Localization of autophagy-related proteins in yeast using a versatile plasmid-based resource of fluorescent protein fusions

 Abstract

Plasmid-based collections of fluorescent protein fusions are valuable and versatile resources, facilitating systematic studies of protein localization in multiple genetic backgrounds. At present, however, few such collections exist for the analysis of protein localization in any organism. To address this deficiency, we present here a plasmid-based set of resources for the analysis of protein localization in the budding yeast. Specifically, we constructed a suite of low-copy destination vectors for recombination-based cloning of yeast genes as fluorescent protein fusions. We cloned a set of 384 yeast genes encoding kinases, transcription factors, and signaling proteins as “recombination-ready” cassettes; by Gateway cloning, these genes with native promoters can be easily introduced into the destination vectors described above, generating carboxy-terminal fusions to fluorescent proteins. Using these reagents, we constructed a subcollection of 276 genes encoding carboxy-terminal fusions to yellow fluorescent protein (vYFP). This collection encompasses 14 autophagy-related (ATG) genes, and we localized these Atgp-vYFP chimeras during rapamycin-induced autophagy. To illustrate further the utility of this collection as a tool in exploring the functions and interactions of proteins in a pathway, we localized a subset of these Atg-vYFP chimeras in a strain deleted for the scaffolding protein Atg11p. In addition, we validated previous results identifying the integral membrane protein Atg9p at the pre-autophagosomal structure upon overexpression of ATG11 and upon deletion of ATG1. Collectively, this plasmid-based resource of yeast gene-vYFP fusions provides an initial toolkit for a variety of systematic and large-scale localization studies exploring pathway biology in the budding yeast.

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Localization of autophagy-related proteins in yeast using a versatile plasmid-based resource of fluorescent protein fusions