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Eukaryot Cell. 2006 Mar;5(3):507-17.

The RIM101 pathway contributes to yeast cell wall assembly and its function becomes essential in the absence of mitogen-activated protein kinase Slt2p.

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Departamento de Microbiologia y Genetica, CSIC/Universidad de Salamanca, Edificio Departamental, R-219, Avda. Campo Charro s/n, 37007-Salamanca, Spain.


The Saccharomyces cerevisiae ynl294cDelta (rim21Delta) mutant was identified in our lab owing to its moderate resistance to calcofluor, although it also displayed all of the phenotypic traits associated with its function as the putative sensor (Rim21p) of the RIM101 pathway. rim21Delta also showed moderate hypersensitivity to sodium dodecyl sulfate, caffeine, and zymolyase, and the cell wall compensatory response in this mutant was very poor, as indicated by the almost complete absence of Slt2 phosphorylation and the modest increase in chitin synthesis after calcofluor treatment. However, the cell integrity pathway appeared functional after caffeine treatment or thermal stress. rim21Delta and rim101Delta mutant strains shared all of the cell-wall-associated phenotypes, which were reverted by the expression of Rim101-531p, the constitutively active form of this transcription factor. Therefore, the absence of a functional RIM101 pathway leads to cell wall defects. rim21Delta, as well as rim101Delta, was synthetic lethal with slt2Delta, a synthetic defect alleviated by osmotic stabilization of the media. The double mutants grown in osmotically stabilized media were extremely hypersensitive to zymolyase and showed thicker cell walls, with poorly defined mannoprotein layers. In contrast, rim21Delta rlm1Delta and rim101Delta rlm1Delta double mutants were fully viable. Taken together, these results show that the RIM101 pathway participates directly in cell wall assembly and that it acts in parallel with the protein kinase C pathway (PKC) in this process independently of the transcriptional effect of the compensatory response mediated by this route. In addition, these results provide new experimental evidence of the direct involvement of the PKC signal transduction pathway through the Sltp2 kinase in the construction of yeast cell walls.

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