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The genetic interaction network of CCW12, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene required for cell wall integrity during budding and formation of mating projections

Enrico Ragni12, Heidi Piberger1, Christine Neupert3, Jesús García-Cantalejo4, Laura Popolo2, Javier Arroyo5, Markus Aebi3 and Sabine Strahl1*

Author Affiliations

1 University of Heidelberg, Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) Heidelberg, Cell Chemistry, Im Neuenheimer Feld 360, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany

2 Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Via Celoria 26, 20133 Milan, Italy

3 ETH Zürich, Institut für Mikrobiologie, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 10, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland

4 Unidad de Genómica-Campus Moncloa, Parque Científico de Madrid, Facultad CC. Biológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain

5 Departamento de Microbiología II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain

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BMC Genomics 2011, 12:107  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-107

Published: 14 February 2011



Mannoproteins construct the outer cover of the fungal cell wall. The covalently linked cell wall protein Ccw12p is an abundant mannoprotein. It is considered as crucial structural cell wall component since in baker's yeast the lack of CCW12 results in severe cell wall damage and reduced mating efficiency.


In order to explore the function of CCW12, we performed a Synthetic Genetic Analysis (SGA) and identified genes that are essential in the absence of CCW12. The resulting interaction network identified 21 genes involved in cell wall integrity, chitin synthesis, cell polarity, vesicular transport and endocytosis. Among those are PFD1, WHI3, SRN2, PAC10, FEN1 and YDR417C, which have not been related to cell wall integrity before. We correlated our results with genetic interaction networks of genes involved in glucan and chitin synthesis. A core of genes essential to maintain cell integrity in response to cell wall stress was identified. In addition, we performed a large-scale transcriptional analysis and compared the transcriptional changes observed in mutant ccw12Δ with transcriptomes from studies investigating responses to constitutive or acute cell wall damage. We identified a set of genes that are highly induced in the majority of the mutants/conditions and are directly related to the cell wall integrity pathway and cell wall compensatory responses. Among those are BCK1, CHS3, EDE1, PFD1, SLT2 and SLA1 that were also identified in the SGA. In contrast, a specific feature of mutant ccw12Δ is the transcriptional repression of genes involved in mating. Physiological experiments substantiate this finding. Further, we demonstrate that Ccw12p is present at the cell periphery and highly concentrated at the presumptive budding site, around the bud, at the septum and at the tip of the mating projection.


The combination of high throughput screenings, phenotypic analyses and localization studies provides new insight into the function of Ccw12p. A compensatory response, culminating in cell wall remodelling and transport/recycling pathways is required to buffer the loss of CCW12. Moreover, the enrichment of Ccw12p in bud, septum and mating projection is consistent with a role of Ccw12p in preserving cell wall integrity at sites of active growth.

The microarray data produced in this analysis have been submitted to NCBI GEO database and GSE22649 record was assigned.