It is increasingly appreciated that intracellular pH changes are important biological signals. This motivates the elucidation of molecular mechanisms of pH-sensing. We determined that a nucleocytoplasmic pH oscillation was required for the transcriptional response to carbon starvation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex is a key mediator of this transcriptional response. A glutamine-rich low complexity domain (QLC) in the SNF5 subunit of this complex, and histidines within this sequence, were required for efficient transcriptional reprogramming. Furthermore, the SNF5 QLC mediated pH-dependent recruitment of SWI/SNF to an acidic transcription factor in a reconstituted nucleosome remodeling assay. Simulations showed that protonation of histidines within the SNF5 QLC lead to conformational expansion, providing a potential biophysical mechanism for regulation of these interactions. Together, our results indicate that that pH changes are a second messenger for transcriptional reprogramming during carbon starvation, and that the SNF5 QLC acts as a pH-sensor.
Simulation code and details can be found at:https://github.com/holehouse-lab/supportingdata/tree/master/2021/Gutierrez_QLC_2021RNA-seq R-code can be found at:https://github.com/gbritt/SWI_SNF_pH_Sensor_RNASeqRNA-seq datasets are depositied at GEO accession number GSE174687https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/query/acc.cgi?acc=GSE174687
Simulation code and detailsGitHub.
SWI/SNF senses carbon starvation with a pH-sensitive low complexity sequenceNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE174687.
- J Ignacio Gutierrez
- Gregory P Brittingham
- Liam J Holt
- Liam J Holt
- Liam J Holt
- Liam J Holt
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Alan G Hinnebusch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, United States
© 2022, Gutierrez et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum synthesizes significant amounts of phospholipids to meet the demands of replication within red blood cells. De novo phosphatidylcholine (PC) biosynthesis via the Kennedy pathway is essential, requiring choline that is primarily sourced from host serum lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPC). LysoPC also acts as an environmental sensor to regulate parasite sexual differentiation. Despite these critical roles for host lysoPC, the enzyme(s) involved in its breakdown to free choline for PC synthesis are unknown. Here, we show that a parasite glycerophosphodiesterase (PfGDPD) is indispensable for blood stage parasite proliferation. Exogenous choline rescues growth of PfGDPD-null parasites, directly linking PfGDPD function to choline incorporation. Genetic ablation of PfGDPD reduces choline uptake from lysoPC, resulting in depletion of several PC species in the parasite, whilst purified PfGDPD releases choline from glycerophosphocholine in vitro. Our results identify PfGDPD as a choline-releasing glycerophosphodiesterase that mediates a critical step in PC biosynthesis and parasite survival.
Ferroportin (Fpn) is a transporter that releases ferrous ion (Fe2+) from cells and is important for homeostasis of iron in circulation. Export of one Fe2+ by Fpn is coupled to import of two H+ to maintain charge balance. Here, we show that human Fpn (HsFpn) binds to and mediates Ca2+ transport. We determine the structure of Ca2+-bound HsFpn and identify a single Ca2+ binding site distinct from the Fe2+ binding sites. Further studies validate the Ca2+ binding site and show that Ca2+ transport is not coupled to transport of another ion. In addition, Ca2+ transport is significantly inhibited in the presence of Fe2+ but not vice versa. Function of Fpn as a Ca2+ uniporter may allow regulation of iron homeostasis by Ca2+.