Cell morphogenesis is a complex process that depends on cytoskeleton and membrane organization, intracellular signalling and vesicular trafficking. The rod shape of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and the availability of powerful genetic tools make this species an excellent model to study cell morphology. Here we have investigated the function of the conserved Kin1 kinase. Kin1-GFP associates dynamically with the plasma membrane at sites of active cell surface remodelling and is present in the membrane fraction. Kin1Δ; null cells show severe defects in cell wall structure and are unable to maintain a rod shape. To explore Kin1 primary function, we constructed an ATP analogue-sensitive allele kin1-as1. Kin1 inhibition primarily promotes delocalization of plasma membrane-associated markers of actively growing cell surface regions. Kin1 itself is depolarized and its mobility is strongly reduced. Subsequently, amorphous cell wall material accumulates at the cell surface, a phenotype that is dependent on vesicular trafficking, and the cell wall integrity mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway is activated. Deletion of cell wall integrity mitogen-activated protein kinase components reduces kin1Δ; hypersensitivity to stresses such as those induced by Calcofluor white and SDS. We propose that Kin1 is required for a tight link between the plasma membrane and the cell wall.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology