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Mol Genet Genomics. 2012 Aug;287(8):651-62. doi: 10.1007/s00438-012-0705-9. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Genome-wide screen reveals novel mechanisms for regulating cobalt uptake and detoxification in fission yeast.

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Division of Molecular Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kusunoki-cho 7-5-1, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.


Cobalt is an essential micronutrient but is toxic when present in excess. To study cobalt homeostasis we performed a genome-wide screen for deletion strains that show sensitivity or resistance to CoCl(2). Among 54 cobalt-sensitive strains, 18 are supersensitive strains, which are involved in histidine biosynthetic process, ubiquitination, mitochondria function, membrane trafficking, transporter and a variety of other known functions or still unknown functions. Furthermore, we identified 56 cobalt-resistant deletion strains, which are mainly involved in mitochondria function, signal transduction, ubiquitination, and gene expression and chromatin remodeling. Notably, deletion of the zhf1(+) gene, encoding a zinc ion transporter, confers supersensitivity to cobalt and overexpression of the zhf1(+) gene confers marked tolerance to cobalt, indicating that Zhf1 play key roles in cobalt detoxification. Interestingly, all the histidine-auxotrophic mutants displayed cobalt sensitivity and deletion of cationic amino acid transporter Cat1, which was shown to be involved in histidine uptake, suppressed the CoCl(2)-sensitive growth defect of the his2 mutants, suggesting that CoCl(2) may be transported into the cell together with histidine via histidine transporters including Cat1. In addition, we obtained results suggesting that the E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme Rhp6 and Sty1 stress MAP kinase pathway are involved in the regulation of cobalt homeostasis. Altogether, our genome-wide study demonstrates for the first time the mechanisms of cobalt homeostasis, particularly its uptake and detoxification in fission yeast.

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