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Gene. 1994 Dec 30;151(1-2):61-71.

The yeast FKS1 gene encodes a novel membrane protein, mutations in which confer FK506 and cyclosporin A hypersensitivity and calcineurin-dependent growth.

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Department of Biomolecular Disovery, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals King of Prussia, PA 19406.


FK506 and cyclosporin A (CsA) are potent immunosuppressive agents that display antifungal activity. They act by blocking a Ca(2+)-dependent signal transduction pathway leading to interleukin-2 transcription. Each drug forms a complex with its cognate cytosolic immunophilin receptor (i.e., FKBP12-FK506 and cyclophilin-CsA) which acts to inhibit the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase 2B, or calcineurin (CN). We and others have defined the Saccharomyces cerevisiae FKS1 gene by recessive mutations resulting in 100-1000-fold hypersensitivity to FK506 and CsA (as compared to wild type), but which do not affect sensitivity to a variety of other antifungal drugs. The fks1 mutant also exhibits a slow-growth phenotype that can be partially alleviated by exogenously added Ca2+ [Parent et al., J. Gen. Microbiol. 139 (1993) 2973-2984]. We have cloned FKS1 by complementation of the drug-hypersensitive phenotype. It contains a long open reading frame encoding a novel 1876-amino-acid (215 kDa) protein which shows no similarity to CN or to other protein phosphatases. The FKS1 protein is predicted to contain 10 to 12 transmembrane domains with a structure resembling integral membrane transporter proteins. Genomic disruption experiments indicate that FKS1 encodes a nonessential function; fks1::LEU2 cells exhibit the same growth and recessive drug-hypersensitive phenotypes observed in the original fks1 mutants. Furthermore, the fks1::LEU2 allele is synthetically lethal in combination with disruptions of both of the nonessential genes encoding the alternative forms of the catalytic A subunit of CN (CNA1 and CNA2). These data suggest that FKS1 provides a unique cellular function which, when absent, increases FK506 and CsA sensitivity by making the CNs (or a CN-dependent function) essential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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