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Schizosaccharomyces pombe ehs1p is involved in maintaining cell wall integrity and in calcium uptake

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The Schizosaccharomyces pombe ehs1-1 mutant was isolated on the basis of its hypersensitivity to Echinocandin and Calcofluor White, which inhibit cell wall synthesis. The mutant shows a thermosensitive growth phenotype that is suppressed in the presence of an osmotic stabiliser. The mutant also showed other cell wall-associated phenotypes, such as enhanced sensitivity to enzymatic cell wall degradation and an imbalance in polysaccharide synthesis. The ehs1 + gene encodes a predicted integral membrane protein that is 30% identical to Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mid1p, a protein that has been proposed to form part of a calcium channel. As expected for such a function, we found that ehs1 + is involved in intracellular Ca2+ accumulation. High external Ca2+ concentrations suppressed all phenotypes associated with the ehs1 null mutation, suggesting that the cell integrity defects of ehs1 mutants result from inadequate levels of calcium in the cell. We observed a genetic relationship between ehs1 + and the protein kinase C homologue pck2 +. pck2 + suppressed all phenotypes of ehs1-1 mutant cells. Overproduction of pck2p is deleterious to wild-type cells, increasing 1,3-β-D-glucan synthase activity and promoting accumulation of extremely high levels of Ca2+. The lethality associated with pck2p, the increase in 1,3-β-D-glucan synthase production and the strong Ca2+ accumulation are all dependent on the presence of ehs1p. Our results suggest that in fission yeast ehs1p forms part of a calcium channel that is involved in the cell wall integrity pathway that includes the kinase pck2p.

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Carnero, E., Ribas, J., García, B. et al. Schizosaccharomyces pombe ehs1p is involved in maintaining cell wall integrity and in calcium uptake. Mol Gen Genet 264, 173–183 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004380000318

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  • Calcium Cell wall integrity Echinocandin Fission yeast Protein kinase C