All cells respond to osmotic stress by implementing molecular signaling events to protect the organism. Failure to properly adapt can lead to pathologies such as hypertension and ischemia-reperfusion injury. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are activated in response to osmotic stress, as well as by signals acting through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). For proper adaptation, the action of these kinases must be coordinated. To identify second messengers of stress adaptation, we conducted a mass spectrometry-based global metabolomics profiling analysis, quantifying nearly 300 metabolites in the yeast S. cerevisiae. We show that three branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolites increase in response to osmotic stress and require the MAPK Hog1. Ectopic addition of these BCAA derivatives promotes phosphorylation of the G protein α subunit and dampens G protein-dependent transcription, similar to that seen in response to osmotic stress. Conversely, genetic ablation of Hog1 activity or the BCAA-regulatory enzymes leads to diminished phosphorylation of Gα and increased transcription. Taken together, our results define a new class of candidate second messengers that mediate cross talk between osmotic stress and GPCR signaling pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research