February 26, 2016
“NSFs” play a role in intercellular communication
Fission yeast preferentially use high-quality nitrogen sources, down-regulating the transporters responsible for uptake of poor nitrogen resources. This preferential use is termed nitrogen catabolite repression. A fission yeast eca39Δ mutant, which is unable to synthesize branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase on its own, will not grow in the presence of high-quality nitrogen because of this repression, even in a minimal medium supplemented with branched-chain amino acids.
Joint research between the RIKEN CSRS, RIKEN Chemical Genetics Laboratory and Meiji University found that a eca39Δ mutant colony, when placed next to a wild-strain colony, showed adaptive growth. Researchers isolated and identified novel active substances excreted from the nearby wild colony – which they identified as a new type of oxylipin and named Nitrogen Signaling Factors (NSFs). Researchers found these NSFs to be self-regulating factors that induce growth once they reach a certain in-medium concentration. They also identified Agp3 as the amino acid transporter needed for adaptive growth.
These findings demonstrate the presence of a new cell-to-cell communication mechanism in fission yeast for regulating amino acid uptake via low molecular weight compounds. They also raise the possibility of using oxylipins as a growth modulator in various microorganisms.
Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/srep20856
X. Sun, G. Hirai, M. Ueki, H. Hirota, Q. Wang, Y. Hongo, T. Nakamura, Y. Hitora, H. Takahashi, M. Sodeoka, H. Osada, M. Hamamoto, M. Yoshida, Y. Yashiroda,
"Identification of novel secreted fatty acids that regulate nitrogen catabolite repression in fission yeast".
Minoru Yoshida; Group Director
Yoko Yashiroda; Senior Research Scientist
Chemical Genomics Research Group