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1.  ER-associated retrograde SNAREs and the Dsl1 complex mediate an alternative, Sey1p-independent homotypic ER fusion pathway 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2014;25(21):3401-3412.
SNAREs and the Dsl1 complex mediate an alternative, Sey1p-independent homotypic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) fusion pathway in yeast. When both pathways and the reticulons are simultaneously disrupted, cells are inviable. This demonstrates that homotypic ER fusion is an essential process in yeast and that the Dsl1 complex has vesicle trafficking-independent functions.
The peripheral endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network is dynamically maintained by homotypic (ER–ER) fusion. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the dynamin-like GTPase Sey1p can mediate ER–ER fusion, but sey1Δ cells have no growth defect and only slightly perturbed ER structure. Recent work suggested that ER-localized soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) mediate a Sey1p-independent ER–ER fusion pathway. However, an alternative explanation—that the observed phenotypes arose from perturbed vesicle trafficking—could not be ruled out. In this study, we used candidate and synthetic genetic array (SGA) approaches to more fully characterize SNARE-mediated ER–ER fusion. We found that Dsl1 complex mutations in sey1Δ cells cause strong synthetic growth and ER structure defects and delayed ER–ER fusion in vivo, additionally implicating the Dsl1 complex in SNARE-mediated ER–ER fusion. In contrast, cytosolic coat protein I (COPI) vesicle coat mutations in sey1Δ cells caused no synthetic defects, excluding perturbed retrograde trafficking as a cause for the previously observed synthetic defects. Finally, deleting the reticulons that help maintain ER architecture in cells disrupted for both ER–ER fusion pathways caused almost complete inviability. We conclude that the ER SNAREs and the Dsl1 complex directly mediate Sey1p-independent ER–ER fusion and that, in the absence of both pathways, cell viability depends upon membrane curvature–promoting reticulons.
PMCID: PMC4214786  PMID: 25187651
2.  ER-associated SNAREs and Sey1p mediate nuclear fusion at two distinct steps during yeast mating 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2013;24(24):3896-3908.
Both SNAREs and Sey1p are required for efficient nuclear fusion during yeast mating. SNAREs appear to act at the step of nuclear envelope fusion, whereas Sey1p remodels the ER network to permit nuclear congression. In addition, SNARE sey1Δ double mutants reveal an Sey1p-independent, SNARE-mediated ER fusion pathway.
During yeast mating, two haploid nuclei fuse membranes to form a single diploid nucleus. However, the known proteins required for nuclear fusion are unlikely to function as direct fusogens (i.e., they are unlikely to directly catalyze lipid bilayer fusion) based on their predicted structure and localization. Therefore we screened known fusogens from vesicle trafficking (soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptors [SNAREs]) and homotypic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) fusion (Sey1p) for additional roles in nuclear fusion. Here we demonstrate that the ER-localized SNAREs Sec20p, Ufe1p, Use1p, and Bos1p are required for efficient nuclear fusion. In contrast, Sey1p is required indirectly for nuclear fusion; sey1Δ zygotes accumulate ER at the zone of cell fusion, causing a block in nuclear congression. However, double mutants of Sey1p and Sec20p, Ufe1p, or Use1p, but not Bos1p, display extreme ER morphology defects, worse than either single mutant, suggesting that retrograde SNAREs fuse ER in the absence of Sey1p. Together these data demonstrate that SNAREs mediate nuclear fusion, ER fusion after cell fusion is necessary to complete nuclear congression, and there exists a SNARE-mediated, Sey1p-independent ER fusion pathway.
PMCID: PMC3861085  PMID: 24152736
3.  Cdc42p and Fus2p act together late in yeast cell fusion 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(7):1208-1218.
Cdc42p is the master regulator of morphogenesis in eukaryotic cells. It has an additional role in cell fusion, acting later in the pathway, after cells have undergone the changes in polarization and growth required for fusion. Cdc42p acts in concert with Fus2p to allow cell fusion.
Cell fusion is the key event of fertilization that gives rise to the diploid zygote and is a nearly universal aspect of eukaryotic biology. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, several mutants have been identified that are defective for cell fusion, and yet the molecular mechanism of this process remains obscure. One obstacle has been that genetic screens have mainly focused on mating-specific factors, whereas the process likely involves housekeeping proteins as well. Here we implicate Cdc42p, an essential protein with roles in multiple aspects of morphogenesis, as a core component of the yeast cell fusion pathway. We identify a point mutant in the Rho-insert domain of CDC42, called cdc42-138, which is specifically defective in cell fusion. The cell fusion defect is not a secondary consequence of ineffective signaling or polarization. Genetic and morphological data show that Cdc42p acts at a late stage in cell fusion in concert with a key cell fusion regulator, Fus2p, which contains a Dbl-homology domain. We find that Fus2p binds specifically with activated Cdc42p, and binding is blocked by the cdc42-138 mutation. Thus, in addition to signaling and morphogenetic roles in mating, Cdc42p plays a role late in cell fusion via activation of Fus2p.
PMCID: PMC3315798  PMID: 22323294
4.  Distinct Roles for Key Karyogamy Proteins during Yeast Nuclear Fusion 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2009;20(17):3773-3782.
During yeast mating, cell fusion is followed by the congression and fusion of the two nuclei. Proteins required for nuclear fusion are found at the surface (Prm3p) and within the lumen (Kar2p, Kar5p, and Kar8p) of the nuclear envelope (NE). Electron tomography (ET) of zygotes revealed that mutations in these proteins block nuclear fusion with different morphologies, suggesting that they act in different steps of fusion. Specifically, prm3 zygotes were blocked before formation of membrane bridges, whereas kar2, kar5, and kar8 zygotes frequently contained them. Membrane bridges were significantly larger and occurred more frequently in kar2 and kar8, than in kar5 mutant zygotes. The kinetics of NE fusion in prm3, kar5, and kar8 mutants, measured by live-cell fluorescence microscopy, were well correlated with the size and frequency of bridges observed by ET. However the kar2 mutant was defective for transfer of NE lumenal GFP, but not diffusion within the lumen, suggesting that transfer was blocked at the NE fusion junction. These observations suggest that Prm3p acts before initiation of outer NE fusion, Kar5p may help dilation of the initial fusion pore, and Kar2p and Kar8p act after outer NE fusion, during inner NE fusion.
PMCID: PMC2735476  PMID: 19570912
5.  The Class V Myosin Myo2p Is Required for Fus2p Transport and Actin Polarization during the Yeast Mating Response 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2009;20(12):2909-2919.
Mating yeast cells remove their cell walls and fuse their plasma membranes in a spatially restricted cell contact region. Cell wall removal is dependent on Fus2p, an amphiphysin-associated Rho-GEF homolog. As mating cells polarize, Fus2p-GFP localizes to the tip of the mating projection, where cell fusion will occur, and to cytoplasmic puncta, which show rapid movement toward the tip. Movement requires polymerized actin, whereas tip localization is dependent on both actin and a membrane protein, Fus1p. Here, we show that Fus2p-GFP movement is specifically dependent on Myo2p, a type V myosin, and not on Myo4p, another type V myosin, or Myo3p and Myo5p, type I myosins. Fus2p-GFP tip localization and actin polarization in shmoos are also dependent on Myo2p. A temperature-sensitive tropomyosin mutation and Myo2p alleles that specifically disrupt vesicle binding caused rapid loss of actin patch organization, indicating that transport is required to maintain actin polarity. Mutant shmoos lost actin polarity more rapidly than mitotic cells, suggesting that the maintenance of cell polarity in shmoos is more sensitive to perturbation. The different velocities, differential sensitivity to mutation and lack of colocalization suggest that Fus2p and Sec4p, another Myo2p cargo associated with exocytotic vesicles, reside predominantly on different cellular organelles.
PMCID: PMC2695798  PMID: 19403698
6.  Antagonistic regulation of Fus2p nuclear localization by pheromone signaling and the cell cycle 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;184(3):409-422.
When yeast cells sense mating pheromone, they undergo a characteristic response involving changes in transcription, cell cycle arrest in early G1, and polarization along the pheromone gradient. Cells in G2/M respond to pheromone at the transcriptional level but do not polarize or mate until G1. Fus2p, a key regulator of cell fusion, localizes to the tip of the mating projection during pheromone-induced G1 arrest. Although Fus2p was expressed in G2/M cells after pheromone induction, it accumulated in the nucleus until after cell division. As cells arrested in G1, Fus2p was exported from the nucleus and localized to the nascent tip. Phosphorylation of Fus2p by Fus3p was required for Fus2p export; cyclin/Cdc28p-dependent inhibition of Fus3p during late G1 through S phase was sufficient to block exit. However, during G2/M, when Fus3p was activated by pheromone signaling, Cdc28p activity again blocked Fus2p export. Our results indicate a novel mechanism by which pheromone-induced proteins are regulated during the transition from mitosis to conjugation.
PMCID: PMC2646560  PMID: 19188495
7.  Prm3p Is a Pheromone-induced Peripheral Nuclear Envelope Protein Required for Yeast Nuclear Fusion 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2009;20(9):2438-2450.
Nuclear membrane fusion is the last step in the mating pathway of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We adapted a bioinformatics approach to identify putative pheromone-induced membrane proteins potentially required for nuclear membrane fusion. One protein, Prm3p, was found to be required for nuclear membrane fusion; disruption of PRM3 caused a strong bilateral defect, in which nuclear congression was completed but fusion did not occur. Prm3p was localized to the nuclear envelope in pheromone-responding cells, with significant colocalization with the spindle pole body in zygotes. A previous report, using a truncated protein, claimed that Prm3p is localized to the inner nuclear envelope. Based on biochemistry, immunoelectron microscopy and live cell microscopy, we find that functional Prm3p is a peripheral membrane protein exposed on the cytoplasmic face of the outer nuclear envelope. In support of this, mutations in a putative nuclear localization sequence had no effect on full-length protein function or localization. In contrast, point mutations and deletions in the highly conserved hydrophobic carboxy-terminal domain disrupted both protein function and localization. Genetic analysis, colocalization, and biochemical experiments indicate that Prm3p interacts directly with Kar5p, suggesting that nuclear membrane fusion is mediated by a protein complex.
PMCID: PMC2675623  PMID: 19297527
8.  Nuclear fusion during yeast mating occurs by a three-step pathway 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;179(4):659-670.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mating culminates in nuclear fusion to produce a diploid zygote. Two models for nuclear fusion have been proposed: a one-step model in which the outer and inner nuclear membranes and the spindle pole bodies (SPBs) fuse simultaneously and a three-step model in which the three events occur separately. To differentiate between these models, we used electron tomography and time-lapse light microscopy of early stage wild-type zygotes. We observe two distinct SPBs in ∼80% of zygotes that contain fused nuclei, whereas we only see fused or partially fused SPBs in zygotes in which the site of nuclear envelope (NE) fusion is already dilated. This demonstrates that SPB fusion occurs after NE fusion. Time-lapse microscopy of zygotes containing fluorescent protein tags that localize to either the NE lumen or the nucleoplasm demonstrates that outer membrane fusion precedes inner membrane fusion. We conclude that nuclear fusion occurs by a three-step pathway.
PMCID: PMC2080914  PMID: 18025302
9.  Arp10p Is a Pointed-End-associated Component of Yeast DynactinD⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2006;17(2):738-748.
In metazoans, dynein-dependent vesicle transport is mediated by dynactin, containing an actin-related protein, Arp1p, together with a cargo-selection complex containing a second actin-related protein, Arp11. Paradoxically, in budding yeast, models of dynactin function imply an interaction with membranes, whereas the lack of microtubule-based vesicle transport implies the absence of a cargo-selection complex. Using both genetic and biochemical approaches, we demonstrate that Arp10p is the functional yeast homologue of Arp11, suggesting the possible existence of a pointed-end complex in yeast. Specifically, Arp10p interacts with Arp1p and other dynactin subunits and is dependent on Arp1p for stability. Conversely, Arp10p stabilizes the dynactin complex by association with the Arp1p filament pointed end. Using a novel hRAS-Arp1p one-hybrid assay, we show that Arp1p associates with the plasma membrane dependent on dynactin subunits, but independent of dynein, and sensitive to cell wall damage. We directly show the association of Arp1p with not only the plasma membrane but also with a less dense membrane fraction. Based on the hRAS-Arp1p assay, loss of Arp10p enhances the apparent association of dynactin with the plasma membrane and suppresses the loss of signaling conferred by cell wall damage.
PMCID: PMC1356584  PMID: 16291862
10.  Alanine Scanning of Arp1 Delineates a Putative Binding Site for Jnm1/Dynamitin and Nip100/p150GluedD⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2005;16(9):3999-4012.
Arp1p is the only actin-related protein (ARP) known to form actin-like filaments. Unlike actin, Arp1p functions with microtubules, as part of the dynein regulator, dynactin. Arp1p's dissimilar functions imply interactions with a distinct set of proteins. To distinguish surface features relating to Arp1p's core functions and to identify the footprint of protein interactions essential for dynactin function, we performed the first complete charge-cluster-to-alanine scanning mutagenesis of an ARP and compared the results with a similar study of actin. The Arp1p mutations revealed three nonoverlapping surfaces with distinct genetic properties. One of these surfaces encompassed a region unique to Arp1p that is crucial for Jnm1p (dynamitin/p50) and Nip100p (p150Glued) association as well as pointed-end associations. Unlike the actin mutations, none of the ARP1 alleles disrupt filament formation; however, one pointed-end allele delayed the elution of Arp1p on gel filtration, consistent with loss of additional subunits.
PMCID: PMC1196314  PMID: 15975903
11.  Reciprocal Regulation of Nuclear Import of the Yeast MutSα DNA Mismatch Repair Proteins Msh2 and Msh6 
DNA repair  2009;8(6):739-751.
DNA mismatch recognition is performed in eukaryotes by two heterodimers known as MutSα (Msh2/Msh6) and MutSβ (Msh2/Msh3) that must reside in the nucleus to function. Two putative Msh2 nuclear localization sequences (NLS) were characterized by fusion to green fluorescent protein (GFP) and site-directed mutagenesis in the context of Msh2. One NLS functioned in GFP targeting assays and both acted redundantly within Msh2. We examined nuclear localization of each of the MutS monomers in the presence and absence of their partners. Msh2 translocated to the nucleus in cells lacking Msh3 and Msh6; however, cells lacking Msh6 showed significantly decreased levels of nuclear Msh2. Furthermore, the overall protein levels of Msh2 were significantly diminished in the absence of Msh6, particularly if Msh2 lacked a functional NLS. Msh3 localized in the absence of Msh2, but Msh6 localization depended on Msh2 expressing functional NLSs. Overall, the nuclear levels of Msh2 and Msh6 decline when the other partner is absent. The data suggest a stabilization mechanism to prevent free monomer accumulation in the cytoplasm.
PMCID: PMC2728017  PMID: 19282251
12.  Dynamic localization of yeast Fus2p to an expanding ring at the cell fusion junction during mating 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2008;181(4):697-709.
Fus2p is a pheromone-induced protein associated with the amphiphysin homologue Rvs161p, which is required for cell fusion during mating in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We constructed a functional Fus2p–green fluorescent protein (GFP), which exhibits highly dynamic localization patterns in pheromone-responding cells (shmoos): diffuse nuclear, mobile cytoplasmic dots and stable cortical patches concentrated at the shmoo tip. In mitotic cells, Fus2p-GFP is nuclear but becomes cytoplasmic as cells form shmoos, dependent on the Fus3p protein kinase and high levels of pheromone signaling. The rapid cytoplasmic movement of Fus2p-GFP dots requires Rvs161p and polymerized actin and is aberrant in mutants with compromised actin organization, which suggests that the Fus2p dots are transported along actin cables, possibly in association with vesicles. Maintenance of Fus2p-GFP patches at the shmoo tip cortex is jointly dependent on actin and a membrane protein, Fus1p, which suggests that Fus1p is an anchor for Fus2p. In zygotes, Fus2p-GFP forms a dilating ring at the cell junction, returning to the nucleus at the completion of cell fusion.
PMCID: PMC2386108  PMID: 18474625
13.  Role of Transcription Factor Kar4 in Regulating Downstream Events in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Pheromone Response Pathway▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;27(3):818-829.
Yeast Kar4 is a putative transcription factor required for karyogamy (the fusion of haploid nuclei during mating) and possibly other functions. Previously known to be required only for the transcriptional induction of KAR3 and CIK1, microarray experiments identified many genes regulated by Kar4 in both mating and mitosis. Several gene clusters are positively or negatively regulated by mating pheromone in a Kar4-dependent manner. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and gel shift assays confirmed that Kar4 binds to regulatory DNA sequences upstream of KAR3. Together with one-hybrid experiments, these data support a model in which both Kar4 and Ste12 bind jointly to the KAR3 promoter. Analysis of the upstream regions of Kar4-induced genes identified a DNA sequence motif that may be a binding site for Kar4. Mutation within the motif upstream of KAR3 eliminated pheromone induction. Genes regulated by Kar4, on average, are delayed in their temporal expression and exhibit a more stringent dose response to pheromone. Furthermore, the induction of Kar4 by pheromone is necessary for the delayed temporal induction of KAR3 and PRM2, genes required for efficient nuclear fusion during mating. Accordingly, we propose that Kar4 plays a critical role in the choreography of the mating response.
PMCID: PMC1800688  PMID: 17101777
14.  Pheromone-induced polarization is dependent on the Fus3p MAPK acting through the formin Bni1p 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2004;165(1):99-109.
During mating, budding yeast cells reorient growth toward the highest concentration of pheromone. Bni1p, a formin homologue, is required for this polarized growth by facilitating cortical actin cable assembly. Fus3p, a pheromone-activated MAP kinase, is required for pheromone signaling and cell fusion. We show that Fus3p phosphorylates Bni1p in vitro, and phosphorylation of Bni1p in vivo during the pheromone response is dependent on Fus3p. fus3 mutants exhibited multiple phenotypes similar to bni1 mutants, including defects in actin and cell polarization, as well as Kar9p and cytoplasmic microtubule localization. Disruption of the interaction between Fus3p and the receptor-associated Gα subunit caused similar mutant phenotypes. After pheromone treatment, Bni1p-GFP and Spa2p failed to localize to the cortex of fus3 mutants, and cell wall growth became completely unpolarized. Bni1p overexpression suppressed the actin assembly, cell polarization, and cell fusion defects. These data suggest a model wherein activated Fus3p is recruited back to the cortex, where it activates Bni1p to promote polarization and cell fusion.
PMCID: PMC2172092  PMID: 15067022
yeast; mating; actin; cytoskeleton; signal transduction
15.  Dependence of Endoplasmic Reticulum-associated Degradation on the Peptide Binding Domain and Concentration of BiP 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(8):3437-3448.
ER-associated degradation (ERAD) removes defective and mis-folded proteins from the eukaryotic secretory pathway, but mutations in the ER lumenal Hsp70, BiP/Kar2p, compromise ERAD efficiency in yeast. Because attenuation of ERAD activates the UPR, we screened for kar2 mutants in which the unfolded protein response (UPR) was induced in order to better define how BiP facilitates ERAD. Among the kar2 mutants isolated we identified the ERAD-specific kar2-1 allele (Brodsky et al. J. Biol. Chem. 274, 3453–3460). The kar2-1 mutation resides in the peptide-binding domain of BiP and decreases BiP's affinity for a peptide substrate. Peptide-stimulated ATPase activity was also reduced, suggesting that the interdomain coupling in Kar2-1p is partially compromised. In contrast, Hsp40 cochaperone-activation of Kar2-1p's ATPase activity was unaffected. Consistent with UPR induction in kar2-1 yeast, an ERAD substrate aggregated in microsomes prepared from this strain but not from wild-type yeast. Overexpression of wild-type BiP increased substrate solubility in microsomes obtained from the mutant, but the ERAD defect was exacerbated, suggesting that simply retaining ERAD substrates in a soluble, retro-translocation-competent conformation is insufficient to support polypeptide transit to the cytoplasm.
PMCID: PMC181579  PMID: 12925775
16.  Genetic Evidence for a Role of BiP/Kar2 That Regulates Ire1 in Response to Accumulation of Unfolded Proteins 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(6):2559-2569.
In the unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling pathway, accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) activates a transmembrane kinase/ribonuclease Ire1, which causes the transcriptional induction of ER-resident chaperones, including BiP/Kar2. It was previously hypothesized that BiP/Kar2 plays a direct role in the signaling mechanism. In this model, association of BiP/Kar2 with Ire1 represses the UPR pathway while under conditions of ER stress, BiP/Kar2 dissociation leads to activation. To test this model, we analyzed five temperature-sensitive alleles of the yeast KAR2 gene. When cells carrying a mutation in the Kar2 substrate-binding domain were incubated at the restrictive temperature, association of Kar2 to Ire1 was disrupted, and the UPR pathway was activated even in the absence of extrinsic ER stress. Conversely, cells carrying a mutation in the Kar2 ATPase domain, in which Kar2 poorly dissociated from Ire1 even in the presence of tunicamycin, a potent inducer of ER stress, were unable to activate the pathway. Our findings provide strong evidence in support of BiP/Kar2-dependent Ire1 regulation model and suggest that Ire1 associates with Kar2 as a chaperone substrate. We speculate that recognition of unfolded proteins is based on their competition with Ire1 for binding with BiP/Kar2.
PMCID: PMC194903  PMID: 12808051
17.  The Cortical Localization of the Microtubule Orientation Protein, Kar9p, Is Dependent upon Actin and Proteins Required for Polarization  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1999;144(5):963-975.
In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, positioning of the mitotic spindle requires both the cytoplasmic microtubules and actin. Kar9p is a novel cortical protein that is required for the correct position of the mitotic spindle and the orientation of the cytoplasmic microtubules. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)– Kar9p localizes to a single spot at the tip of the growing bud and the mating projection. However, the cortical localization of Kar9p does not require microtubules (Miller, R.K., and M.D. Rose. 1998. J. Cell Biol. 140: 377), suggesting that Kar9p interacts with other proteins at the cortex. To investigate Kar9p's cortical interactions, we treated cells with the actin-depolymerizing drug, latrunculin-A. In both shmoos and mitotic cells, Kar9p's cortical localization was completely dependent on polymerized actin. Kar9p localization was also altered by mutations in four genes, spa2Δ, pea2Δ, bud6Δ, and bni1Δ, required for normal polarization and actin cytoskeleton functions and, of these, bni1Δ affected Kar9p localization most severely. Like kar9Δ, bni1Δ mutants exhibited nuclear positioning defects during mitosis and in shmoos. Furthermore, like kar9Δ, the bni1Δ mutant exhibited misoriented cytoplasmic microtubules in shmoos. Genetic analysis placed BNI1 in the KAR9 pathway for nuclear migration. However, analysis of kar9Δ bni1Δ double mutants suggested that Kar9p retained some function in bni1Δ mitotic cells. Unlike the polarization mutants, kar9Δ shmoos had a normal morphology and diploids budded in the correct bipolar pattern. Furthermore, Bni1p localized normally in kar9Δ. We conclude that Kar9p's function is specific for cytoplasmic microtubule orientation and that Kar9p's role in nuclear positioning is to coordinate the interactions between the actin and microtubule networks.
PMCID: PMC2148208  PMID: 10085294
mitosis; nuclear migration; Spa2; Bni1p; formin
18.  The Yeast Centrin, Cdc31p, and the Interacting Protein Kinase, Kic1p, Are Required for Cell Integrity  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1998;143(3):751-765.
Cdc31p is the yeast homologue of centrin, a highly conserved calcium-binding protein of the calmodulin superfamily. Previously centrins have been implicated only in microtubule-based processes. To elucidate the functions of yeast centrin, we carried out a two-hybrid screen for Cdc31p-interacting proteins and identified a novel essential protein kinase of 1,080 residues, Kic1p (kinase that interacts with Cdc31p). Kic1p is closely related to S. cerevisiae Ste20p and the p-21– activated kinases (PAKs) found in a wide variety of eukaryotic organisms. Cdc31p physically interacts with Kic1p by two criteria; Cdc31p coprecipitated with GST–Kic1p and it bound to GST–Kic1p in gel overlay assays. Furthermore, GST–Kic1p exhibited in vitro kinase activity that was CDC31-dependent. Although kic1 mutants were not defective for spindle pole body duplication, they exhibited a variety of mutant phenotypes demonstrating that Kic1p is required for cell integrity. We also found that cdc31 mutants, previously identified as defective for spindle pole body duplication, exhibited lysis and morphological defects. The cdc31 kic1 double mutants exhibited a drastic reduction in the range of permissive temperature, resulting in a severe lysis defect. We conclude that Kic1p function is dependent upon Cdc31p both in vivo and in vitro. We postulate that Cdc31p is required both for SPB duplication and for cell integrity/morphogenesis, and that the integrity/morphogenesis function is mediated through the Kic1p protein kinase.
PMCID: PMC2148137  PMID: 9813095
microtubule organizing center; spindle pole body; budding; actin; cell wall
19.  Genetic Interactions between KAR7/SEC71, KAR8/JEM1, KAR5, and KAR2 during Nuclear Fusion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1999;10(3):609-626.
During mating of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, two nuclei fuse to produce a single diploid nucleus. Two genes, KAR7 and KAR8, were previously identified by mutations that cause defects in nuclear membrane fusion. KAR7 is allelic to SEC71, a gene involved in protein translocation into the endoplasmic reticulum. Two other translocation mutants, sec63-1 and sec72Δ, also exhibited moderate karyogamy defects. Membranes from kar7/sec71Δ and sec72Δ, but not sec63-1, exhibited reduced membrane fusion in vitro, but only at elevated temperatures. Genetic interactions between kar7 and kar5 mutations were suggestive of protein–protein interactions. Moreover, in sec71 mutants, Kar5p was absent from the SPB and was not detected by Western blot or immunoprecipitation of pulse-labeled protein. KAR8 is allelic to JEMI, encoding an endoplasmic reticulum resident DnaJ protein required for nuclear fusion. Overexpression of KAR8/JEM1 (but not SEC63) strongly suppressed the mating defect of kar2-1, suggesting that Kar2p interacts with Kar8/Jem1p for nuclear fusion. Electron microscopy analysis of kar8 mutant zygotes revealed a nuclear fusion defect different from kar2, kar5, and kar7/sec71 mutants. Analysis of double mutants suggested that Kar5p acts before Kar8/Jem1p. We propose the existence of a nuclear envelope fusion chaperone complex in which Kar2p, Kar5p, and Kar8/Jem1p are key components and Sec71p and Sec72p play auxiliary roles.
PMCID: PMC25191  PMID: 10069807
20.  The Two Forms of Karyogamy Transcription Factor Kar4p Are Regulated by Differential Initiation of Transcription, Translation, and Protein Turnover 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1999;19(1):817-825.
Kar4p is a transcription factor in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is required for the expression of karyogamy-specific genes during mating, for the efficient transit from G1 during mitosis, and for essential functions during meiosis. Kar4p exists in two forms: a constitutive slower-migrating form, which predominates during vegetative growth, and a faster-migrating form, which is highly induced by mating pheromone. Transcript mapping of KAR4 revealed that the constitutive mRNA was initiated upstream of two in-frame ATG initiation codons, while the major inducible mRNA originated between them. Thus, the two forms of Kar4p are derived from the translation of alternative transcripts, which possess different AUG initiation codons. Site-directed mutations were constructed to inactivate one or the other of the initiation codons, allowing the expression of the two Kar4p forms separately. At normal levels of expression, the constitutive form of Kar4p did not support wild-type levels of mating. However, the two forms of Kar4p could also be expressed separately from the regulatable GAL1 promoter, and no functional difference was detected when they were expressed at equivalent levels. Pulse-chase experiments showed that the induced form of Kar4p was highly expressed and stable during mating but rapidly turned over in vegetative cells. In contrast, the constitutively expressed longer form showed the same rate of turnover regardless of the growth condition. Furthermore, overexpression of either form of Kar4p in vegetative cells was toxic. Thus, the elaborate regulation of the two forms of Kar4p at the levels of transcription, translation, and protein turnover reflects the requirement for high levels of the protein during mating and for low levels during the subsequent phases of the cell cycle.
PMCID: PMC83938  PMID: 9858604
21.  Rvs161p Interacts with Fus2p to Promote Cell Fusion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1998;141(3):567-584.
FUS7 was previously identified by a mutation that causes a defect in cell fusion in a screen for bilateral mating defects. Here we show that FUS7 is allelic to RVS161/END6, a gene implicated in a variety of processes including viability after starvation, endocytosis, and actin cytoskeletal organization. Two lines of evidence indicate that RVS161/END6's endocytic function is not required for cell fusion. First, several other endocytic mutants showed no cell fusion defects. Second, we isolated five function-specific alleles of RVS161/FUS7 that were defective for endocytosis, but not mating, and three alleles that were defective for cell fusion but not endocytosis. The organization of the actin cytoskeleton was normal in the cell fusion mutants, indicating that Rvs161p's function in cell fusion is independent of actin organization. The three to fourfold induction of RVS161 by mating pheromone and the localization of Rvs161p-GFP to the cell fusion zone suggested that Rvs161p plays a direct role in cell fusion. The phenotypes of double mutants, the coprecipitation of Rvs161p and Fus2p, and the fact that the stability of Fus2p was strongly dependent on Rvs161p's mating function lead to the conclusion that Rvs161p is required to interact with Fus2p for efficient cell fusion.
PMCID: PMC2132759  PMID: 9566960
22.  Kar9p Is a Novel Cortical Protein Required for Cytoplasmic Microtubule Orientation in Yeast  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1998;140(2):377-390.
kar9 was originally identified as a bilateral karyogamy mutant, in which the two zygotic nuclei remained widely separated and the cytoplasmic microtubules were misoriented (Kurihara, L.J., C.T. Beh, M. Latterich, R. Schekman, and M.D. Rose. 1994. J. Cell Biol. 126:911–923.). We now report a general defect in nuclear migration and microtubule orientation in kar9 mutants. KAR9 encodes a novel 74-kD protein that is not essential for life. The kar9 mitotic defect was similar to mutations in dhc1/dyn1 (dynein heavy chain gene), jnm1, and act5. kar9Δ dhc1Δ, kar9Δ jnm1Δ, and kar9Δ act5Δ double mutants were synthetically lethal, suggesting that these genes function in partially redundant pathways to carry out nuclear migration. A functional GFP-Kar9p fusion protein localized to a single dot at the tip of the shmoo projection. In mitotic cells, GFP-Kar9p localized to a cortical dot with both mother–daughter asymmetry and cell cycle dependence. In small-budded cells through anaphase, GFP-Kar9p was found at the tip of the growing bud. In telophase and G1 unbudded cells, no localization was observed. By indirect immunofluorescence, cytoplasmic microtubules intersected the GFP-Kar9p dot. Nocodazole experiments demonstrated that Kar9p's cortical localization was microtubule independent. We propose that Kar9p is a component of a cortical adaptor complex that orients cytoplasmic microtubules.
PMCID: PMC2132572  PMID: 9442113
23.  KAR5 Encodes a Novel Pheromone-inducible Protein Required for Homotypic Nuclear Fusion  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;139(5):1063-1076.
KAR5 is required for membrane fusion during karyogamy, the process of nuclear fusion during yeast mating. To investigate the molecular mechanism of nuclear fusion, we cloned and characterized the KAR5 gene and its product. KAR5 is a nonessential gene, and deletion mutations produce a bilateral defect in the homotypic fusion of yeast nuclei. KAR5 encodes a novel protein that shares similarity with a protein in Schizosaccharomyces pombe that may play a similar role in nuclear fusion. Kar5p is induced as part of the pheromone response pathway, suggesting that this protein uniquely plays a specific role during mating in nuclear membrane fusion. Kar5p is a membrane protein with its soluble domain entirely contained within the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. In pheromone-treated cells, Kar5p was localized to the vicinity of the spindle pole body, the initial site of fusion between haploid nuclei during karyogamy. We propose that Kar5p is required for the completion of nuclear membrane fusion and may play a role in the organization of the membrane fusion complex.
PMCID: PMC2140214  PMID: 9382856
24.  Specific Molecular Chaperone Interactions and an ATP-dependent Conformational Change Are Required during Posttranslational Protein Translocation into the Yeast ER 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1998;9(12):3533-3545.
The posttranslational translocation of proteins across the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane in yeast requires ATP hydrolysis and the action of hsc70s (DnaK homologues) and DnaJ homologues in both the cytosol and ER lumen. Although the cytosolic hsc70 (Ssa1p) and the ER lumenal hsc70 (BiP) are homologous, they cannot substitute for one another, possibly because they interact with specific DnaJ homologues on each side of the ER membrane. To investigate this possibility, we purified Ssa1p, BiP, Ydj1p (a cytosolic DnaJ homologue), and a GST–63Jp fusion protein containing the lumenal DnaJ region of Sec63p. We observed that BiP, but not Ssa1p, is able to associate with GST–63Jp and that Ydj1p stimulates the ATPase activity of Ssa1p up to 10-fold but increases the ATPase activity of BiP by <2-fold. In addition, Ydj1p and ATP trigger the release of an unfolded polypeptide from Ssa1p but not from BiP. To understand further how BiP drives protein translocation, we purified four dominant lethal mutants of BiP. We discovered that each mutant is defective for ATP hydrolysis, fails to undergo an ATP-dependent conformational change, and cannot interact with GST–63Jp. Measurements of protein translocation into reconstituted proteoliposomes indicate that the mutants inhibit translocation even in the presence of wild-type BiP. We conclude that a conformation- and ATP-dependent interaction of BiP with the J domain of Sec63p is essential for protein translocation and that the specificity of hsc70 action is dictated by their DnaJ partners.
PMCID: PMC25671  PMID: 9843586
25.  The Kinesin-related Proteins, Kip2p and Kip3p, Function Differently in Nuclear Migration in Yeast 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1998;9(8):2051-2068.
The roles of two kinesin-related proteins, Kip2p and Kip3p, in microtubule function and nuclear migration were investigated. Deletion of either gene resulted in nuclear migration defects similar to those described for dynein and kar9 mutants. By indirect immunofluorescence, the cytoplasmic microtubules in kip2Δwere consistently short or absent throughout the cell cycle. In contrast, in kip3Δ strains, the cytoplasmic microtubules were significantly longer than wild type at telophase. Furthermore, in the kip3Δ cells with nuclear positioning defects, the cytoplasmic microtubules were misoriented and failed to extend into the bud. Localization studies found Kip2p exclusively on cytoplasmic microtubules throughout the cell cycle, whereas GFP-Kip3p localized to both spindle and cytoplasmic microtubules. Genetic analysis demonstrated that the kip2Δ kar9Δ double mutants were synthetically lethal, whereas kip3Δ kar9Δ double mutants were viable. Conversely, kip3Δ dhc1Δ double mutants were synthetically lethal, whereas kip2Δ dhc1Δ double mutants were viable. We suggest that the kinesin-related proteins, Kip2p and Kip3p, function in nuclear migration and that they do so by different mechanisms. We propose that Kip2p stabilizes microtubules and is required as part of the dynein-mediated pathway in nuclear migration. Furthermore, we propose that Kip3p functions, in part, by depolymerizing microtubules and is required for the Kar9p-dependent orientation of the cytoplasmic microtubules.
PMCID: PMC25458  PMID: 9693366

Results 1-25 (27)