, Volume 274, Issue 1-2, pp 189-200

Protein kinase CK2 in gene control at cell cycle entry

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Abstract

Protein kinase CK2 has diverse links to gene control and cell cycle. Comparative genome-wide expression profiling of CK2 mutants of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae at cell cycle entry has revealed that a significant proportion of cell-cycle genes are affected by CK2. Here, we examine how CK2 realizes this effect. We show that the CK2 action may be directed to gene promoters causing genes with promoter homologies to respond comparably to CK2 perturbation. Examples are metabolic pathway and nutrition supply genes such as the PHO and MET regulon genes, responsible for phosphate maintenance and methionine biosynthesis, respectively. CK2 perturbation affects both regulons permanently and both via repression of a central transcription factor, but with different mechanisms: In the PHO regulon, the gene encoding the central transcription factor Pho4 is repressed and, in addition, Pho4 and/or the cyclin-dependent kinase of the regulon’s control complex may be affected by CK2 phosphorylation. In the MET regulon, the repression of the central transcription factor Met4 occurs not by expression inhibition, but rather by availability tuning via a CK2-mediated phosphorylation of a degradation complex. On the other hand, the CK2 action may be directed to the chromatin regulon, thus affecting globally the expression of genes, i.e., the CK2 perturbation results either in comparable responses of genes which have no promoter homologies or in deviating responses despite promoter homologies. The effect is rather transient and concerns aside various cell cycle control genes a notable number of genes encoding chromatin remodeling and modification proteins with functions in chromatin assembly and (anti-)silencing as well as in histone (de-)acetylation, and frequently are also substrates of CK2, suggesting additional tuning at protein level. In line with these findings, we observe in human cells sequence-independent but cell-cycle-dependent CK2 associations with promoters of cell-cycle-regulated genes at periods of extensive gene expression alterations, including cell cycle entry. Our observations are compatible with the idea that the gene control by CK2 is achieved via different mechanisms and at different levels of organization and includes a global role in transcription-related chromatin remodelling and modification.