Bem1p, a scaffold signaling protein, mediates cyclin-dependent control of vacuolar homeostasis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
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How proliferating cells maintain the copy number and overall size of their organelles is not clear. We had previously reported that in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae the G1 cyclin Cln3p is required for vacuolar (lysosomal) homotypic fusion and loss of Cln3p leads to vacuolar fragmentation. The Cdc42p GTPase is also required for vacuole fusion. Here we show that the scaffold protein Bem1p, a critical regulator of Cdc42p activity, is a downstream effector of Cln3p and the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) Cdc28p. Our results suggest that Bem1p is phosphorylated in a Cdk-dependent manner to promote vacuole fusion. Replacing Ser72 with Asp, to mimic phosphorylation at an optimal Cdk-consensus site located in the first SH3 domain of Bem1p, suppressed vacuolar fragmentation in cells lacking Cln3p. Using in vivo and in vitro assays, we found that Cln3p was unable to promote vacuole fusion in the absence of Bem1p or in the presence of a nonphosphorylatable Bem1p-Ser72Ala mutant. Furthermore, activation of Cdc42p also suppressed vacuolar fragmentation in the absence of Cln3p. Our results provide a mechanism that links cyclin-dependent kinase activity with vacuole fusion through Bem1p and the Cdc42p GTPase cycle.
author list (cited authors)
Han, B., Bogomolnaya, L. M., Totten, J. M., Blank, H. M., Dangott, L. J., & Polymenis, M.
complete list of authors
Han, Bong-Kwan||Bogomolnaya, Lydia M||Totten, James M||Blank, Heidi M||Dangott, Lawrence J||Polymenis, Michael