Accumulation of a Threonine Biosynthetic Intermediate Attenuates General Amino Acid Control by Accelerating Degradation of Gcn4 via Pho85 and Cdk8

Yashpal Rawal, Hongfang Qiu, Alan G. Hinnebusch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gcn4 is a master transcriptional regulator of amino acid and vitamin biosynthetic enzymes subject to the general amino acid control (GAAC), whose expression is upregulated in response to amino acid starvation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We found that accumulation of the threonine pathway intermediate β-aspartate semialdehyde (ASA), substrate of homoserine dehydrogenase (Hom6), attenuates the GAAC transcriptional response by accelerating degradation of Gcn4, already an exceedingly unstable protein, in cells starved for isoleucine and valine. The reduction in Gcn4 abundance on ASA accumulation requires Cdk8/Srb10 and Pho85, cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) known to mediate rapid turnover of Gcn4 by the proteasome via phosphorylation of the Gcn4 activation domain under nonstarvation conditions. Interestingly, rescue of Gcn4 abundance in hom6 cells by elimination of SRB10 is not accompanied by recovery of transcriptional activation, while equivalent rescue of UAS-bound Gcn4 in hom6 pho85 cells restores greater than wild-type activation of Gcn4 target genes. These and other findings suggest that the two CDKs target different populations of Gcn4 on ASA accumulation, with Srb10 clearing mostly inactive Gcn4 molecules at the promoter that are enriched for sumoylation of the activation domain, and Pho85 clearing molecules unbound to the UAS that include both fully functional and inactive Gcn4 species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1004534
JournalPLoS Genetics
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research

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