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ABSTRACT: The maintenance of genomic integrity is essential for cell viability. Complex signalling pathways (DNA integrity checkpoints) mediate the response to genotoxic stresses. Identifying new functions involved in the cellular response to DNA-damage is crucial. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae SLT2 gene encodes a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade whose main function is the maintenance of the cell wall integrity. However, different observations suggest that SLT2 may also have a role related to DNA metabolism. This work consisted in a comprehensive study to connect the Slt2 protein to genome integrity maintenance in response to genotoxic stresses. The slt2 mutant strain was hypersensitive to a variety of genotoxic treatments, including incubation with hydroxyurea (HU), methylmetanosulfonate (MMS), phleomycin or UV irradiation. Furthermore, Slt2 was activated by all these treatments, which suggests that Slt2 plays a central role in the cellular response to genotoxic stresses. Activation of Slt2 was not dependent on the DNA integrity checkpoint. For MMS and UV, Slt2 activation required progression through the cell cycle. In contrast, HU also activated Slt2 in nocodazol-arrested cells, which suggests that Slt2 may respond to dNTP pools alterations. However, neither the protein level of the distinct ribonucleotide reductase subunits nor the dNTP pools were affected in a slt2 mutant strain. An analysis of the checkpoint function revealed that Slt2 was not required for either cell cycle arrest or the activation of the Rad53 checkpoint kinase in response to DNA damage. However, slt2 mutant cells showed an elongated bud and partially impaired Swe1 degradation after replicative stress, indicating that Slt2 could contribute, in parallel with Rad53, to bud morphogenesis control after genotoxic stresses. Slt2 is activated by several genotoxic treatments and is required to properly cope with DNA damage. Slt2 function is important for bud morphogenesis and optimal Swe1 degradation under replicative stress. The MAPK Slt2 appears as a new player in the cellular response to genotoxic stresses.


María Soriano-Carot, M Carmen Bañó, J Carlos Igual. The yeast mitogen-activated protein kinase Slt2 is involved in the cellular response to genotoxic stress. Cell division. 2012;7:1

PMID: 22296825

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