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Protein kinase A-dependent phosphorylation and degradation of CDK8 : implications for yeast filamentous growth Lourenço, Pedro Daniel Mira

Abstract

S. cerevisiae have developed the ability to forage for nutrients when presented with conditions of starvation. This dimorphic adaptation is particularly noticeable when yeast are subject to nitrogen depravation and has been termed filamentous growth, as cells form filament-like projections away from the center of the colony. The regulation of this response is under the control of the well-characterized MAPK and cAMP pathways. Previous work showed that Cdk8p phosphorylated a key transcriptional activator of the filamentous response, Ste12p, and subsequently targeted the factor for degradation under conditions of limiting nitrogen. Data presented in this thesis suggests that Cdk8p is regulated by another kinase, Tpk2p. In vitro kinase assays demonstrate that Tpk2p directly phosphorylates Cdk8p on residue Thr37, leading to the destabilization of Cdk8p after growth for 4 hours in SLAD media. Lack of phosphorylation on Thr37 yields a hypo-hypofilamentous phenotype, whereas a phospho-mimic mutant, T37E displays a filamentous hyper-filamentous phenotype.

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