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    Membrane fusion/fission is a highly dynamic and conserved process that responds to intra- and extracellular signals. Whereas the molecular machineries involved in membrane fusion/fission have been dissected, regulation of membrane dynamics remains poorly understood. The lysosomal vacuole of budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) has served as a seminal model in studies of membrane dynamics. We have previously established that yeast ENV7 encodes an ortholog of STK16-related kinases that localizes to the vacuolar membrane and downregulates vacuolar membrane fusion. Additionally, we have previously reported that Env7 phosphorylation in vivo depends on YCK3, a gene that encodes a vacuolar membrane casein kinase I (CKI) homolog that nonredundantly functions in fusion regulation. Here, we report that Env7 physically interacts with and is directly phosphorylated by Yck3. We also establish that Env7 vacuole fusion/fission regulation and vacuolar localization are mediated through its Yck3-dependent phosphorylation. Through extensive site-directed mutagenesis, we map phosphorylation to the Env7 C terminus and confirm that Ser-331 is a primary and preferred phosphorylation site. Phospho-deficient Env7 mutants were defective in negative regulation of membrane fusion, increasing the number of prominent vacuoles, whereas a phosphomimetic substitution at Ser-331 increased the number of fragmented vacuoles. Bioinformatics approaches confirmed that Env7 Ser-331 is within a motif that is highly conserved in STK16-related kinases and that it also anchors an SXXS CKI phosphorylation motif (328SRFS331). This study represents the first report on the regulatory mechanism of an STK16-related kinase. It also points to regulation of vacuolar membrane dynamics via a novel Yck3-Env7 kinase cascade. © 2020 Manandhar et al.


    Surya P Manandhar, Ikha M Siddiqah, Stephanie M Cocca, Editte Gharakhanian. A kinase cascade on the yeast lysosomal vacuole regulates its membrane dynamics: conserved kinase Env7 is phosphorylated by casein kinase Yck3. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2020 Aug 21;295(34):12262-12278

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    PMID: 32647006

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