TOR complex 2 (TORC2) signaling and the ESCRT machinery cooperate in the protection of plasma membrane integrity in yeast.
ABSTRACT: The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) mediate evolutionarily conserved membrane remodeling processes. Here, we used budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) to explore how the ESCRT machinery contributes to plasma membrane (PM) homeostasis. We found that in response to reduced membrane tension and inhibition of TOR complex 2 (TORC2), ESCRT-III/Vps4 assemblies form at the PM and help maintain membrane integrity. In turn, the growth of ESCRT mutants strongly depended on TORC2-mediated homeostatic regulation of sphingolipid (SL) metabolism. This was caused by calcineurin-dependent dephosphorylation of Orm2, a repressor of SL biosynthesis. Calcineurin activity impaired Orm2 export from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and thereby hampered its subsequent endosome and Golgi-associated degradation (EGAD). The ensuing accumulation of Orm2 at the ER in ESCRT mutants necessitated TORC2 signaling through its downstream kinase Ypk1, which repressed Orm2 and prevented a detrimental imbalance of SL metabolism. Our findings reveal compensatory cross-talk between the ESCRT machinery, calcineurin/TORC2 signaling, and the EGAD pathway important for the regulation of SL biosynthesis and the maintenance of PM homeostasis.
Project description:The yeast AGC kinase orthologs Ypk1 and Ypk2 control several important cellular processes, including actin polarization, endocytosis, and sphingolipid metabolism. Activation of Ypk1/2 requires phosphorylation by kinases localized at the plasma membrane (PM), including the 3-phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 orthologs Pkh1/Pkh2 and the target of rapamycin complex 2 (TORC2). Unlike their mammalian counterparts SGK and Akt, Ypk1 and Ypk2 lack an identifiable lipid-targeting motif; therefore, how these proteins are recruited to the PM has remained elusive. To explore Ypk1/2 function, we constructed ATP analog-sensitive alleles of both kinases and monitored global changes in gene expression following their inhibition, where we observed increased expression of stress-responsive target genes controlled by Ca(2+)-dependent phosphatase calcineurin. TORC2 has been shown previously to negatively regulate calcineurin in part by phosphorylating two related proteins, Slm1 and Slm2, which associate with the PM via plextrin homology domains. We therefore investigated the relationship between Slm1 and Ypk1 and discovered that these proteins interact physically and that Slm1 recruits Ypk1 to the PM for phosphorylation by TORC2. We observed further that these steps facilitate subsequent phosphorylation of Ypk1 by Pkh1/2. Remarkably, a requirement for Slm1, can be bypassed by fusing the plextrin homology domain of Slm1 alone onto Ypk1, demonstrating that the essential function of Slm1 is largely attributable to its role in Ypk1 activation. These findings both extend the scope of cellular processes regulated by Ypk1/2 to include negative regulation of calcineurin and broaden the repertoire of mechanisms for membrane recruitment and activation of a protein kinase.
Project description:Cellular homeostasis requires the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of membrane proteins. This was assumed to be mediated exclusively either by endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) or by endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT)-dependent lysosomal degradation. We identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae an additional pathway that selectively extracts membrane proteins at Golgi and endosomes for degradation by cytosolic proteasomes. One endogenous substrate of this endosome and Golgi-associated degradation pathway (EGAD) is the ER-resident membrane protein Orm2, a negative regulator of sphingolipid biosynthesis. Orm2 degradation is initiated by phosphorylation, which triggers its ER export. Once on Golgi and endosomes, Orm2 is poly-ubiquitinated by the membrane-embedded "Defective in SREBP cleavage" (Dsc) ubiquitin ligase complex. Cdc48/VCP then extracts ubiquitinated Orm2 from membranes, which is tightly coupled to the proteasomal degradation of Orm2. Thereby, EGAD prevents the accumulation of Orm2 at the ER and in post-ER compartments and promotes the controlled de-repression of sphingolipid biosynthesis. Thus, the selective degradation of membrane proteins by EGAD contributes to proteostasis and lipid homeostasis in eukaryotic cells.
Project description:The Orm family proteins are conserved integral membrane proteins of the endoplasmic reticulum that are key homeostatic regulators of sphingolipid biosynthesis. Orm proteins bind to and inhibit serine:palmitoyl-coenzyme A transferase, the first enzyme in sphingolipid biosynthesis. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Orm1 and Orm2 are inactivated by phosphorylation in response to compromised sphingolipid synthesis (e.g., upon addition of inhibitor myriocin), thereby restoring sphingolipid production. We show here that protein kinase Ypk1, one of an essential pair of protein kinases, is responsible for this regulatory modification. Myriocin-induced hyperphosphorylation of Orm1 and Orm2 does not occur in ypk1 cells, and immunopurified Ypk1 phosphorylates Orm1 and Orm2 robustly in vitro exclusively on three residues that are known myriocin-induced sites. Furthermore, the temperature-sensitive growth of ypk1(ts) ypk2 cells is substantially ameliorated by deletion of ORM genes, confirming that a primary physiological role of Ypk1-mediated phosphorylation is to negatively regulate Orm function. Ypk1 immunoprecipitated from myriocin-treated cells displays a higher specific activity for Orm phosphorylation than Ypk1 from untreated cells. To identify the mechanism underlying Ypk1 activation, we systematically tested several candidate factors and found that the target of rapamycin complex 2 (TORC2) kinase plays a key role. In agreement with prior evidence that a TORC2-dependent site in Ypk1(T662) is necessary for cells to exhibit a wild-type level of myriocin resistance, a Ypk1(T662A) mutant displays only weak Orm phosphorylation in vivo and only weak activation in vitro in response to sphingolipid depletion. Additionally, sphingolipid depletion increases phosphorylation of Ypk1 at T662. Thus, Ypk1 is both a sensor and effector of sphingolipid level, and reduction in sphingolipids stimulates Ypk1, at least in part, via TORC2-dependent phosphorylation.
Project description:In our proteome-wide screen, Ysp2 (also known as Lam2/Ltc4) was identified as a likely physiologically relevant target of the TOR complex 2 (TORC2)-dependent protein kinase Ypk1 in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ysp2 was subsequently shown to be one of a new family of sterol-binding proteins located at plasma membrane (PM)-endoplasmic reticulum (ER) contact sites. Here we document that Ysp2 and its paralogue Lam4/Ltc3 are authentic Ypk1 substrates in vivo and show using genetic and biochemical criteria that Ypk1-mediated phosphorylation inhibits the ability of these proteins to promote retrograde transport of sterols from the PM to the ER. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a change in PM sterol homeostasis promotes cell survival under membrane-perturbing conditions known to activate TORC2-Ypk1 signaling. These observations define the underlying molecular basis of a new regulatory mechanism for cellular response to plasma membrane stress.
Project description:Autophagy is a catabolic process that recycles cytoplasmic contents and is crucial for cell survival during stress. The target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase regulates autophagy as part of two distinct protein complexes, TORC1 and TORC2. TORC1 negatively regulates autophagy according to nitrogen availability. In contrast, TORC2 functions as a positive regulator of autophagy during amino acid starvation, via its target kinase Ypk1, by repressing the activity of the calcium-dependent phosphatase calcineurin and promoting the general amino acid control (GAAC) response. Precisely how TORC2-Ypk1 signaling regulates calcineurin within this pathway remains unknown. Here we demonstrate that activation of calcineurin requires Mid1, an endoplasmic reticulum-localized calcium channel regulatory protein implicated in the oxidative stress response. We find that normal mitochondrial respiration is perturbed in TORC2-Ypk1-deficient cells, which results in the accumulation of mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species that signal to Mid1 to activate calcineurin, thereby inhibiting the GAAC response and autophagy. These findings describe a novel pathway involving TORC2, mitochondrial oxidative stress, and calcium homeostasis for autophagy regulation.
Project description:The Akt protein kinase is the main transducer of phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate (PtdIns3,4,5P3) signaling in higher eukaryotes, controlling cell growth, motility, proliferation and survival. By co-expression of mammalian class I phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae heterologous model, we previously described an inhibitory effect on yeast growth that relied on Akt kinase activity. Here we report that PI3K-Akt expression in yeast triggers the formation of large plasma membrane (PM) invaginations that were marked by actin patches, enriched in PtdIns4,5P2 and associated to abnormal intracellular cell wall deposits. These effects of Akt were mimicked by overproduction of the PtdIns4,5P2 effector Slm1, an adaptor of the Ypk1 and Ypk2 kinases in the TORC2 pathway. Although Slm1 was phosphorylated in vivo by Akt, TORC2-dependent Ypk1 activation did not occur. However, PI3K-activated Akt suppressed the lethality derived from inactivation of either TORC2 or Ypk protein kinases. Thus, heterologous co-expression of PI3K and Akt in yeast short-circuits PtdIns4,5P2- and TORC2-signaling at the level of the Slm-Ypk complex, overriding some of its functions. Our results underscore the importance of phosphoinositide-dependent kinases as key actors in the homeostasis and dynamics of the PM.
Project description:Target of rapamycin complex-2 (TORC2), a conserved protein kinase complex, is an indispensable regulator of plasma membrane homeostasis. In budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), the essential downstream effector of TORC2 is protein kinase Ypk1 and its paralog Ypk2. Muk1, a Rab5-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), was identified in our prior global screen for candidate Ypk1 targets. We confirm here that Muk1 is a substrate of Ypk1 and demonstrate that Ypk1-mediated phosphorylation stimulates Muk1 function in vivo. Strikingly, yeast lacking its two Rab5 GEFs (Muk1 and Vps9) or its three Rab5 paralogs (Vps21/Ypt51, Ypt52, and Ypt53) or overexpressing Msb3, a Rab5-directed GTPase-activating protein, all exhibit pronounced reduction in TORC2-mediated phosphorylation and activation of Ypk1. Vps21 coimmunoprecipitates with TORC2, and immuno-enriched TORC2 is less active in vitro in the absence of Rab5 GTPases. Thus, TORC2-dependent and Ypk1-mediated activation of Muk1 provides a control circuit for positive (self-reinforcing) up-regulation to sustain TORC2-Ypk1 signaling.
Project description:Nitrogen starvation-mediated reduction of Ypk1 is suggested to suppress translational initiation, possibly in parallel with the target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) signaling. However, the molecular mechanism that regulates Ypk1 in nitrogen-starved cells is poorly understood. Here we report that Ypk1 is a novel selective substrate for nitrogen starvation-triggered proteolysis requiring autophagy system. Among various nutrient starvation methods used to elicit autophagy, rapid Ypk1 degradation was specific to nitrogen starvation. In screening genes required for such nitrogen starvation-specific vacuolar proteolysis, we found that autophagy-related degradation of Ypk1 depended on the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery, which is conventionally thought to function in endosomal trafficking. In microscopic analyses, the disruption of ESCRT subunits resulted in the accumulation of both Ypk1 and autophagosomal Atg8 at a perivacuolar site that was distinct from conventional endosomes. ESCRT machinery was not involved in autophagic flux induced by the TORC1 inhibitor rapamycin, thus suggesting that ESCRT represents an exclusive mechanism of nitrogen starvation-specific proteolysis of Ypk1. Overall, we propose a novel regulation of Ypk1 that is specific to nitrogen limitation.
Project description:Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) target of rapamycin (TOR) complex 2 (TORC2) is a multi-subunit plasma membrane-associated protein kinase and vital growth regulator. Its essential functions are exerted via phosphorylation and stimulation of downstream protein kinase Ypk1 (and its paralog Ypk2). Ypk1 phosphorylates multiple substrates to regulate plasma membrane lipid and protein composition. Ypk1 function requires phosphorylation of Thr504 in its activation loop by eisosome-associated Pkh1 (and its paralog Pkh2). For cell survival under certain stresses, however, Ypk1 activity requires further stimulation by TORC2-mediated phosphorylation at C-terminal sites, dubbed the "turn" (Ser644) and "hydrophobic" (Thr662) motifs. Here we show that four additional C-terminal sites are phosphorylated in a TORC2-dependent manner, collectively defining a minimal consensus. We found that the newly identified sites are as important for Ypk1 activity, stability, and biological function as Ser644 and Thr662. Ala substitutions at the four new sites abrogated the ability of Ypk1 to rescue the phenotypes of Ypk1 deficiency, whereas Glu substitutions had no ill effect. Combining the Ala substitutions with an N-terminal mutation (D242A), which has been demonstrated to bypass the need for TORC2-mediated phosphorylation, restored the ability to complement a Ypk1-deficient cell. These findings provide new insights about the molecular basis for TORC2-dependent activation of Ypk1.
Project description:The highly conserved Target of Rapamycin (TOR) kinase is a central regulator of cell growth and metabolism in response to nutrient availability. TOR functions in two structurally and functionally distinct complexes, TOR Complex 1 (TORC1) and TOR Complex 2 (TORC2). Through TORC1, TOR negatively regulates autophagy, a conserved process that functions in quality control and cellular homeostasis and, in this capacity, is part of an adaptive nutrient deprivation response. Here we demonstrate that during amino acid starvation TOR also operates independently as a positive regulator of autophagy through the conserved TORC2 and its downstream target protein kinase, Ypk1. Under these conditions, TORC2-Ypk1 signaling negatively regulates the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, calcineurin, to enable the activation of the amino acid-sensing eIF2? kinase, Gcn2, and to promote autophagy. Our work reveals that the TORC2 pathway regulates autophagy in an opposing manner to TORC1 to provide a tunable response to cellular metabolic status.