Advance online publication:

This section includes articles accepted for publication in Microbial Cell, which have not been released in a regular issue, yet. Please note that the PDF versions of advance publication articles are generally paginated starting with page 1. This does not correspond to the final pagination upon release of the issue it will appear in.


Novobiocin inhibits membrane synthesis and vacuole formation of Enterococcus faecalis protoplasts

Rintaro Tsuchikado, Satoshi Kami, Sawako Takahashi and Hiromi Nishida

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We demonstrate that plasma membrane biosynthesis and vacuole formation require DNA replication in Enterococcus faecalis protoplasts. The replication inhibitor novobiocin inhibited not only DNA replication but also cell enlargement (plasma membrane biosynthesis) and vacuole formation during the enlargement of the E. faecalis protoplasts. After novobiocin treatment prior to vacuole formation, the cell size of E. faecalis protoplasts was limited to 6 μm in diameter and the cells lacked vacuoles. When novobiocin was added after vacuole formation, E. faecalis protoplasts grew with vacuole enlargement; after novobiocin removal, protoplasts were enlarged again. Although cell size distribution of the protoplasts was similar following the 24 h and 48 h novobiocin treatments, after 72 h of novobiocin treatment there was a greater number of smaller sized protoplasts, suggesting that extended novobiocin treatment may inhibit the re-enlargement of E. faecalis protoplasts after novobiocin removal. Our findings demonstrate that novobiocin can control the enlargement of E. faecalis protoplasts due to inhibition of DNA replication.

PDF | Published online: 10/08/2020 | In press

Variants of the human RAD52 gene confer defects in ionizing radiation resistance and homologous recombination repair in budding yeast

Alissa D. Clear, Glenn M. Manthey, Olivia Lewis, Isabelle Y. Lopez, Rossana Rico, Shannon Owens, M. Cristina Negritto, Elise W. Wolf, Jason Xu, Nikola Kenjić, J. Jefferson P. Perry, Aaron W. Adamson, Susan L. Neuhausen, Adam M. Bailis

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RAD52 is a structurally and functionally conserved component of the DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair apparatus from budding yeast to humans. We recently showed that expressing the human gene, HsRAD52 in rad52 mutant budding yeast cells can suppress both their ionizing radiation (IR) sensitivity and homologous recombination repair (HRR) defects. Intriguingly, we observed that HsRAD52 supports DSB repair by a mechanism of HRR that conserves genome structure and is independent of the canonical HR machinery. In this study we report that naturally occurring variants of HsRAD52, one of which suppresses the pathogenicity of BRCA2 mutations, were unable to suppress the IR sensitivity and HRR defects of rad52 mutant yeast cells, but fully suppressed a defect in DSB repair by single-strand annealing (SSA). This failure to suppress both IR sensitivity and the HRR defect correlated with an inability of HsRAD52 protein to associate with and drive an interaction between genomic sequences during DSB repair by HRR. These results suggest that HsRAD52 supports multiple, distinct DSB repair apparatuses in budding yeast cells and help further define its mechanism of action in HRR. They also imply that disruption of HsRAD52-dependent HRR in BRCA2-defective human cells may contribute to protection against tumorigenesis and provide a target for killing BRCA2-defective cancers.

PDF | Published online: 20/07/2020 | In press

Plant and fungal products that extend lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

Jan Martel, Cheng-Yeu Wu, Hsin-Hsin Peng, Yun-Fei Ko, Hung-Chi Yang, John D. Young and David M. Ojcius

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The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model to study aging due to its short lifespan, ease of manipulation, and available genetic tools. Several molecules and extracts derived from plants and fungi extend the lifespan of C. elegans by modulating aging-related pathways that are conserved in more complex organisms. Modulation of aging pathways leads to activation of autophagy, mitochondrial biogenesis and expression of antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes in a manner similar to caloric restriction. Low and moderate concentrations of plant and fungal molecules usually extend lifespan, while high concentrations are detrimental, consistent with a lifespan-modulating mechanism involving hormesis. We review here molecules and extracts derived from plants and fungi that extend the lifespan of C. elegans, and explore the possibility that these natural substances may produce health benefits in humans.

PDF | Published online: 09/07/2020 | In press

Systematic analysis of nuclear gene function in respiratory growth and expression of the mitochondrial genome in S. cerevisiae

Maria Stenger, Duc Tung Le, Till Klecker and Benedikt Westermann

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The production of metabolic energy in form of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation depends on the coordinated action of hundreds of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins and a handful of proteins encoded by the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA). We used the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system to systematically identify the genes contributing to this process. Integration of genome-wide high-throughput growth assays with previously published large data sets allowed us to define with high confidence a set of 254 nuclear genes that are indispensable for respiratory growth. Next, we induced loss of mtDNA in the yeast deletion collection by growth on ethidium bromide-containing medium and identified twelve genes that are essential for viability in the absence of mtDNA (i.e. petite-negative). Replenishment of mtDNA by cytoduction showed that respiratory-deficient phenotypes are highly variable in many yeast mutants. Using a mitochondrial genome carrying a selectable marker, ARG8m, we screened for mutants that are specifically defective in maintenance of mtDNA and mitochondrial protein synthesis. We found that up to 176 nuclear genes are required for expression of mitochondria-encoded proteins during fermentative growth. Taken together, our data provide a comprehensive picture of the molecular processes that are required for respiratory metabolism in a simple eukaryotic cell.

PDF | Supplemental Information | Published online: 30/06/2020 | In press

Regulation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and its effects on aging

Damiano Pellegrino-Coppola

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Aging is an evolutionarily conserved process and is tightly connected to mitochondria. To uncover the aging molecular mechanisms related to mitochondria, different organisms have been extensively used as model systems. Among these, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been reported multiple times as a model of choice when studying cellular aging. In particular, yeast provides a quick and trustworthy system to identify shared aging genes and pathway patterns. In this viewpoint on aging and mitochondria, I will focus on the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), which has been reported and proposed as a main player in cellular aging. I will make several parallelisms with yeast to highlight how this unicellular organism can be used as a guidance system to understand conserved cellular and molecular events in multicellular organisms such as humans. Overall, a thread connecting the preservation of mitochondrial functionality with the activity of the mPTP emerges in the regulation of cell survival and cell death, which in turn could potentially affect aging and aging-related diseases.

PDF | Published online: 22/06/2020 | In press

A new role for proteins subunits of RNase P: stabilization of the telomerase holoenzyme

P. Daniela Garcia and Virginia A. Zakian

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RNase P, an RNA-protein complex, is essential for processing tRNAs. Three of the ten protein subunits of Saccharomyces cerevisiae RNase P (and a related complex, RNase MRP) co-purify with yeast telomerase, another RNA-protein complex. The three telomerase-associated proteins, Pop1, 6 and 7, bind to TLC1, the RNA subunit of telomerase. In a recent study (Garcia et al. Nat Commun), we used temperature sensitive alleles of the essential POP genes to determine their role in telomerase biogenesis. At permissive temperature, pop mutant cells grow normally, and the abundance of most proteins, including protein subunits of telomerase, is similar to wild type (WT). However, telomeres are short, and the amount of the mature telomerase holoenzyme is low. Unlike the RNA subunit of RNase MRP, TLC1 is more abundant in pop cells and properly folded, except at the Cs2a/TeSS domain where the Pop proteins bind. These defects correlate with defective movement of TLC1 from the cytoplasm, where it associates with telomerase proteins, back to the nucleus where it lengthens telomeres. Thus, Pop proteins are needed for the stable association of telomerase proteins with TLC1, and their reduction sequesters mature telomerase in the cytoplasm, away from its nuclear substrates.

PDF | Published online: 17/06/2020 | In press

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