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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e45049. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045049. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Rho signaling participates in membrane fluidity homeostasis.

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1
Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

Abstract

Preservation of both the integrity and fluidity of biological membranes is a critical cellular homeostatic function. Signaling pathways that govern lipid bilayer fluidity have long been known in bacteria, yet no such pathways have been identified in eukaryotes. Here we identify mutants of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae whose growth is differentially influenced by its two principal unsaturated fatty acids, oleic and palmitoleic acid. Strains deficient in the core components of the cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway, a MAP kinase pathway dependent on both Pkc1 (yeast's sole protein kinase C) and Rho1 (the yeast RhoA-like small GTPase), were among those inhibited by palmitoleate yet stimulated by oleate. A single GEF (Tus1) and a single GAP (Sac7) of Rho1 were also identified, neither of which participate in the CWI pathway. In contrast, key components of the CWI pathway, such as Rom2, Bem2 and Rlm1, failed to influence fatty acid sensitivity. The differential influence of palmitoleate and oleate on growth of key mutants correlated with changes in membrane fluidity measured by fluorescence anisotropy of TMA-DPH, a plasma membrane-bound dye. This work provides the first evidence for the existence of a signaling pathway that enables eukaryotic cells to control membrane fluidity, a requirement for division, differentiation and environmental adaptation.

PMID:
23071506
PMCID:
PMC3465289
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0045049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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