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Mol Cell Biol. 1992 Dec;12(12):5700-10.

Truncated protein phosphatase GLC7 restores translational activation of GCN4 expression in yeast mutants defective for the eIF-2 alpha kinase GCN2.

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  • 1Section on Molecular Genetics of Lower Eukaryotes, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.

Abstract

GCN2 is a protein kinase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is required for increased expression of the transcriptional activator GCN4 in amino acid-starved cells. GCN2 stimulates GCN4 synthesis at the translational level by phosphorylating the alpha subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF-2). We identified a truncated form of the GLC7 gene, encoding the catalytic subunit of a type 1 protein phosphatase, by its ability to restore derepression of GCN4 expression in a strain containing the partially defective gcn2-507 allele. Genetic analysis suggests that the truncated GLC7 allele has a dominant negative phenotype, reducing the level of native type 1 protein phosphatase activity in the cell. The truncated form of GLC7 does not suppress the regulatory defect associated with a gcn2 deletion or a mutation in the phosphorylation site of eIF-2 alpha (Ser-51). In addition, the presence of multiple copies of wild-type GLC7 impairs the derepression of GCN4 that occurs in response to amino acid starvation or dominant-activating mutations in GCN2. These findings suggest that the phosphatase activity of GLC7 acts in opposition to the kinase activity of GCN2 in modulating the level of eIF-2 alpha phosphorylation and the translational efficiency of GCN4 mRNA. This conclusion is supported by biochemical studies showing that the truncated GLC7 allele increases the level of eIF-2 alpha phosphorylation in the gcn2-507 mutant to a level approaching that seen in wild-type cells under starvation conditions. The truncated GLC7 allele also leads to reduced glycogen accumulation, indicating that this protein phosphatase is involved in regulating diverse metabolic pathways in yeast cells.

PMID:
1333044
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC360510
Free PMC Article
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