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. 2019 Aug;212(4):1205-1225.
doi: 10.1534/genetics.119.302371. Epub 2019 Jun 18.

Sit4 and PP2A Dephosphorylate Nitrogen Catabolite Repression-Sensitive Gln3 When TorC1 Is Up- As Well as Downregulated

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Sit4 and PP2A Dephosphorylate Nitrogen Catabolite Repression-Sensitive Gln3 When TorC1 Is Up- As Well as Downregulated

Jennifer J Tate et al. Genetics. .
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Saccharomyces cerevisiae lives in boom and bust nutritional environments. Sophisticated regulatory systems have evolved to rapidly cope with these changes while preserving intracellular homeostasis. Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (TorC1), is a serine/threonine kinase complex and a principle nitrogen-responsive regulator. TorC1 is activated by excess nitrogen and downregulated by limiting nitrogen. Two of TorC1's many downstream targets are Gln3 and Gat1-GATA-family transcription activators-whose localization and function are Nitrogen Catabolite Repression- (NCR-) sensitive. In nitrogen replete environments, TorC1 is activated, thereby inhibiting the PTap42-Sit4 and PTap42-PP2A (Pph21/Pph22-Tpd3, Pph21,22-Rts1/Cdc55) phosphatase complexes. Gln3 is phosphorylated, sequestered in the cytoplasm and NCR-sensitive transcription repressed. In nitrogen-limiting conditions, TorC1 is downregulated and PTap42-Sit4 and PTap42-PP2A are active. They dephosphorylate Gln3, which dissociates from Ure2, relocates to the nucleus, and activates transcription. A paradoxical observation, however, led us to suspect that Gln3 control was more complex than appreciated, i.e., Sit4 dephosphorylates Gln3 more in excess than in limiting nitrogen conditions. This paradox motivated us to reinvestigate the roles of these phosphatases in Gln3 regulation. We discovered that: (i) Sit4 and PP2A actively function both in conditions where TorC1 is activated as well as down-regulated; (ii) nuclear Gln3 is more highly phosphorylated than when it is sequestered in the cytoplasm; (iii) in nitrogen-replete conditions, Gln3 relocates from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, where it is dephosphorylated by Sit4 and PP2A; and (iv) in nitrogen excess and limiting conditions, Sit4, PP2A, and Ure2 are all required to maintain cytoplasmic Gln3 in its dephosphorylated form.

Keywords: Gln3; PP2A; Sit4; TorC1; Ure2; nitrogen catabolite repression; rapamycin.

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