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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Low affinity orthophosphate carriers regulate PHO gene expression independently of internal orthophosphate concentration in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Phosphate is an essential nutrient that must be taken up from the growth medium through specific transporters. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, both high and low affinity orthophosphate carriers allow this micro-organism to cope with environmental variations. Intriguingly, in this study we found a tight correlation between selenite resistance and expression of the high affinity orthophosphate carrier Pho84p. Our work further revealed that mutations in the low affinity orthophosphate carrier genes (PHO87, PHO90, and PHO91) cause deregulation of phosphate-repressed genes. Strikingly, the deregulation due to pho87Delta, pho90Delta, or pho91Delta mutations was neither correlated to impaired orthophosphate uptake capacity nor to a decrease of the intracellular orthophosphate or polyphosphate pools, as shown by (31)P NMR spectroscopy. Thus, our data clearly establish that the low affinity orthophosphate carriers affect phosphate regulation independently of intracellular orthophosphate concentration through a new signaling pathway that was found to strictly require the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor Pho81p. We propose that phosphate-regulated gene expression is under the control of two different regulatory signals as follows: the sensing of internal orthophosphate by a yet unidentified protein and the sensing of external orthophosphate by low affinity orthophosphate transporters; the former would be required to maintain phosphate homeostasis, and the latter would keep the cell informed on the medium phosphate richness.[1]


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