Research ArticleCell Biology

Pheromone-Induced Morphogenesis Improves Osmoadaptation Capacity by Activating the HOG MAPK Pathway

Science Signaling  23 Apr 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 272, pp. ra26
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003312

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Crosstalk for Adaptability

Yeast use different mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways to respond to distinct stimuli, such as mating pheromone, high external osmolarity, and cell wall integrity. Baltanás et al. investigated how yeast cells respond to simultaneous distinct stimuli that activate different MAPK pathways. In cells adapted to high osmolarity, the MAPK that is normally responsive only to high osmolarity was further activated by pheromone in bursts that coincided with times when yeast cells underwent a mating-related shape change. This activation process required a third MAPK with a role in the cell wall integrity pathway. Thus, crosstalk between three MAPK pathways enhances the response of yeast to an external stress (such as high osmolarity) when exposed to a sensory stimulus (such as mating pheromone).