Investigating the effect of target of rapamycin kinase inhibition on the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii phosphoproteome: from known homologs to new targets

Emily G. Werth, Evan W. McConnell, Inmaculada Couso Lianez, Zoee Perrine, Jose L. Crespo, James G. Umen, Leslie M. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase is a conserved regulator of cell growth whose activity is modulated in response to nutrients, energy and stress. Key proteins involved in the pathway are conserved in the model photosynthetic microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, but the substrates of TOR kinase and downstream signaling network have not been elucidated. Our study provides a new resource for investigating the phosphorylation networks governed by the TOR kinase pathway in Chlamydomonas. We used quantitative phosphoproteomics to investigate the effects of inhibiting Chlamydomonas TOR kinase on dynamic protein phosphorylation. Wild-type and AZD-insensitive Chlamydomonas strains were treated with TOR-specific chemical inhibitors (rapamycin, AZD8055 and Torin1), after which differentially affected phosphosites were identified. Our quantitative phosphoproteomic dataset comprised 2547 unique phosphosites from 1432 different proteins. Inhibition of TOR kinase caused significant quantitative changes in phosphorylation at 258 phosphosites, from 219 unique phosphopeptides. Our results include Chlamydomonas homologs of TOR signaling-related proteins, including a site on RPS6 with a decrease in phosphorylation. Additionally, phosphosites on proteins involved in translation and carotenoid biosynthesis were identified. Follow-up experiments guided by these phosphoproteomic findings in lycopene beta/epsilon cyclase showed that carotenoid levels are affected by TORC1 inhibition and carotenoid production is under TOR control in algae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-260
Number of pages14
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume221
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • AZD8055
  • Chlamydomonas
  • Torin1
  • phosphoproteomics
  • rapamycin
  • target of rapamycin (TOR)

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