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Unicellular eukaryotes have been suggested as undergoing self-inflicted destruction. However, molecular details are sparse compared with the mechanisms of programmed/regulated cell death known for human cells and animal models. Here, we report a molecular cell death pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae leading to vacuole/lysosome membrane permeabilization. Following a transient cell death stimulus, yeast cells die slowly over several hours, consistent with an ongoing molecular dying process. A genome-wide screen for death-promoting factors identified all subunits of the AP-3 complex, a vesicle trafficking adapter known to transport and install newly synthesized proteins on the vacuole/lysosome membrane. To promote cell death, AP-3 requires its Arf1-GTPase-dependent vesicle trafficking function and the kinase Yck3, which is selectively transported to the vacuole membrane by AP-3. Video microscopy revealed a sequence of events where vacuole permeability precedes the loss of plasma membrane integrity. AP-3-dependent death appears to be conserved in the human pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Zachary D Stolp, Madhura Kulkarni, Yining Liu, Chengzhang Zhu, Alizay Jalisi, Si Lin, Arturo Casadevall, Kyle W Cunningham, Fernando J Pineda, Xinchen Teng, J Marie Hardwick. Yeast cell death pathway requiring AP-3 vesicle trafficking leads to vacuole/lysosome membrane permeabilization. Cell reports. 2022 Apr 12;39(2):110647

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PMID: 35417721

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