Table of contents

Volume 1, Issue 12, pp. 393 - 424, December 2014

Issue cover
Cover: A hyphae of Botrytis cinerea undergoing apoptotic-like programmed cell death as indicated by hyper vacuolization and nuclei condensation. Image acquired by Anna Minz-Dub and Amir Sharon (Tel Aviv University, Israel); modified by MIC. The cover is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. Enlarge issue cover

Research Articles

Rewiring yeast acetate metabolism through MPC1 loss of function leads to mitochondrial damage and decreases chronological lifespan

Ivan Orlandi, Damiano Pellegrino Coppola and Marina Vai

page 393-405 | 10.15698/mic2014.12.178 | Full text | PDF | Abstract

During growth on fermentable substrates, such as glucose, pyruvate, which is the end-product of glycolysis, can be used to generate acetyl-CoA in the cytosol via acetaldehyde and acetate, or in mitochondria by direct oxidative decarboxylation. In the latter case, the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) is responsible for pyruvate transport into mitochondrial matrix space. During chronological aging, yeast cells which lack the major structural subunit Mpc1 display a reduced lifespan accompanied by an age-dependent loss of autophagy. Here, we show that the impairment of pyruvate import into mitochondria linked to Mpc1 loss is compensated by a flux redirection of TCA cycle intermediates through the malic enzyme-dependent alternative route. In such a way, the TCA cycle operates in a “branched” fashion to generate pyruvate and is depleted of intermediates. Mutant cells cope with this depletion byincreasing the activity of glyoxylate cycle and of the pathway which provides the nucleocytosolic acetyl-CoA. Moreover, cellular respiration decreases and ROS accumulate in the mitochondria which, in turn, undergo severe damage. These acquired traits in concert with the reduced autophagy restrict cell survival of the mpc1∆ mutant during chronological aging. Conversely, the activation of the carnitine shuttle by supplying acetyl-CoA to the mitochondria is sufficient to abrogate the short-lived phenotype of the mutant.

Measurement of apoptosis by SCAN©, a system for counting and analysis of fluorescently labelled nuclei

Neta Shlezinger, Elad Eizner, Stas Dubinchik, Anna Minz-Dub, Rachel Tetroashvili, Adi Reider, Amir Sharon

page 406-415 | 10.15698/mic2014.12.180 | Full text | PDF | Abstract

Apoptosis-like programmed cell death (A-PCD) is a universal process common to all types of eukaryotic organisms. Because A-PCD-associated processes are conserved, it is possible to define A-PCD by a standard set of markers. Many of the popular methods to measure A-PCD make use of fluorescent ligands that change in intensity or cellular localization during A-PCD. In single cell organisms, it is possible to quantify levels of A-PCD by scoring the number of apoptotic cells using flow cytometry instruments. In a multicellular organism, quantification of A-PCD is more problematic due to the complex nature of the tissue. The situation is further complicated in filamentous fungi, in which nuclei are divided between compartments, each containing a number of nuclei, which can also migrate between the compartments. We developed SCAN©, a System for Counting and Analysis of Nuclei, and used it to measure A-PCD according to two markers – chromatin condensation and DNA strand breaks. The package includes three modules designed for counting the number of nuclei in multi-nucleated domains, scoring the relative number of nuclei with condensed chromatin, and calculating the relative number of nuclei with DNA strand breaks. The method provides equal or better results compared with manual counting, the analysis is fast and can be applied on large data sets. While we demonstrated the utility of the software for measurement of A-PCD in fungi, the method is readily adopted for measurement of A-PCD in other types of multicellular specimens.

Research Reports

Loss of wobble uridine modification in tRNA anticodons interferes with TOR pathway signaling

Viktor Scheidt, André Jüdes, Christian Bär, Roland Klassen, Raffael Schaffrath

page 416-424 | 10.15698/mic2014.12.179 | Full text | PDF | Abstract

Previous work in yeast has suggested that modification of tRNAs, in particular uridine bases in the anticodon wobble position (U34), is linked to TOR (target of rapamycin) signaling. Hence, U34 modification mutants were found to be hypersensitive to TOR inhibition by rapamycin. To study whether this involves inappropriate TOR signaling, we examined interaction between mutations in TOR pathway genes (tip41∆, sap190∆, ppm1∆, rrd1∆) and U34 modification defects (elp3∆, kti12∆, urm1∆, ncs2∆) and found the rapamycin hypersensitivity in the latter is epistatic to drug resistance of the former. Epistasis, however, is abolished in tandem with a gln3∆ deletion, which inactivates transcription factor Gln3 required for TOR-sensitive activation of NCR (nitrogen catabolite repression) genes. In line with nuclear import of Gln3 being under control of TOR and dephosphorylation by the Sit4 phosphatase, we identify novel TOR-sensitive sit4 mutations that confer rapamycin resistance and importantly, mislocalise Gln3 when TOR is inhibited. This is similar to gln3∆ cells, which abolish the rapamycin hypersensitivity of U34 modification mutants, and suggests TOR deregulation due to tRNA undermodification operates through Gln3. In line with this, loss of U34 modifications (elp3∆, urm1∆) enhances nuclear import of and NCR gene activation (MEP2, GAP1) by Gln3 when TOR activity is low. Strikingly, this stimulatory effect onto Gln3 is suppressed by overexpression of tRNAs that usually carry the U34 modifications. Collectively, our data suggest that proper TOR signaling requires intact tRNA modifications and that loss of U34 modifications impinges on the TOR-sensitive NCR branch via Gln3 misregulation.