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Yeast. 2011 Jan;28(1):9-17. doi: 10.1002/yea.1816. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

Slt2 MAPK pathway is essential for cell integrity in the presence of arsenate.

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Department of Microbiología II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


Arsenate is a common toxic metalloid found in drinking water worldwide that causes several human diseases. The biochemical action underlying cellular response to arsenate, however, is not yet completely understood. Here we used Saccharomyces cerevisiae as an eukaryotic model system to identify proteins essential for adaptation to arsenate treatment. Previous studies have demonstrated a function for Hog1 MAPK in modulating the cellular response to arsenite. Our results, however, showed that cells deficient in Hog1 did not show increased sensitivity to arsenate, suggesting that perhaps other MAPKs may be involved in the response to this particular arsenic species. Here, we found that Slt2 MAPK and several of its upstream regulators are essential in modulating the response to arsenate, and that Slt2 is phosphorylated after arsenate treatment. Furthermore, whole-genome transcriptional analysis showed that Slt2 is required for the induction of several genes in response to arsenate exposure. Many of these genes are involved in the cellular response to heat, suggesting an overlap between these two stress response pathways, and pointing toward a common response to both arsenate and heat exposure in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Furthermore, our results support the idea that cellular exposure to arsenate results in induction of cellular signalling pathways different from those induced under arsenite treatment.

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