Project description:Adaptation to stress triggers the most dramatic shift in gene expression in fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe), and this response is driven by signaling via the MAPK Sty1. Upon activation, Sty1 accumulates in the nucleus and stimulates expression of hundreds of genes via the nuclear transcription factor Atf1, including expression of atf1 itself. However, the role of stress-induced, Sty1-mediated Atf1 phosphorylation in transcriptional activation is unclear. To this end, we expressed Atf1 phosphorylation mutants from a constitutive promoter to uncouple Atf1 activity from endogenous, stress-activated Atf1 expression. We found that cells expressing a nonphosphorylatable Atf1 variant are sensitive to oxidative stress because of impaired transcription of a subset of stress genes whose expression is also controlled by another transcription factor, Pap1. Furthermore, cells expressing a phospho-mimicking Atf1 mutant display enhanced stress resistance, and although expression of the Pap1-dependent genes still relied on stress induction, another subset of stress-responsive genes was constitutively expressed in these cells. We also observed that, in cells expressing the phospho-mimicking Atf1 mutant, the presence of Sty1 was completely dispensable, with all stress defects of Sty1-deficient cells being suppressed by expression of the Atf1 mutant. We further demonstrated that Sty1-mediated Atf1 phosphorylation does not stimulate binding of Atf1 to DNA but, rather, establishes a platform of interactions with the basal transcriptional machinery to facilitate transcription initiation. In summary, our results provide evidence that Atf1 phosphorylation by the MAPK Sty1 is required for oxidative stress responses in fission yeast cells by promoting transcription initiation.
Project description:int-6 is one of the frequent integration sites for mouse mammary tumor viruses. Although its product is the e-subunit of translation initiation factor eIF3, other evidence indicates that it interacts with proteasomes or other proteins to regulate protein stability. Here we report that the fission yeast int6(+) is required for overcoming stress imposed by histidine starvation, using the drug 3-aminotriazole (3AT). Microarray and complementary Northern studies using wild-type, int6Delta or gcn2Delta mutants indicate that 3AT-treated wild-type yeast induces core environmental stress response (CESR) genes in addition to typical general amino acid control (GAAC) genes whose transcription depends on the eIF2 kinase, Gcn2. In agreement with this, Sty1 MAPK and its target transcription factor Atf1, which signal the CESR, are required for overcoming 3AT-induced starvation. We find that Int6 is required for maintaining the basal level of Atf1 and for rapid transcriptional activation of the CESR on 3AT-insult. Pulse labeling experiments indicate that int6Delta significantly slows down de novo protein synthesis. Moreover, Atf1 protein half-life was reduced in int6Delta cells. These effects would account for the compromised Atf1 activity on 3AT-induced stress. Thus, the robust protein synthesis promoted by intact eIF3 appears to be a part of the requisites for sound Sty1 MAPK-dependent signaling governed by the activity of the Atf1 transcription factor.
Project description:In fission yeast, the Sty1/Spc1/Phh1 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is known to be involved in multiple-stress responses. It is currently thought that the Sty1 MAPK cascade is mediated by histidine kinases and phosphorelay proteins in response to oxidative stress signals. However, studies of the exact transduction mechanism of multiple-stress responses are lacking. Thus, in response to various stimuli, we monitored the Sty1 MAPK pathway through the downstream transcription factor Atf1 in living cells using a highly sensitive luciferase reporter gene. Surprisingly, in cadmium and low glucose (LG) medium, Atf1 activation was observed even in the absence of all of the four fission yeast MAPK kinase kinases (MAPKKKs); whereas in osmotic stress, Atf1 activation was abolished. Thus, the osmotic stress likely mediates the MAPK activation via MAPKKKs, whereas a cadmium or LG condition activates the MAPK in a MAPKKK-independent manner. On the other hand, knockout of tyrosine phosphatase gene pyp1(+) abolished the Atf1 response to cadmium and LG, but not to osmotic stress, suggesting that Pyp1 is a sensor for cadmium and LG.
Project description:Quorum sensing (QS), a mechanism of microbial communication dependent on cell density, governs developmental decisions in many bacteria and in some pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungi including yeasts. In these simple eukaryotes this response is mediated by the release into the growth medium of quorum-sensing molecules (QSMs) whose concentration increases proportionally to the population density. To date the occurrence of QS is restricted to a few yeast species. We show that a QS mediated by the aromatic alcohols phenylethanol and tryptophol represses the dimorphic yeast to hypha differentiation in the fission yeast S. japonicus in response to an increased population density. In addition, the stress activated MAPK pathway (SAPK), which controls cell cycle progression and adaptation to environmental changes in this organism, constitutively represses yeast to hypha differentiation both at transcriptional and post-translational levels. Moreover, deletion of its main effectors Sty1 MAPK and Atf1 transcription factor partially suppressed the QS-dependent block of hyphal development under inducing conditions. RNAseq analysis showed that the expression of nrg1+, which encodes a putative ortholog of the transcription factor Nrg1 that represses yeast to hypha dimorphism in C. albicans, is downregulated both by QS and the SAPK pathway. Remarkably, Nrg1 may act in S. japonicus as an activator of hyphal differentiation instead of being a repressor. S. japonicus emerges as an attractive and amenable model organism to explore the QS mechanisms that regulate cellular differentiation in fungi.
Project description:MAPK are activated by and orchestrate responses to multiple, diverse stimuli. Although these responses involve the increased phosphorylation of substrate effector proteins, e.g. transcription factors, the mechanisms by which responses are tailored to particular stimuli are unclear. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the Sty1 MAPK is crucial for changes in gene expression that allow adaptation to many forms of environmental stress. Here, we have identified two cysteine residues in Sty1, Cys-153 and Cys-158, that are important for hydrogen peroxide-induced gene expression and oxidative stress resistance but not for other functions of Sty1. Many Sty1-dependent changes in gene expression are mediated by the Atf1 transcription factor. In response to stress, Sty1 increases Atf1 levels by (i) promoting increases in atf1 mRNA and by (ii) directly phosphorylating and stabilizing Atf1 protein. Although dispensable for phosphorylation and stabilization of Atf1 protein, we find that both Cys-153 and Cys-158 are required for increases in atf1 mRNA levels and Atf1-dependent gene expression in response to hydrogen peroxide but not osmotic stress. Indeed, our data indicate that oxidation of Sty1, by formation of a disulfide bond between Cys-153 and Cys-158, is important for maintaining atf1 mRNA stability at high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Together, these data reveal that redox regulation of cysteine thiols in Sty1 is involved in a stress-specific mechanism regulating transcriptional responses to oxidative stress. Intriguingly, the conservation of these cysteine residues in other MAPK raises the possibility that similar mechanisms may ensure appropriate responses to hydrogen peroxide in other eukaryotes.
Project description:Signaling by stress-activated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways influences translation efficiency in mammalian cells and budding yeast. We have investigated the stress-activated MAPK from fission yeast, Sty1, and its downstream protein kinase, Mkp1/Srk1, for physically associated proteins using tandem affinity purification tagging. We find Sty1, but not Mkp1, to bind to the translation elongation factor eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2) and the translation initiation factor eukaryotic initiation factor 3a (eIF3a). The Sty1-eIF3a interaction is weakened under oxidative or hyperosmotic stress, whereas the Sty1-eEF2 interaction is stable. Nitrogen deprivation causes a transient strengthening of both the Sty1-eEF2 and the Sty1-Mkp1 interactions, overlapping with the time of maximal Sty1 activation. Analysis of polysome profiles from cells under oxidative stress, or after hyperosmotic shock or nitrogen deprivation, shows that translation in sty1 mutant cells recovers considerably less efficiently than that in the wild type. Cells lacking the Sty1-regulated transcription factor Atf1 are deficient in maintaining and recovering translational activity after hyperosmotic shock but not during oxidative stress or nitrogen starvation. In cells lacking Sty1, eIF3a levels are decreased, and phosphorylation of eIF3a is reduced. Taken together, our data point to a central role in translational adaptation for the stress-activated MAPK pathway in fission yeast similar to that in other investigated eukaryotes, with the exception that fission yeast MAPK-activated protein kinases seem not to be directly involved in this process.
Project description:A universal response to elevated temperature and other forms of physiological stress is the induction of heat shock proteins (HSPs). Hsp16 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe encodes a polypeptide of predicted molecular weight 16 kDa that belongs to the HSP20/alpha-crystallin family whose members range in size from 12 to 43 kDa. Heat shock treatment increases expression of the hsp16 gene by 64-fold in wild-type cells and 141-fold in cdc22-M45 (ribonucleotide reductase) mutant cells. Hsp16 expression is mediated by the spc1 MAPK signaling pathway through the transcription factor atf1 and in addition through the HSF pathway. Nucleotide depletion or DNA damage as occurs in cdc22-M45 mutant cells, or during hydroxyurea or camptothecin treatment, is sufficient to activate hsp16 expression through atf1. Our findings suggest a novel role for small HSPs in the stress response following nucleotide depletion and DNA damage. This extends the types of damage that are sensed by the spc1 MAPK pathway via atf1.
Project description:In cultured mammalian cells, the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is activated in response to a variety of environmental stresses. How ever, there is little evidence from in vivo studies to demonstrate a role for this pathway in the stress response. We identified a Drosophila MAPK kinase kinase (MAPKKK), D-MEKK1, which can activate p38 MAPK. D-MEKK1 is structurally similar to the mammalian MEKK4/MTK1 MAPKKK. D-MEKK1 kinase activity was activated in animals under conditions of high osmolarity. Drosophila mutants lacking D-MEKK1 were hypersensitive to environmental stresses, including elevated temperature and increased osmolarity. In these D-MEKK1 mutants, activation of Drosophila p38 MAPK in response to stress was poor compared with activation in wild-type animals. These results suggest that D-MEKK1 regulation of the p38 MAPK pathway is critical for the response to environmental stresses in Drosophila.
Project description:A significant challenge to our understanding of eukaryotic transcriptional regulation is to determine how multiple signal transduction pathways converge on a single promoter to regulate transcription in divergent fashions. To study this, we have investigated the transcriptional regulation of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe fbp1 gene that is repressed by a cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) pathway and is activated by a stress-activated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. In this study, we identified and characterized two cis-acting elements in the fbp1 promoter required for activation of fbp1 transcription. Upstream activation site 1 (UAS1), located approximately 900 bp from the transcriptional start site, resembles a cAMP response element (CRE) that is the binding site for the atf1-pcr1 heterodimeric transcriptional activator. Binding of this activator to UAS1 is positively regulated by the MAPK pathway and negatively regulated by PKA. UAS2, located approximately 250 bp from the transcriptional start site, resembles a Saccharomyces cerevisiae stress response element. UAS2 is bound by transcriptional activators and repressors regulated by both the PKA and MAPK pathways, although atf1 itself is not present in these complexes. Transcriptional regulation of fbp1 promoter constructs containing only UAS1 or UAS2 confirms that the PKA and MAPK regulation is targeted to both sites. We conclude that the PKA and MAPK signal transduction pathways regulate fbp1 transcription at UAS1 and UAS2, but that the antagonistic interactions between these pathways involve different mechanisms at each site.
Project description:Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) genes encode proteins that mediate various signaling pathways associated with biotic and abiotic stress responses in eukaryotes. The MAPK genes form a 3-tier signal transduction cascade between cellular stimuli and physiological responses. Recent identification of soybean MAPKs and availability of genome sequences from other legume species allowed us to identify their MAPK genes. The main objectives of this study were to identify MAPKs in 3 legume species, Lotus japonicus, Medicago truncatula, and Phaseolus vulgaris, and to assess their phylogenetic relationships. We used approaches in comparative genomics for MAPK gene identification and named the newly identified genes following Arabidopsis MAPK nomenclature model. We identified 19, 18, and 15 MAPKs and 7, 4, and 9 MAPKKs in the genome of Lotus japonicus, Medicago truncatula, and Phaseolus vulgaris, respectively. Within clade placement of MAPKs and MAPKKs in the 3 legume species were consistent with those in soybean and Arabidopsis. Among 5 clades of MAPKs, 4 founder clades were consistent to MAPKs of other plant species and orthologs of MAPK genes in the fifth clade-"Clade E" were consistent with those in soybean. Our results also indicated that some gene duplication events might have occurred prior to eudicot-monocot divergence. Highly diversified MAPKs in soybean relative to those in 3 other legume species are attributable to the polyploidization events in soybean. The identification of the MAPK genes in the legume species is important for the legume crop improvement; and evolutionary relationships and functional divergence of these gene members provide insights into plant genome evolution.