Rewiring yeast osmostress signalling through the MAPK network reveals essential and non-essential roles of Hog1 in osmoadaptation
Journal article, 2014
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) have a number of targets which they regulate at transcriptional and post-translational levels to mediate specific responses. The yeast Hog1 MAPK is essential for cell survival under hyperosmotic conditions and it plays multiple roles in gene expression, metabolic regulation, signal fidelity and cell cycle regulation. Here we describe essential and non-essential roles of Hog1 using engineered yeast cells in which osmoadaptation was reconstituted in a Hog1-independent manner. We rewired Hog1-dependent osmotic stress-induced gene expression under the control of Fus3/Kss1 MAPKs, which are activated upon osmostress via crosstalk in hog1Δ cells. This approach revealed that osmotic up-regulation of only two Hog1-dependent glycerol biosynthesis genes, GPD1 and GPP2, is sufficient for successful osmoadaptation. Moreover, some of the previously described Hog1-dependent mechanisms appeared to be dispensable for osmoadaptation in the engineered cells. These results suggest that the number of essential MAPK functions may be significantly smaller than anticipated and that knockout approaches may lead to over-interpretation of phenotypic data.