Yeast has proven to be a powerful tool to elucidate the molecular aspects of several biological processes in higher eukaryotes. As in mammalian cells, yeast intracellular Ca(2+) signalling is crucial for a myriad of biological processes. Yeast cells also bear homologs of the major components of the Ca(2+) signalling toolkit in mammalian cells, including channels, co-transporters and pumps. Using yeast single- and multiple-gene deletion strains of various plasma membrane and organellar Ca(2+) transporters, combined with manipulations to estimate intracellular Ca(2+) storage, we evaluated the contribution of individual transport systems to intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis. Yeast strains lacking Pmr1 and/or Cod1, two ion pumps implicated in ER/Golgi Ca(2+) homeostasis, displayed a fragmented vacuolar phenotype and showed increased vacuolar Ca(2+) uptake and Ca(2+) influx across the plasma membrane. In the pmr1Δ strain, these effects were insensitive to calcineurin activity, independent of Cch1/Mid1 Ca(2+) channels and Pmc1 but required Vcx1. By contrast, in the cod1Δ strain increased vacuolar Ca(2+) uptake was not affected by Vcx1 deletion but was largely dependent on Pmc1 activity. Our analysis further corroborates the distinct roles of Vcx1 and Pmc1 in vacuolar Ca(2+) uptake and point to the existence of not-yet identified Ca(2+) influx pathways.
Keywords: Calcium homeostasis; ER; Golgi; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Vacuole.
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