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1.  Multiple Regulatory Roles of the Carboxy Terminus of Ste2p a Yeast GPCR 
Pharmacological Research  2011;65(1):31-40.
Signaling and internalization of Ste2p, a model G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are reported to be regulated by phosphorylation status of serine (S) and threonine (T) residues located in the cytoplasmic C-terminus. Although the functional roles of S/T residues located in certain C-terminus regions are relatively well characterized, systemic analyses have not been conducted for all the S/T residues that are spread throughout the C-terminus. A point mutation to alanine was introduced into the S/T residues located within three intracellular loops and the C-terminus individually or in combination. A series of functional assays such as internalization, FUS1-lacZ induction, and growth arrest were conducted in comparison between WT- and mutant Ste2p. The Ste2p in which all S/T residues in the C-terminus were mutated to alanine was more sensitive to α-factor, suggesting that phosphorylation in the C-terminus exerts negative regulatory activities on the Ste2p signaling. C-terminal S/T residues proximal to the seventh transmembrane domain were important for ligand-induced G protein coupling but not for receptor internalization. Sites on the central region of the C-terminus regulated both constitutive and ligand-induced internalization. Residues on the distal part were important for constitutive desensitization and modulated the G protein signaling mediated through the proximal part of the C-terminus. This study demonstrated that the C-terminus contains multiple functional domains with differential and interdependent roles in regulating Ste2p function in which the S/T residues located in each domain play critical roles.
PMCID: PMC3264830  PMID: 22100461
Ste2p; C-terminus; Phosphorylation; Internalization; FUS-lacZ; Growth arrest
2.  Synthesis of a-factor peptide from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and photoactive analogues via Fmoc solid phase methodology 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2010;19(1):490-497.
a-Factor from S. cerevisiae is a farnesylated dodecapeptide involved in mating. The molecule binds to a G-protein coupled receptor and hence serves as a simple system for studying the interactions between prenylated molecules and their cognate receptors. Here, we describe the preparation of a-factor and two photoactive analogues via Fmoc solid-phase peptide synthesis using hydrazinobenzoyl AM NovaGel™ resin; the structure of the synthetic a-factor was confirmed by MS-MS analysis and NMR; the structures of the analogues were confirmed by MS-MS analysis. Using a yeast growth arrest assay, the analogues were found to have activity comparable to a-factor itself.
PMCID: PMC3037452  PMID: 21134758
a-Factor; Benzophenone; C-terminal methyl ester; Farnesyl; Peptide synthesis; Photoaffinity labeling; Prenylation
3.  Differential Regulation and Substrate Preferences in Two Peptide Transporters of Saccharomyces cerevisiae▿  
Eukaryotic Cell  2007;6(10):1805-1813.
Dal5p has been shown previously to act as an allantoate/ureidosuccinate permease and to play a role in the utilization of certain dipeptides as a nitrogen source in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here, we provide direct evidence that dipeptides are transported by Dal5p, although the affinity of Dal5p for allantoate and ureidosuccinate is higher than that for dipeptides. Allantoate, ureidosuccinate, and to a lesser extent allantoin competed with dipeptide transport by reducing the toxicity of the peptide Ala-Eth and decreasing the accumulation of [14C]Gly-Leu. In contrast to the well-studied di/tripeptide transporter Ptr2p, whose substrate specificity is very broad, Dal5p preferred to transport non-N-end rule dipeptides. S. cerevisiae W303 was sensitive to the toxic peptide Ala-Eth (non-N-end rule peptide) but not Leu-Eth (N-end rule peptide). Non-N-end rule dipeptides showed better competition with the uptake of [14C]Gly-Leu than N-end rule dipeptides. Similar to the regulation of PTR2, DAL5 expression was influenced by the addition of Leu and by the CUP9 gene. However, DAL5 expression was downregulated in the presence of leucine and the absence of CUP9, whereas PTR2 was upregulated. Toxic dipeptide and uptake assays indicated that either Ptr2p or Dal5p was predominantly used for dipeptide transport in the common laboratory strains S288c and W303, respectively. These studies highlight the complementary activities of two dipeptide transport systems under different regulatory controls in common laboratory yeast strains, suggesting that dipeptide transport pathways evolved to respond to different environmental conditions.
PMCID: PMC2043388  PMID: 17693598
4.  WdChs2p, a Class I Chitin Synthase, Together with WdChs3p (Class III) Contributes to Virulence in Wangiella (Exophiala) dermatitidis 
Infection and Immunity  2001;69(12):7517-7526.
The chitin synthase structural gene WdCHS2 was isolated by screening a subgenomic DNA library of Wangiella dermatitidis by using a 0.6-kb PCR product of the gene as a probe. The nucleotide sequence revealed a 2,784-bp open reading frame, which encoded 928 amino acids, with a 59-bp intron near its 5′ end. Derived protein sequences showed highest amino acid identities with those derived from the CiCHS1 gene of Coccidioides immitis and the AnCHSC gene of Aspergillus nidulans. The derived sequence also indicated that WdChs2p is an orthologous enzyme of Chs1p of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which defines the class I chitin synthases. Disruptions of WdCHS2 produced strains that showed no obvious morphological defects in yeast vegetative growth or in ability to carry out polymorphic transitions from yeast cells to hyphae or to isotropic forms. However, assays showed that membranes of wdchs2Δ mutants were drastically reduced in chitin synthase activity. Other assays of membranes from a wdchs1Δwdchs3Δwdchs4Δ triple mutant showed that their residual chitin synthase activity was extremely sensitive to trypsin activation and was responsible for the majority of zymogenic activity. Although no loss of virulence was detected when wdchs2Δ strains were tested in a mouse model of acute infection, wdchs2Δwdchs3Δ disruptants were considerably less virulent in the same model, even though wdchs3Δ strains also had previously shown no loss of virulence. This virulence attenuation in the wdchs2Δwdchs3Δ mutants was similarly documented in a limited fashion in more-sensitive cyclophosphamide-induced immunocompromised mice. The importance of WdChs2p and WdChs3p to the virulence of W. dermatitidis was then confirmed by reconstituting virulence in the double mutant by the reintroduction of either WdCHS2 or WdCHS3 into the wdchs2Δwdchs3Δ mutant background.
PMCID: PMC98842  PMID: 11705928
5.  Molecular Cloning and Characterization of WdPKS1, a Gene Involved in Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin Biosynthesis and Virulence in Wangiella (Exophiala) dermatitidis 
Infection and Immunity  2001;69(3):1781-1794.
1,8-Dihydroxynaphthalene (1,8-DHN) is a fungal polyketide that contributes to virulence when polymerized to 1,8-DHN melanin in the cell walls of Wangiella dermatitidis, an agent of phaeohyphomycosis in humans. To begin a genetic analysis of the initial synthetic steps leading to 1,8-DHN melanin biosynthesis, a 772-bp PCR product was amplified from genomic DNA using primers based on conserved regions of fungal polyketide synthases (Pks) known to produce the first cyclized 1,8-DHN-melanin pathway intermediate, 1,3,6,8-tetrahydroxynaphthalene. The cloned PCR product was then used as a targeting sequence to disrupt the putative polyketide synthase gene, WdPKS1, in W. dermatitidis. The resulting wdpks1Δ disruptants showed no morphological defects other than an albino phenotype and grew at the same rate as their black wild-type parent. Using a marker rescue approach, the intact WdPKS1 gene was then successfully recovered from two plasmids. The WdPKS1 gene was also isolated independently by complementation of the mel3 mutation in an albino mutant of W. dermatitidis using a cosmid library. Sequence analysis substantiated that WdPKS1 encoded a putative polyketide synthase (WdPks1p) in a single open reading frame consisting of three exons separated by two short introns. This conclusion was supported by the identification of highly conserved Pks domains for a β-ketoacyl synthase, an acetyl-malonyl transferase, two acyl carrier proteins, and a thioesterase in the deduced amino acid sequence. Studies using a neutrophil killing assay and a mouse acute-infection model confirmed that all wdpks1Δ strains were less resistant to killing and less virulent, respectively, than their wild-type parent. Reconstitution of 1,8-DHN melanin biosynthesis in a wdpks1Δ strain reestablished its resistance to killing by neutrophils and its ability to cause fatal mouse infections.
PMCID: PMC98085  PMID: 11179356
6.  WdChs4p, a Homolog of Chitin Synthase 3 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Alone Cannot Support Growth of Wangiella (Exophiala) dermatitidis at the Temperature of Infection 
Infection and Immunity  1999;67(12):6619-6630.
By using improved transformation methods for Wangiella dermatitidis, and a cloned fragment of its chitin synthase 4 structural gene (WdCHS4) as a marking sequence, the full-length gene was rescued from the genome of this human pathogenic fungus. The encoded chitin synthase product (WdChs4p) showed high homology with Chs3p of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other class IV chitin synthases, and Northern blotting showed that WdCHS4 was expressed at constitutive levels under all conditions tested. Reduced chitin content, abnormal yeast clumpiness and budding kinetics, and increased melanin secretion resulted from the disruption of WdCHS4 suggesting that WdChs4p influences cell wall structure, cellular reproduction, and melanin deposition, respectively. However, no significant loss of virulence was detected when the wdchs4Δ strain was tested in an acute mouse model. Using a wdchs1Δ wdchs2Δ wdchs3Δ triple mutant of W. dermatitidis, which grew poorly but adequately at 25°C, we assayed WdChs4p activity in the absence of activities contributed by its three other WdChs proteins. Maximal activity required trypsin activation, suggesting a zymogenic nature. The activity also had a pH optimum of 7.5, was most stimulated by Mg2+, and was more inhibited by polyoxin D than by nikkomycin Z. Although the WdChs4p activity had a broad temperature optimum between 30 to 45°C in vitro, this activity alone did not support the growth of the wdchs1Δ wdchs2Δ wdchs3Δ triple mutant at 37°C, a temperature commensurate with infection.
PMCID: PMC97075  PMID: 10569783

Results 1-6 (6)