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PLoS Genet. 2010 Mar 19;6(3):e1000883. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000883.

Multiple signals converge on a differentiation MAPK pathway.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, United States of America.


An important emerging question in the area of signal transduction is how information from different pathways becomes integrated into a highly coordinated response. In budding yeast, multiple pathways regulate filamentous growth, a complex differentiation response that occurs under specific environmental conditions. To identify new aspects of filamentous growth regulation, we used a novel screening approach (called secretion profiling) that measures release of the extracellular domain of Msb2p, the signaling mucin which functions at the head of the filamentous growth (FG) MAPK pathway. Secretion profiling of complementary genomic collections showed that many of the pathways that regulate filamentous growth (RAS, RIM101, OPI1, and RTG) were also required for FG pathway activation. This regulation sensitized the FG pathway to multiple stimuli and synchronized it to the global signaling network. Several of the regulators were required for MSB2 expression, which identifies the MSB2 promoter as a target "hub" where multiple signals converge. Accessibility to the MSB2 promoter was further regulated by the histone deacetylase (HDAC) Rpd3p(L), which positively regulated FG pathway activity and filamentous growth. Our findings provide the first glimpse of a global regulatory hierarchy among the pathways that control filamentous growth. Systems-level integration of signaling circuitry is likely to coordinate other regulatory networks that control complex behaviors.

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