ABSTRACT

In the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the high-affinity hexose transporter, Ght5, must be transcriptionally upregulated and localized to the cell surface for cell division under limited glucose. Although cell-surface localization of Ght5 depends on Target of rapamycin complex 2 (TORC2), the molecular mechanisms by which TORC2 ensures proper localization of Ght5 remain unknown. We performed genetic screening for gene mutations that restore Ght5 localization on the cell surface in TORC2-deficient mutant cells, and identified a gene encoding an uncharacterized α-arrestin-like protein, Aly3/SPCC584.15c. α-arrestins are thought to recruit a ubiquitin ligase to membrane-associated proteins. Consistently, Ght5 is ubiquitylated in TORC2-deficient cells, and this ubiquitylation is dependent on Aly3. TORC2 supposedly enables cell-surface localization of Ght5 by preventing Aly3-dependent ubiquitylation and subsequent ubiquitylation-dependent translocation of Ght5 to vacuoles. Surprisingly, nitrogen starvation, but not glucose depletion, triggers Aly3-dependent transport of Ght5 to vacuoles in S. pombe, unlike budding yeast hexose transporters, vacuolar transport of which is initiated upon changes in hexose concentration. This study provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms controlling the subcellular localization of hexose transporters in response to extracellular stimuli.

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