GCN2 is a protein kinase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is required for increased expression of the transcriptional activator GCN4 in amino acid-starved cells. GCN2 stimulates GCN4 synthesis at the translational level by phosphorylating the at subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF-2). We identified a truncated form of the GLC7 gene, encoding the catalytic subunit of a type 1 protein phosphatase, by its ability to restore derepression of GCN4 expression in a strain containing the partially defective gcn2-507 allele. Genetic analysis suggests that the truncated GLC7 allele has a dominant negative phenotype, reducing the level of native type 1 protein phosphatase activity in the cell. The truncated form of GLC7 does not suppress the regulatory defect associated with a gcn2 deletion or a mutation in the phosphorylation site of eIF-2α (Ser-51). In addition, the presence of multiple copies of wild-type GLC7 impairs the derepression of GCN4 that occurs in response to amino acid starvation or dominant-activating mutations in GCN2. These findings suggest that the phosphatase activity of GLC7 acts in opposition to the kinase activity of GCN2 in modulating the level of eIF-2α phosphorylation and the translational efficiency of GCN4 mRNA. This conclusion is supported by biochemical studies showing that the truncated GLC7 allele increases the level of eIF-2α Phosphorylation in the gcn2-507 mutant to a level approaching that seen in wild-type cells under starvation conditions. The truncated GLC7 allele also leads to reduced glycogen accumulation, indicating that this protein phosphatase is involved in regulating diverse metabolic pathways in yeast cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Molecular and cellular biology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology