The mating process in yeast has two distinct aspects. One is the induction and activation of proteins required for cell fusion in response to a pheromone signal; the other is chemotropism, i.e., detection of a pheromone gradient and construction of a fusion site available to the signaling cell. To determine whether components of the signal transduction pathway necessary for transcriptional activation also play a role in chemotropism, we examined strains with null mutations in components of the signal transduction pathway for diploid formation, prezygote formation and the chemotropic process of mating partner discrimination when transcription was induced downstream of the mutation. Cells mutant for components of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascade (ste5, ste20, ste11, ste7 or fus3 kss1) formed diploids at a frequency 1% that of the wild-type control, but formed prezygotes as efficiently as the wildtype control and showed good mating partner discrimination, suggesting that the MAP kinase cascade is not essential for chemotropism. In contrast, cells mutant for the receptor (ste2) or the β or γ subunit (ste4 and ste18) of the G protein were extremely defective in both diploid and prezygote formation and discriminated poorly between signaling and nonsignaling mating partners, implying that these components are important for chemotropism.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Sep 1 1997|
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