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Microbiology. 2007 Dec;153(Pt 12):4016-26.

A novel role for the yeast protein kinase Dbf2p in vacuolar H+-ATPase function and sorbic acid stress tolerance.

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  • 1Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9ST, UK.


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the serine-threonine protein kinase activity of Dbf2p is required for tolerance to the weak organic acid sorbic acid. Here we show that Dbf2p is required for normal phosphorylation of the vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) A and B subunits Vma1p and Vma2p. Loss of V-ATPase activity due to bafilomycin treatment or deletion of either VMA1 or VMA2 resulted in sorbic acid hypersensitivity and impaired vacuolar acidification, phenotypes also observed in both a kinase-inactive dbf2 mutant and cells completely lacking DBF2 (dbf2Delta). Crucially, VMA2 is a multicopy suppressor of both the sorbic acid-sensitive phenotype and the impaired vacuolar-acidification defect of dbf2Delta cells, confirming a functional interaction between Dbf2p and Vma2p. The yeast V-ATPase is therefore involved in mediating sorbic acid stress tolerance, and we have shown a novel and unexpected role for the cell cycle-regulated protein kinase Dbf2p in promoting V-ATPase function.

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