Palmitoylation of the Cysteine Residue in the DHHC Motif of a Palmitoyl Transferase Mediates Ca2+ Homeostasis in Aspergillus.

TitlePalmitoylation of the Cysteine Residue in the DHHC Motif of a Palmitoyl Transferase Mediates Ca2+ Homeostasis in Aspergillus.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsZhang, Y, Zheng, Q, Sun, C, Song, J, Gao, L, Zhang, S, Muñoz, A, Read, ND, Lu, L
JournalPLoS Genet
Date Published2016 Apr

Finely tuned changes in cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]c) mediate numerous intracellular functions resulting in the activation or inactivation of a series of target proteins. Palmitoylation is a reversible post-translational modification involved in membrane protein trafficking between membranes and in their functional modulation. However, studies on the relationship between palmitoylation and calcium signaling have been limited. Here, we demonstrate that the yeast palmitoyl transferase ScAkr1p homolog, AkrA in Aspergillus nidulans, regulates [Ca2+]c homeostasis. Deletion of akrA showed marked defects in hyphal growth and conidiation under low calcium conditions which were similar to the effects of deleting components of the high-affinity calcium uptake system (HACS). The [Ca2+]c dynamics in living cells expressing the calcium reporter aequorin in different akrA mutant backgrounds were defective in their [Ca2+]c responses to high extracellular Ca2+ stress or drugs that cause ER or plasma membrane stress. All of these effects on the [Ca2+]c responses mediated by AkrA were closely associated with the cysteine residue of the AkrA DHHC motif, which is required for palmitoylation by AkrA. Using the acyl-biotin exchange chemistry assay combined with proteomic mass spectrometry, we identified protein substrates palmitoylated by AkrA including two new putative P-type ATPases (Pmc1 and Spf1 homologs), a putative proton V-type proton ATPase (Vma5 homolog) and three putative proteins in A. nidulans, the transcripts of which have previously been shown to be induced by extracellular calcium stress in a CrzA-dependent manner. Thus, our findings provide strong evidence that the AkrA protein regulates [Ca2+]c homeostasis by palmitoylating these protein candidates and give new insights the role of palmitoylation in the regulation of calcium-mediated responses to extracellular, ER or plasma membrane stress.

Alternate JournalPLoS Genet.
PubMed ID27058039
PubMed Central IDPMC4825924