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1.  Genomic analysis of severe hypersensitivity to hygromycin B reveals linkage to vacuolar defects and new vacuolar gene functions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Current genetics  2009;56(2):121-137.
The vacuole of Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been a seminal model for studies of lysosomal trafficking, biogenesis, and function. Several yeast mutants defective in such vacuolar events have been unable to grow at low levels of hygromycin B, an aminoglycoside antibiotic. We hypothesized that such severe hypersensitivity to hygromycin B (hhy) is linked to vacuolar defects and performed a genomic screen for the phenotype using a haploid deletion strain library of non-essential genes. Fourteen HHY genes were initially identified and were subjected to bioinformatics analyses. The uncovered hhy mutants were experimentally characterized with respect to vesicular trafficking, vacuole morphology, and growth under various stress and drug conditions. The combination of bioinformatics analyses and phenotypic characterizations implicate defects in vesicular trafficking, vacuole fusion/fission, or vacuole function in all hhy mutants. The collection was enriched for sensitivity to monensin, indicative of vacuolar trafficking defects. Additionally, all hhy mutants showed severe sensitivities to rapamycin and caffeine, suggestive of TOR kinase pathway defects. Our experimental results also establish a new role in vacuolar and vesicular functions for two genes: PAF1, encoding a RNAP II-associated protein required for expression of cell cycle-regulated genes, and TPD3, encoding the regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A. Thus, our results support linkage between severe hypersensitivity to hygromycin B and vacuolar defects.
PMCID: PMC2886664  PMID: 20043226
Yeast vacuole; Lysosome; Hygromycin B; Vesicular trafficking
2.  Acidic Di-leucine Motif Essential for AP-3–dependent Sorting and Restriction of the Functional Specificity of the Vam3p Vacuolar t-SNARE  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1998;142(4):913-922.
The transport of newly synthesized proteins through the vacuolar protein sorting pathway in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires two distinct target SNAP receptor (t-SNARE) proteins, Pep12p and Vam3p. Pep12p is localized to the pre-vacuolar endosome and its activity is required for transport of proteins from the Golgi to the vacuole through a well defined route, the carboxypeptidase Y (CPY) pathway. Vam3p is localized to the vacuole where it mediates delivery of cargoes from both the CPY and the recently described alkaline phosphatase (ALP) pathways. Surprisingly, despite their organelle-specific functions in sorting of vacuolar proteins, overexpression of VAM3 can suppress the protein sorting defects of pep12Δ cells. Based on this observation, we developed a genetic screen to identify domains in Vam3p (e.g., localization and/or specific protein–protein interaction domains) that allow it to efficiently substitute for Pep12p. Using this screen, we identified mutations in a 7–amino acid sequence in Vam3p that lead to missorting of Vam3p from the ALP pathway into the CPY pathway where it can substitute for Pep12p at the pre-vacuolar endosome. This region contains an acidic di-leucine sequence that is closely related to sorting signals required for AP-3 adaptor–dependent transport in both yeast and mammalian systems. Furthermore, disruption of AP-3 function also results in the ability of wild-type Vam3p to compensate for pep12 mutants, suggesting that AP-3 mediates the sorting of Vam3p via the di-leucine signal. Together, these data provide the first identification of an adaptor protein–specific sorting signal in a t-SNARE protein, and suggest that AP-3–dependent sorting of Vam3p acts to restrict its interaction with compartment-specific accessory proteins, thereby regulating its function. Regulated transport of cargoes such as Vam3p through the AP-3–dependent pathway may play an important role in maintaining the unique composition, function, and morphology of the vacuole.
PMCID: PMC2132875  PMID: 9722605
vacuole; SNARE; di-leucine; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; AP-3
3.  High-Content, Image-Based Screening for Drug Targets in Yeast 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10177.
Drug discovery and development are predicated on elucidation of the potential mechanisms of action and cellular targets of candidate chemical compounds. Recent advances in high-content imaging techniques allow simultaneous analysis of a range of cellular events. In this study, we propose a novel strategy to identify drug targets by combining genetic screening and high-content imaging in yeast.
In this approach, we infer the cellular functions affected by candidate drugs by comparing morphologic changes induced by the compounds with the phenotypes of yeast mutants.
Using this method and four well-characterized reagents, we successfully identified previously known target genes of the compounds as well as other genes involved with functionally related cellular pathways. This is the first demonstration of a genetic high-content assay that can be used to identify drug targets based on morphologic phenotypes of a reference mutant panel.
PMCID: PMC2854693  PMID: 20418956
4.  S-acylation-dependent association of the calcium sensor CBL2 with the vacuolar membrane is essential for proper abscisic acid responses 
Cell Research  2012;22(7):1155-1168.
Calcineurin B-like (CBL) proteins contribute to decoding calcium signals by interacting with CBL-interacting protein kinases (CIPKs). Currently, there is still very little information about the function and specific targeting mechanisms of CBL proteins that are localized at the vacuolar membrane. In this study, we focus on CBL2, an abundant vacuolar membrane-localized calcium sensor of unknown function from Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that vacuolar targeting of CBL2 is specifically brought about by S-acylation of three cysteine residues in its N-terminus and that CBL2 S-acylation and targeting occur by a Brefeldin A-insensitive pathway. Loss of CBL2 function renders plants hypersensitive to the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) during seed germination and only fully S-acylated and properly vacuolar-targeted CBL2 proteins can complement this mutant phenotype. These findings define an S-acylation-dependent vacuolar membrane targeting pathway for proteins and uncover a crucial role of vacuolar calcium sensors in ABA responses.
PMCID: PMC3391015  PMID: 22547024
S-acylation; vacuolar membrane; ABA; CBL; calcium
5.  A Small Molecule Inhibitor Partitions Two Distinct Pathways for Trafficking of Tonoplast Intrinsic Proteins in Arabidopsis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44735.
Tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs) facilitate the membrane transport of water and other small molecules across the plant vacuolar membrane, and members of this family are expressed in specific developmental stages and tissue types. Delivery of TIP proteins to the tonoplast is thought to occur by vesicle–mediated traffic from the endoplasmic reticulum to the vacuole, and at least two pathways have been proposed, one that is Golgi-dependent and another that is Golgi-independent. However, the mechanisms for trafficking of vacuolar membrane proteins to the tonoplast remain poorly understood. Here we describe a chemical genetic approach to unravel the mechanisms of TIP protein targeting to the vacuole in Arabidopsis seedlings. We show that members of the TIP family are targeted to the vacuole via at least two distinct pathways, and we characterize the bioactivity of a novel inhibitor that can differentiate between them. We demonstrate that, unlike for TIP1;1, trafficking of markers for TIP3;1 and TIP2;1 is insensitive to Brefeldin A in Arabidopsis hypocotyls. Using a chemical inhibitor that may target this BFA-insensitive pathway for membrane proteins, we show that inhibition of this pathway results in impaired root hair growth and enhanced vacuolar targeting of the auxin efflux carrier PIN2 in the dark. Our results indicate that the vacuolar targeting of PIN2 and the BFA-insensitive pathway for tonoplast proteins may be mediated in part by common mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3434187  PMID: 22957103
6.  Systematic quantification of gene interactions by phenotypic array analysis 
Genome Biology  2004;5(7):R49.
A phenotypic array method, developed for quantifying cell growth, was applied to the haploid and homozygous diploid yeast deletion strain sets. A growth index was developed to screen for non-additive interacting effects between gene deletion and induced perturbations.
A phenotypic array method, developed for quantifying cell growth, was applied to the haploid and homozygous diploid yeast deletion strain sets. A growth index was developed to screen for non-additive interacting effects between gene deletion and induced perturbations. From a genome screen for hydroxyurea (HU) chemical-genetic interactions, 298 haploid deletion strains were selected for further analysis. The strength of interactions was quantified using a wide range of HU concentrations affecting reference strain growth. The selectivity of interaction was determined by comparison with drugs targeting other cellular processes. Bio-modules were defined as gene clusters with shared strength and selectivity of interaction profiles. The functions and connectivity of modules involved in processes such as DNA repair, protein secretion and metabolic control were inferred from their respective gene composition. The work provides an example of, and a general experimental framework for, quantitative analysis of gene interaction networks that buffer cell growth.
PMCID: PMC463315  PMID: 15239834
7.  The Plant Vacuolar Sorting Receptor Atelp Is Involved in Transport of Nh2-Terminal Propeptide-Containing Vacuolar Proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;149(7):1335-1344.
Many soluble plant vacuolar proteins are sorted away from secreted proteins into small vesicles at the trans-Golgi network by transmembrane cargo receptors. Cleavable vacuolar sorting signals include the NH2-terminal propeptide (NTPP) present in sweet potato sporamin (Spo) and the COOH-terminal propeptide (CTPP) present in barley lectin (BL). These two proteins have been found to be transported by different mechanisms to the vacuole. We examined the ability of the vacuolar cargo receptor AtELP to interact with the sorting signals of heterologous and endogenous plant vacuolar proteins in mediating vacuolar transport in Arabidopsis thaliana. AtELP extracted from microsomes was found to interact with the NTPPs of barley aleurain and Spo, but not with the CTPPs of BL or tobacco chitinase, in a pH-dependent and sequence-specific manner. In addition, EM studies revealed the colocalization of AtELP with NTPP-Spo at the Golgi apparatus, but not with BL-CTPP in roots of transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Further, we found that AtELP interacts in a similar manner with the NTPP of the endogenous vacuolar protein AtALEU (Arabidopsis thaliana Aleu), a protein highly homologous to barley aleurain. We hypothesize that AtELP functions as a vacuolar sorting receptor involved in the targeting of NTPP-, but not CTPP-containing proteins in Arabidopsis.
PMCID: PMC2175142  PMID: 10871276
protein traffic ; Golgi apparatus; COOH-terminal propeptide; plant vacuole barley aleurain
8.  A Novel RING Finger Protein Complex Essential for a Late Step in Protein Transport to the Yeast Vacuole 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1997;8(11):2307-2327.
Protein transport to the lysosome-like vacuole in yeast is mediated by multiple pathways, including the biosynthetic routes for vacuolar hydrolases, the endocytic pathway, and autophagy. Among the more than 40 genes required for vacuolar protein sorting (VPS) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mutations in the four class C VPS genes result in the most severe vacuolar protein sorting and morphology defects. Herein, we provide complementary genetic and biochemical evidence that the class C VPS gene products (Vps18p, Vps11p, Vps16p, and Vps33p) physically and functionally interact to mediate a late step in protein transport to the vacuole. Chemical cross-linking experiments demonstrated that Vps11p and Vps18p, which both contain RING finger zinc-binding domains, are components of a hetero-oligomeric protein complex that includes Vps16p and the Sec1p homologue Vps33p. The class C Vps protein complex colocalized with vacuolar membranes and a distinct dense membrane fraction. Analysis of cells harboring a temperature-conditional vps18 allele (vps18tsf) indicated that Vps18p function is required for the biosynthetic, endocytic, and autophagic protein transport pathways to the vacuole. In addition, vps18tsf cells accumulated multivesicular bodies, autophagosomes, and other membrane compartments that appear to represent blocked transport intermediates. Overproduction of either Vps16p or the vacuolar syntaxin homologue Vam3p suppressed defects associated with vps18tsf mutant cells, indicating that the class C Vps proteins and Vam3p may functionally interact. Thus we propose that the class C Vps proteins are components of a hetero-oligomeric protein complex that mediates the delivery of multiple transport intermediates to the vacuole.
PMCID: PMC25710  PMID: 9362071
9.  Membrane protein sorting in the yeast secretory pathway: evidence that the vacuole may be the default compartment 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1992;119(1):69-83.
The targeting signals of two yeast integral membrane dipeptidyl aminopeptidases (DPAPs), DPAP B and DPAP A, which reside in the vacuole and the Golgi apparatus, respectively, were analyzed. No single domain of DPAP B is required for delivery to the vacuolar membrane, because removal or replacement of either the cytoplasmic, transmembrane, or lumenal domain did not affect the protein's transport to the vacuole. DPAP A was localized by indirect immunofluorescence to non-vacuolar, punctate structures characteristic of the yeast Golgi apparatus. The 118-amino acid cytoplasmic domain of DPAP A is sufficient for retention of the protein in these structures, since replacement of the cytoplasmic domain of DPAP B with that of DPAP A resulted in an immunolocalization pattern indistinguishable from that of wild type DPAP A. Overproduction of DPAP A resulted in its mislocalization to the vacuole, because cells expressing high levels of DPAP A exhibited vacuolar as well as Golgi staining. Deletion of 22 residues of the DPAP A cytoplasmic domain resulted in mislocalization of the mutant protein to the vacuole. Thus, the cytoplasmic domain of DPAP A is both necessary and sufficient for Golgi retention, and removal of the retention signal, or saturation of the retention apparatus by overproducing DPAP A, resulted in transport to the vacuole. Like wild type DPAP B, the delivery of mutant membrane proteins to the vacuole was unaffected in the secretory vesicle-blocked sec1 mutant; thus, transport to the vacuole was not via the plasma membrane followed by endocytosis. These data are consistent with a model in which membrane proteins are delivered to the vacuole along a default pathway.
PMCID: PMC2289628  PMID: 1527174
10.  Degradation of Lipid Vesicles in the Yeast Vacuole Requires Function of Cvt17, a Putative Lipase* 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2000;276(3):2083-2087.
The vacuole/lysosome serves an essential role in allowing cellular components to be degraded and recycled under starvation conditions. Vacuolar hydrolases are key proteins in this process. In Saccharyomces cerevisiae, some resident vacuolar hydrolases are delivered by the cytoplasm to vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway, which shares mechanistic features with autophagy. Autophagy is a degradative pathway that is used to degrade and recycle cellular components under starvation conditions. Both the Cvt pathway and autophagy employ double-membrane cytosolic vesicles to deliver cargo to the vacuole. As a result, these pathways share a common terminal step, the degradation of subvacuolar vesicles. We have identified a protein, Cvt17, which is essential for this membrane lytic event. Cvt17 is a membrane glycoprotein that contains a motif conserved in esterases and lipases. The active-site serine of this motif is required for subvacuolar vesicle lysis. This is the first characterization of a putative lipase implicated in vacuolar function in yeast.
PMCID: PMC2749705  PMID: 11085977
11.  A Novel Cold-Sensitive Allele of the Rate-Limiting Enzyme of Fatty Acid Synthesis, Acetyl Coenzyme A Carboxylase, Affects the Morphology of the Yeast Vacuole through Acylation of Vac8p 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(9):2984-2995.
The yeast vacuole functions both as a degradative organelle and as a storage depot for small molecules and ions. Vacuoles are dynamic reticular structures that appear to alternately fuse and fragment as a function of growth stage and environment. Vac8p, an armadillo repeat-containing protein, has previously been shown to function both in vacuolar inheritance and in protein targeting from the cytoplasm to the vacuole. Both myristoylation and palmitoylation of Vac8p are required for its efficient localization to the vacuolar membrane (Y.-X. Wang, N. L. Catlett, and L. S. Weisman, J. Cell Biol. 140:1063–1074, 1998). We report that mutants with conditional defects in the rate-limiting enzyme of fatty acid synthesis, acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC1), display unusually multilobed vacuoles, similar to those observed in vac8 mutant cells. This vacuolar phenotype of acc1 mutant cells was shown biochemically to be accompanied by a reduced acylation of Vac8p which was alleviated by fatty acid supplementation. Consistent with the proposed defect of acc1 mutant cells in acylation of Vac8p, vacuolar membrane localization of Vac8p was impaired upon shifting acc1 mutant cells to nonpermissive condition. The function of Vac8p in protein targeting, on the other hand, was not affected under these conditions. These observations link fatty acid synthesis and availability to direct morphological alterations of an organellar membrane.
PMCID: PMC85561  PMID: 10757783
12.  Exploring the ESCRTing machinery in eukaryotes 
Trends in plant science  2006;11(3):115-123.
The profile of protein sorting into multivesicular bodies (MVBs) has risen recently with the identification of three heteromeric complexes known as ESCRT-I,-II,-III (Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport). Genetic analyses in yeast have identified up to 15 soluble class E VPS (vacuolar protein sorting) proteins that have been assigned to the ESCRT machinery and function in cargo recognition and sorting, complex assembly, vesicle formation and dissociation. Despite their functional importance in yeast and mammalian cells, little is known about their presence and function in other organisms including plants. We have made use of the fully sequenced genomes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans to explore the identity, structural characteristics and phylogenetic relationships of proteins assigned to the ESCRT machinery.
PMCID: PMC2865992  PMID: 16488176
13.  The Saccharomyces cerevisiae v-SNARE Vti1p Is Required for Multiple Membrane Transport Pathways to the Vacuole 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1999;10(6):1719-1732.
The interaction between v-SNAREs on transport vesicles and t-SNAREs on target membranes is required for membrane traffic in eukaryotic cells. Here we identify Vti1p as the first v-SNARE protein found to be required for biosynthetic traffic into the yeast vacuole, the equivalent of the mammalian lysosome. Certain vti1-ts yeast mutants are defective in alkaline phosphatase transport from the Golgi to the vacuole and in targeting of aminopeptidase I from the cytosol to the vacuole. VTI1 interacts genetically with the vacuolar t-SNARE VAM3, which is required for transport of both alkaline phosphatase and aminopeptidase I to the vacuole. The v-SNARE Nyv1p forms a SNARE complex with Vam3p in homotypic vacuolar fusion; however, we find that Nyv1p is not required for any of the three biosynthetic pathways to the vacuole. v-SNAREs were thought to ensure specificity in membrane traffic. However, Vti1p also functions in two additional membrane traffic pathways: Vti1p interacts with the t-SNAREs Pep12p in traffic from the TGN to the prevacuolar compartment and with Sed5p in retrograde traffic to the cis-Golgi. The ability of Vti1p to mediate multiple fusion steps requires additional proteins to ensure specificity in membrane traffic.
PMCID: PMC25363  PMID: 10359592
14.  Crystallization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae α-­mannosidase, a cargo protein of the Cvt pathway 
Vacuolar α-mannosidase, a cargo protein of the cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting pathway, has been expressed, purified and crystallized.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae α-mannosidase (Ams1) is a cargo protein that is transported to the vacuole by the cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway during conditions of growth and by autophagy during conditions of starvation. After transport to the vacuole, Ams1 functions as a resident hydrolase. Ams1 has been overexpressed in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris, purified and crystallized in two crystal forms. Form I belongs to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 145.7, b = 127.7, c = 164.0 Å, β = 101.5°. Form II belongs to space group I222 or I212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 127.9, b = 163.7, c = 291.5 Å. Diffraction data were collected from these crystals to a resolution of 3.3 Å for form I and of 2.6 Å for form II using synchrotron radiation.
PMCID: PMC2688412  PMID: 19478433
α-mannosidase; cargo proteins; Cvt pathway; Saccharomyces cerevisiae
15.  Two Distinct Pathways for Targeting Proteins from the Cytoplasm to the Vacuole/Lysosome  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;139(7):1687-1695.
Stress conditions lead to a variety of physiological responses at the cellular level. Autophagy is an essential process used by animal, plant, and fungal cells that allows for both recycling of macromolecular constituents under conditions of nutrient limitation and remodeling the intracellular structure for cell differentiation. To elucidate the molecular basis of autophagic protein transport to the vacuole/lysosome, we have undertaken a morphological and biochemical analysis of this pathway in yeast.
Using the vacuolar hydrolase aminopeptidase I (API) as a marker, we provide evidence that the autophagic pathway overlaps with the biosynthetic pathway, cytoplasm to vacuole targeting (Cvt), used for API import. Before targeting, the precursor form of API is localized mostly in restricted regions of the cytosol as a complex with spherical particles (termed Cvt complex). During vegetative growth, the Cvt complex is selectively wrapped by a membrane sac forming a double membrane-bound structure of ∼150 nm diam, which then fuses with the vacuolar membrane. This process is topologically the same as macroautophagy induced under starvation conditions in yeast (Baba, M., K. Takeshige, N. Baba, and Y. Ohsumi. 1994. J. Cell Biol. 124:903–913). However, in contrast with autophagy, API import proceeds constitutively in growing conditions. This is the first demonstration of the use of an autophagy-like mechanism for biosynthetic delivery of a vacuolar hydrolase. Another important finding is that when cells are subjected to starvation conditions, the Cvt complex is now taken up by an autophagosome that is much larger and contains other cytosolic components; depending on environmental conditions, the cell uses an alternate pathway to sequester the Cvt complex and selectively deliver API to the vacuole. Together these results indicate that two related but distinct autophagy-like processes are involved in both biogenesis of vacuolar resident proteins and sequestration of substrates to be degraded.
PMCID: PMC2132654  PMID: 9412464
16.  Transport of a Large Oligomeric Protein by the Cytoplasm to Vacuole Protein Targeting Pathway 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;137(3):609-618.
Aminopeptidase I (API) is transported into the yeast vacuole by the cytoplasm to vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway. Genetic evidence suggests that autophagy, a major degradative pathway in eukaryotes, and the Cvt pathway share largely the same cellular machinery. To understand the mechanism of the Cvt import process, we examined the native state of API. Dodecameric assembly of precursor API in the cytoplasm and membrane binding were rapid events, whereas subsequent vacuolar import appeared to be rate limiting. A unique temperature-sensitive API-targeting mutant allowed us to kinetically monitor its oligomeric state during translocation. Our findings indicate that API is maintained as a dodecamer throughout its import and will be useful to study the posttranslational movement of folded proteins across biological membranes.
PMCID: PMC2139888  PMID: 9151668
17.  Flowering Time Modulation by a Vacuolar SNARE via FLOWERING LOCUS C in Arabidopsis thaliana 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e42239.
The transition of plant growth from vegetative to reproductive phases is one of the most important and dramatic events during the plant life cycle. In Arabidopsis thaliana, flowering promotion involves at least four genetically defined regulatory pathways, including the photoperiod-dependent, vernalization-dependent, gibberellin-dependent, and autonomous promotion pathways. Among these regulatory pathways, the vernalization-dependent and autonomous pathways are integrated by the expression of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), a negative regulator of flowering; however, the upstream regulation of this locus has not been fully understood. The SYP22 gene encodes a vacuolar SNARE protein that acts in vacuolar and endocytic trafficking pathways. Loss of SYP22 function was reported to lead to late flowering in A. thaliana plants, but the mechanism has remained completely unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that the late flowering phenotype of syp22 was due to elevated expression of FLC caused by impairment of the autonomous pathway. In addition, we investigated the DOC1/BIG pathway, which is also suggested to regulate vacuolar/endosomal trafficking. We found that elevated levels of FLC transcripts accumulated in the doc1-1 mutant, and that syp22 phenotypes were exaggerated with a double syp22 doc1-1 mutation. We further demonstrated that the elevated expression of FLC was suppressed by ara6-1, a mutation in the gene encoding plant-unique Rab GTPase involved in endosomal trafficking. Our results indicated that vacuolar and/or endocytic trafficking is involved in the FLC regulation of flowering time in A. thaliana.
PMCID: PMC3407077  PMID: 22848750
18.  The AP-3 adaptor complex is required for vacuolar function in Arabidopsis 
Cell Research  2011;21(12):1711-1722.
Subcellular trafficking is required for a multitude of functions in eukaryotic cells. It involves regulation of cargo sorting, vesicle formation, trafficking and fusion processes at multiple levels. Adaptor protein (AP) complexes are key regulators of cargo sorting into vesicles in yeast and mammals but their existence and function in plants have not been demonstrated. Here we report the identification of the protein-affected trafficking 4 (pat4) mutant defective in the putative δ subunit of the AP-3 complex. pat4 and pat2, a mutant isolated from the same GFP imaging-based forward genetic screen that lacks a functional putative AP-3 β, as well as dominant negative AP-3 μ transgenic lines display undistinguishable phenotypes characterized by largely normal morphology and development, but strong intracellular accumulation of membrane proteins in aberrant vacuolar structures. All mutants are defective in morphology and function of lytic and protein storage vacuoles (PSVs) but show normal sorting of reserve proteins to PSVs. Immunoprecipitation experiments and genetic studies revealed tight functional and physical associations of putative AP-3 β and AP-3 δ subunits. Furthermore, both proteins are closely linked with putative AP-3 μ and σ subunits and several components of the clathrin and dynamin machineries. Taken together, these results demonstrate that AP complexes, similar to those in other eukaryotes, exist in plants, and that AP-3 plays a specific role in the regulation of biogenesis and function of vacuoles in plant cells.
PMCID: PMC3357998  PMID: 21670741
AP-3 complex; PSVs; protein trafficking; vacuole biogenesis and function
19.  Quantitative Genome-Wide Analysis of Yeast Deletion Strain Sensitivities to Oxidative and Chemical Stress 
Understanding the actions of drugs and toxins in a cell is of critical importance to medicine, yet many of the molecular events involved in chemical resistance are relatively uncharacterized. In order to identify the cellular processes and pathways targeted by chemicals, we took advantage of the haploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae deletion strains (Winzeler et al., 1999). Although ~4800 of the strains are viable, the loss of a gene in a pathway affected by a drug can lead to a synthetic lethal effect in which the combination of a deletion and a normally sublethal dose of a chemical results in loss of viability. WE carried out genome-wide screens to determine quantitative sensitivities of the deletion set to four chemicals: hydrogen peroxide, menadione, ibuprofen and mefloquine. Hydrogen peroxide and menadione induce oxidative stress in the cell, whereas ibuprofen and mefloquine are toxic to yeast by unknown mechanisms. Here we report the sensitivities of 659 deletion strains that are sensitive to one or more of these four compounds, including 163 multichemicalsensitive strains, 394 strains specific to hydrogen peroxide and/or menadione, 47 specific to ibuprofen and 55 specific to mefloquine.We correlate these results with data from other large-scale studies to yield novel insights into cellular function.
PMCID: PMC2447451  PMID: 18629161
20.  Atg18 phosphoregulation controls organellar dynamics by modulating its phosphoinositide-binding activity 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2013;202(4):685-698.
Dephosphorylation of Atg18 increases its phosphoinositide-binding activity, thereby enhancing its association with the vacuolar membrane and inducing changes in vacuolar structure.
The PROPPIN family member Atg18 is a phosphoinositide-binding protein that is composed of a seven β-propeller motif and is part of the conserved autophagy machinery. Here, we report that the Atg18 phosphorylation in the loops in the propellar structure of blade 6 and blade 7 decreases its binding affinity to phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate in the yeast Pichia pastoris. Dephosphorylation of Atg18 was necessary for its association with the vacuolar membrane and caused septation of the vacuole. Upon or after dissociation from the vacuolar membrane, Atg18 was rephosphorylated, and the vacuoles fused and formed a single rounded structure. Vacuolar dynamics were regulated according to osmotic changes, oxidative stresses, and nutrient conditions inducing micropexophagy via modulation of Atg18 phosphorylation. This study reveals how the phosphoinositide-binding activity of the PROPPIN family protein Atg18 is regulated at the membrane association domain and highlights the importance of such phosphoregulation in coordinated intracellular reorganization.
PMCID: PMC3747300  PMID: 23940117
21.  A yeast protein related to a mammalian Ras-binding protein, Vps9p, is required for localization of vacuolar proteins. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1996;16(5):2369-2377.
In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mutations in vacuolar protein sorting (VPS) genes result in secretion of proteins normally localized to the vacuole. Characterization of the VPS pathway has provided considerable insight into mechanisms of protein sorting and vesicle-mediated intracellular transport. We have cloned VPS9 by complementation of the vacuolar protein sorting defect of vps9 cells, characterized its gene product, and investigated its role in vacuolar protein sorting. Cells with a vps9 disruption exhibit severe vacuolar protein sorting defects and a temperature-sensitive growth defect at 38 degrees C. Electron microscopic examination of delta vps9 cells revealed the appearance of novel reticular membrane structures as well as an accumulation of 40- to 50-nm-diameter vesicles, suggesting that Vps9p may be required for the consumption of transport vesicles containing vacuolar protein precursors. A temperature-conditional allele of vps9 was constructed and used to investigate the function of Vps9p. Immediately upon shifting of temperature-conditional vps9 cells to the nonpermissive temperature, newly synthesized carboxypeptidase Y was secreted, indicating that Vps9p function is directly required in the VPS pathway. Antibodies raised against Vps9p immunoprecipitate a rare 52-kDa protein that fractionates with cytosolic proteins following cell lysis and centrifugation. Analysis of the VPS9 DNA sequence predicts that Vps9p is related to human proteins that bind Ras and negatively regulate Ras-mediated signaling. We term the related regions of Vps9p and these Ras-binding proteins a GTPase binding homology domain and suggest that it defines a family of proteins that bind monomeric GTPases. Vps9p may bind and serve as an effector of a rab GTPase, like Vps2lp, required for vacuolar protein sorting.
PMCID: PMC231225  PMID: 8628304
22.  Vps41p Function in the Alkaline Phosphatase Pathway Requires Homo-oligomerization and Interaction with AP-3 through Two Distinct Domains 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2001;12(1):37-51.
Transport of proteins through the ALP (alkaline phosphatase) pathway to the vacuole requires the function of the AP-3 adaptor complex and Vps41p. However, unlike other adaptor protein–dependent pathways, the ALP pathway has not been shown to require additional accessory proteins or coat proteins, such as membrane recruitment factors or clathrin. Two independent genetic approaches have been used to identify new mutants that affect transport through the ALP pathway. These screens yielded new mutants in both VPS41 and the four AP-3 subunit genes. Two new VPS41 alleles exhibited phenotypes distinct from null mutants of VPS41, which are defective in vacuolar morphology and protein transport through both the ALP and CPY sorting pathways. The new alleles displayed severe ALP sorting defects, normal vacuolar morphology, and defects in ALP vesicle formation at the Golgi complex. Sequencing analysis of these VPS41 alleles revealed mutations encoding amino acid changes in two distinct domains of Vps41p: a conserved N-terminal domain and a C-terminal clathrin heavy-chain repeat (CHCR) domain. We demonstrate that the N-terminus of Vps41p is required for binding to AP-3, whereas the C-terminal CHCR domain directs homo-oligomerization of Vps41p. These data indicate that a homo-oligomeric form of Vps41p is required for the formation of ALP containing vesicles at the Golgi complex via interactions with AP-3.
PMCID: PMC30566  PMID: 11160821
23.  Vacuole Biogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Protein Transport Pathways to the Yeast Vacuole 
Delivery of proteins to the vacuole of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae provides an excellent model system in which to study vacuole and lysosome biogenesis and membrane traffic. This organelle receives proteins from a number of different routes, including proteins sorted away from the secretory pathway at the Golgi apparatus and endocytic traffic arising from the plasma membrane. Genetic analysis has revealed at least 60 genes involved in vacuolar protein sorting, numerous components of a novel cytoplasm-to-vacuole transport pathway, and a large number of proteins required for autophagy. Cell biological and biochemical studies have provided important molecular insights into the various protein delivery pathways to the yeast vacuole. This review describes the various pathways to the vacuole and illustrates how they are related to one another in the vacuolar network of S. cerevisiae.
PMCID: PMC98912  PMID: 9529893
24.  Vacuolar Localization of Oligomeric α-Mannosidase Requires the Cytoplasm to Vacuole Targeting and Autophagy Pathway Components in Saccharomyces cerevisiae* 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2001;276(23):20491-20498.
One challenge facing eukaryotic cells is the post-translational import of proteins into organelles. This problem is exacerbated when the proteins assemble into large complexes. Aminopeptidase I (API) is a resident hydrolase of the vacuole/lysosome in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The precursor form of API assembles into a dodecamer in the cytosol and maintains this oligomeric form during the import process. Vacuolar delivery of the precursor form of API requires a vesicular mechanism termed the cytoplasm to vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway. Many components of the Cvt pathway are also used in the degradative autophagy pathway. α-Mannosidase (Ams1) is another resident hydrolase that enters the vacuole independent of the secretory pathway; however, its mechanism of vacuolar delivery has not been established. We show vacuolar localization of Ams1 is blocked in mutants that are defective in the Cvt and autophagy pathways. We have found that Ams1 forms an oligomer in the cytoplasm. The oligomeric form of Ams1 is also detected in subvacuolar vesicles in strains that are blocked in vesicle breakdown, indicating that it retains its oligomeric form during the import process. These results identify Ams1 as a second biosynthetic cargo protein of the Cvt and autophagy pathways.
PMCID: PMC2754691  PMID: 11264288
25.  Aminopeptidase I Is Targeted to the Vacuole by a Nonclassical Vesicular Mechanism 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;138(1):37-44.
The yeast vacuolar protein aminopeptidase I (API) is synthesized as a cytosolic precursor that is transported to the vacuole by a nonclassical targeting mechanism. Recent genetic studies indicate that the biosynthetic pathway that transports API uses many of the same molecular components as the degradative autophagy pathway. This overlap coupled with both in vitro and in vivo analysis of API import suggested that, like autophagy, API transport is vesicular. Subcellular fractionation experiments demonstrate that API precursor (prAPI) initially enters a nonvacuolar cytosolic compartment. In addition, subvacuolar vesicles containing prAPI were purified from a mutant strain defective in breakdown of autophagosomes, further indicating that prAPI enters the vacuole inside a vesicle. The purified subvacuolar vesicles do not appear to contain vacuolar marker proteins. Immunogold EM confirms that prAPI is localized in cytosolic and in subvacuolar vesicles in a mutant strain defective in autophagic body degradation. These data suggest that cytosolic vesicles containing prAPI fuse with the vacuole to release a membrane-bounded intermediate compartment that is subsequently broken down, allowing API maturation.
PMCID: PMC2139945  PMID: 9214379

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