfermentable carbon sources, although loss of viability in glycerol-ethanol was significantly slower than that in glucose, sucrose, or raffinose. The feasibility of exploiting inositol-less death to enrich for spontaneous mutants was demonstrated by the identification of amino acid auxotrophs, nucleotide auxotrophs, carbon source utilization mutants, and temperature-sensitive mutants. By varying starvation conditions, some mutants were recovered at frequencies as high as 5.7 x 10(-2), orders of magnitude higher than the spontaneous mutation rate.
PMCID: PMC206119  PMID: 1597422
25.  Cytochrome c Release and Mitochondria Involvement in Programmed Cell Death Induced by Acetic Acid in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2002;13(8):2598-2606.
Evidence is presented that mitochondria are implicated in the previously described programmed cell death (PCD) process induced by acetic acid in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In yeast cells undergoing a PCD process induced by acetic acid, translocation of cytochrome c (CytC) to the cytosol and reactive oxygen species production, two events known to be proapoptotic in mammals, were observed. Associated with these events, reduction in oxygen consumption and in mitochondrial membrane potential was found. Enzymatic assays showed that the activity of complex bc1 was normal, whereas that of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) was strongly decreased. This decrease is in accordance with the observed reduction in the amounts of COX II subunit and of cytochromes a+a3. The acetic acid-induced PCD process was found to be independent of oxidative phosphorylation because it was not inhibited by oligomycin treatment. The inability of S. cerevisiae mutant strains (lacking mitochondrial DNA, heme lyase, or ATPase) to undergo acetic acid-induced PCD and in the ATPase mutant (knockout in ATP10) the absence of CytC release provides further evidence that the process is mediated by a mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway. The understanding of the involvement of a mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway in S. cerevisiae PCD process will be most useful in the further elucidation of an ancestral pathway common to PCD in metazoans.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E01-12-0161
PMCID: PMC117928  PMID: 12181332

Results 1-25 (1170154)