During membrane trafficking, vesicular carriers are transported and tethered to their cognate acceptor compartments before soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein (SNARE)-mediated membrane fusion. The exocyst complex was believed to target and tether post-Golgi secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane during exocytosis. However, no definitive experimental evidence is available to support this notion. We developed an ectopic targeting assay in yeast in which each of the eight exocyst subunits was expressed on the surface of mitochondria. We find that most of the exocyst subunits were able to recruit the other members of the complex there, and mistargeting of the exocyst led to secretion defects in cells. On the other hand, only the ectopically located Sec3p subunit is capable of recruiting secretory vesicles to mitochondria. Our assay also suggests that both cytosolic diffusion and cytoskeleton-based transport mediate the recruitment of exocyst subunits and secretory vesicles during exocytosis. In addition, the Rab GTPase Sec4p and its guanine nucleotide exchange factor Sec2p regulate the assembly of the exocyst complex. Our study helps to establish the role of the exocyst subunits in tethering and allows the investigation of the mechanisms that regulate vesicle tethering during exocytosis.
The rate of eukaryotic cell growth is tightly controlled for proper progression through each cell cycle stage and is important for cell size homeostasis. It was previously shown that cell growth is inhibited during mitosis when cells are preparing for division. However, the mechanism for growth arrest at this stage is unknown. Here we demonstrate that exocytosis of a select group of cargoes was inhibited before the metaphase-anaphase transition in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The cyclin-dependent kinase, Cdk1, when bound to the mitotic cyclin Clb2, directly phosphorylated Exo84, a component of the exocyst complex essential for exocytosis. Mitotic phosphorylation of Exo84 disrupted the assembly of the exocyst complex, thereby affecting exocytosis and cell surface expansion. Our study demonstrates the coordination between membrane trafficking and cell cycle progression and provides a molecular mechanism by which cell growth is controlled during the cell division cycle.
Regulated mRNA decay is essential for eukaryotic survival but the mechanisms for regulating global decay and coordinating it with growth, nutrient, and environmental cues are not known. Here we show that a signal transduction pathway containing the Pkh1/Pkh2 protein kinases and one of their effector kinases, Pkc1, is required for and regulates global mRNA decay at the deadenylation step in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Additionally, many stresses disrupt protein synthesis and release mRNAs from polysomes for incorporation into P-bodies for degradation or storage. We find that the Pkh1/2-Pkc1 pathway is also required for stress-induced P-body assembly. Control of mRNA decay and P-body assembly by the Pkh-Pkc1 pathway only occurs in nutrient-poor medium, suggesting a novel role for these processes in evolution. Our identification of a signaling pathway for regulating global mRNA decay and P-body assembly provides a means to coordinate mRNA decay with other cellular processes essential for growth and long-term survival. Mammals may use similar regulatory mechanisms because components of the decay apparatus and signaling pathways are conserved.
Diatoms are largely responsible for production of biogenic silica in the global ocean. However, in surface seawater, Si(OH)(4) can be a major limiting factor for diatom productivity. Analyzing at the global scale the genes networks involved in Si transport and metabolism is critical in order to elucidate Si biomineralization, and to understand diatoms contribution to biogeochemical cycles.
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