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Nature. 1992 Dec 17;360(6405):682-4.

Calcineurin mediates inhibition by FK506 and cyclosporin of recovery from alpha-factor arrest in yeast.

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Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey 07065-0900.


The structurally unrelated immunosuppressants FK506 and cyclosporin A (CsA) act similarly, inhibiting a Ca(2+)-dependent signal required for interleukin-2 transcription and T-cell activation. Each drug binds to its cytosolic receptor, FKBP-12 and cyclophilin, respectively, and the drug-receptor complexes inhibit the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase, calcineurin. In yeast, calcineurin has been implicated in recovery from alpha-mating factor arrest. Here we show that FK506 bound to yeast FKBP-12 appears to form a complex with yeast calcineurin. Moreover, recovery from mating factor arrest is highly sensitive to FK506 or CsA, and this sensitivity requires the presence of FKBP-12 or cyclophilin, respectively. These results define a key physiological target of an FK506- and CsA-sensitive signal pathway in yeast, suggest a high degree of mechanistic conservation with mammalian cells, and indicate that further examination of the yeast system should provide insight into the same process in T cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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