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Pik1p, a phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase, interacts with Cdc4p : a contractile ring protein essential for cytokinesis in fission yeast



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A yeast two-hybrid assay suggested the possibility of an interaction between Cdc4p, a small EF-hand protein essential for cytokinesis, and Pik1p in S. pombe. This interaction was unexpected, as one function of Cdc4p is that of an essential light chain, bound to the first IQ-motif of type II myosins, whereas Pik1p is a phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase. The objective of this work was to analyze the effects of Pik1p lipid kinase activity on the cell cycle of S. pombe. Another goal of this study was to evaluate the functional significance of the interaction between Cdc4p and Pik1p. This was performed by generating two mutants of pik1: one that abolished lipid kinase activity (pik1-D709A) and one that abolished Pik1p Cdc4p-binding activity (pik1-R838A). Pik1p has a conserved IQ-motif in its C-terminal region. A mutation in this site (R838A), homologous to a residue which was mutated in myosin and abrogated the interaction with Cdc4p, prevented the interaction with Cdc4p in a yeast two-hybrid assay and ELISA. An increase in lipid kinase activity was observed in cell extracts upon ectopic expression of pik1-wt from an episome, which was abolished by a mutation in the lipid kinase domain of Pik1p (D709A), but not by the R838A mutation. However, little to no increase in lipid kinase activity was observed upon ectopic expression of pik1-wt and pik1-R838A in a strain carrying a conditionally lethal allele of cdc4 (cdc4-G107S). This mutation in Cdc4p was shown previously to prevent the interaction with Pik1p in yeast two-hybrid assays. Ectopic expression of pik1-wt suppressed cell proliferation, with disruption of actin cytoskeletal structures and contractile ring formation. These results were not observed with the ectopic expression of the pik1-R838A mutant or when pik1-wt was expressed in the cdc4-G107S strain. Ectopic expression of pik1-R838A resulted in cell shortening, likely through inhibition of growth, and many of the short cells showed an accumulation of the expressed Pik1p protein at the cell tips. Formation of the contractile ring appeared unaffected in cells with ectopic expression of the pik1-D709A mutant, but many of these cells had thick or more than one septum, characteristic of a septation defect. The ectopic expression phenotypes were dosage dependent since lower levels of expression greatly reduced the severity of the ectopic phenotypes. Pik1p lipid kinase activity is essential and, based on ectopic expression studies, is required for septation. There is a physical and functional interaction between Cdc4p and Pik1p which is not essential for cell viability, but suggests a role for Cdc4p in phosphoinositide metabolism.



phosphoinositides, myosin essential light chain, fission yeast genetics, molecular biology



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Microbiology and Immunology


Microbiology and Immunology



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