Mutations in the RAM network confer resistance to the thiol oxidant 4,4′-dipyridyl disulfide
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- López-Mirabal, H.R., Winther, J.R., Thorsen, M. et al. Mol Genet Genomics (2008) 279: 629. doi:10.1007/s00438-008-0339-0
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Thiol oxidants are expected to have multiple effects in living cells. Hence, mutations giving resistance to such agents are likely to reveal important targets and/or mechanisms influencing the cellular capacity to withstand thiol oxidation. A screen for mutants resistant to the thiol-specific oxidant dipyridyl disulfide (DPS) yielded tao3-516, which is impaired in the function of the RAM signaling network protein Tao3/Pag1p. We suggest that the DPS-resistance of the tao3-516 mutant might be due to deficient cell-cycle-regulated production of the chitinase Cts1p, which functions in post-mitotic cell separation and depends on Tao3p and the RAM network for regulated expression. Consistent with this, deletion of other RAM genes or CTS1 also resulted in increased resistance to DPS. Exposure to DPS caused extensive depolarization of the actin cytoskeleton. We found that tao3-516 is resistant to latrunculin, a specific inhibitor of actin polymerization, and that ram, Δace2, and Δcts1 mutants are resistant to benomyl, a microtubule-destabilizing drug. Since septum build-up depends on the organization of cytoskeletal proteins, the resistance to cytoskeletal stress of Cts1p-deficient mutants might relate to bypass for abnormal septum-associated protein sorting. The broad resistance toward oxidants (DPS, diamide and H2O2) of the Δcts1 strain links cell wall function to the resistance to oxidative stress and suggests the existence of targets that are common for these oxidants.