Research ArticleBiochemistry

Thiol-based direct threat sensing by the stress-activated protein kinase Hog1

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Science Signaling  26 Nov 2019:
Vol. 12, Issue 609, eaaw4956
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaw4956

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Hog1 directly senses arsenic

The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) Hog1 mediates the response of yeast cells to various stressors, including osmotic shock, heat shock, and arsenic. The arsenic-binding transcription factor Yap8 stimulates the expression of genes required for arsenic detoxification. Guerra-Moreno et al. found that arsenic bound directly to Hog1 through three conserved cysteine residues that were required for growth in the presence of arsenic but not for the response to osmotic stress. Arsenic binding to Hog1 promoted the phosphorylation and nuclear localization of Yap8 and enhanced the expression of Yap8 target genes. Thus, Hog1 directly senses arsenic to enhance Yap8-mediated arsenic detoxification. Some human MAPKs bound to arsenic in vitro, suggesting that arsenic binding by this family of kinases may be evolutionarily conserved.

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