Essential Roles of Ribonucleotide Reductases under DNA Damage and Replication Stresses in Cryptococcus neoformans

Kwang Woo Jung, Sunhak Kwon, Jong Hyun Jung, Yong Sun Bahn

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A balance in the deoxyribonucleotide (dNTPs) intracellular concentration is critical for the DNA replication and repair processes. In the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Mec1-Rad53-Dun1 kinase cascade mainly regulates the ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) gene expression during DNA replication and DNA damage stress. However, the RNR regulatory mechanisms in basidiomycete fungi during DNA replication and damage stress remain elusive. Here, we observed that in C. neoformans, RNR1 (large RNR subunit) and RNR21 (one small RNR subunit) were required for cell viability, but not RNR22 (another small RNR subunit). RNR22 overexpression compensated for the lethality of RNR21 suppression. In contrast to the regulatory mechanisms of RNRs in S. cerevisiae, Rad53 and Chk1 kinases cooperatively or divergently controlled RNR1 and RNR21 expression under DNA damage and DNA replication stress. In particular, this study revealed that Chk1 mainly regulated RNR1 expression during DNA replication stress, whereas Rad53, rather than Chk1, played a significant role in controlling the expression of RNR21 during DNA damage stress. Furthermore, the expression of RNR22, not but RNR1 and RNR21, was suppressed by the Ssn6-Tup1 complex during DNA replication stress. Notably, we observed that RNR1 expression was mainly regulated by Mbs1, whereas RNR21 expression was cooperatively controlled by Mbs1 and Bdr1 as downstream factors of Rad53 and Chk1 during DNA replication and damage stress. Collectively, the regulation of RNRs in C. neoformans has both evolutionarily conserved and divergent features in DNA replication and DNA damage stress, compared with other yeasts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MIST) (No. 2020R1C1C1005468) and by the KAERI institutional R&D program (523430-22).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Jung et al.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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