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J Cell Sci. 2013 Jul 15;126(Pt 14):2997-3009. doi: 10.1242/jcs.112797. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Phosphorylation of Gβ is crucial for efficient chemotropism in yeast.

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Laboratory for Molecular Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA.


Mating yeast cells interpret complex pheromone gradients and polarize their growth in the direction of the closest partner. Chemotropic growth depends on both the pheromone receptor and its associated G-protein. Upon activation by the receptor, Gα dissociates from Gβγ and Gβ is subsequently phosphorylated. Free Gβγ signals to the nucleus via a MAPK cascade and recruits Far1-Cdc24 to the incipient growth site. It is not clear how the cell establishes and stabilizes the axis of polarity, but this process is thought to require local signal amplification via the Gβγ-Far1-Cdc24 chemotropic complex, as well as communication between this complex and the activated receptor. Here we show that a mutant form of Gβ that cannot be phosphorylated confers defects in directional sensing and chemotropic growth. Our data suggest that phosphorylation of Gβ plays a role in localized signal amplification and in the dynamic communication between the receptor and the chemotropic complex, which underlie growth site selection and maintenance.


Chemotropism; Gβ phosphorylation; Polarized growth; Reorientation; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Yeast mating response

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