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Mol. Cell. Biol. 20 (18): 6686-6694

Copyright © 2000 by the American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.

Molecular and Cellular Biology, September 2000, p. 6686-6694, Vol. 20, No. 18
0270-7306/00/$04.00+0
Copyright © 2000, American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.

A Homolog of Voltage-Gated Ca2+ Channels Stimulated by Depletion of Secretory Ca2+ in Yeast

Emily G. Locke, Myriam Bonilla, Linda Liang, Yoko Takita, and Kyle W. Cunningham*

Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218

Received 10 May 2000/Accepted 16 June 2000

In animal cells, capacitative calcium entry (CCE) mechanisms become activated specifically in response to depletion of calcium ions (Ca2+) from secretory organelles. CCE serves to replenish those organelles and to enhance signaling pathways that respond to elevated free Ca2+ concentrations in the cytoplasm. The mechanism of CCE regulation is not understood because few of its essential components have been identified. We show here for the first time that the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae employs a CCE-like mechanism to refill Ca2+ stores within the secretory pathway. Mutants lacking Pmr1p, a conserved Ca2+ pump in the secretory pathway, exhibit higher rates of Ca2+ influx relative to wild-type cells due to the stimulation of a high-affinity Ca2+ uptake system. Stimulation of this Ca2+ uptake system was blocked in pmr1 mutants by expression of mammalian SERCA pumps. The high-affinity Ca2+ uptake system was also stimulated in wild-type cells overexpressing vacuolar Ca2+ transporters that competed with Pmr1p for substrate. A screen for yeast mutants specifically defective in the high-affinity Ca2+ uptake system revealed two genes, CCH1 and MID1, previously implicated in Ca2+ influx in response to mating pheromones. Cch1p and Mid1p were localized to the plasma membrane, coimmunoprecipitated from solubilized membranes, and shown to function together within a single pathway that ensures that adequate levels of Ca2+ are supplied to Pmr1p to sustain secretion and growth. Expression of Cch1p and Mid1p was not affected in pmr1 mutants. The evidence supports the hypothesis that yeast maintains a homeostatic mechanism related to CCE in mammalian cells. The homology between Cch1p and the catalytic subunit of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels raises the possibility that in some circumstances CCE in animal cells may involve homologs of Cch1p and a conserved regulatory mechanism.


* Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Phone: (410) 516-7844. Fax: (410) 516-5213. E-mail: kwc{at}jhu.edu.


Molecular and Cellular Biology, September 2000, p. 6686-6694, Vol. 20, No. 18
0270-7306/00/$04.00+0
Copyright © 2000, American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.

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