Pneumocystis carinii (Pc) undergoes morphological transitions between cysts and trophic forms. We have previously described two Pc serine/threonine kinases, termed PcCbk1 and PcSte20, with PcSte20 belonging to a family of kinases involved in yeast mating, while PcCbk1 is a member of a group of protein kinases involved in regulation of cell cycle, shape, and proliferation. As Pc remains genetically intractable, knowledge on specific substrates phosphorylated by these kinases remains limited. Utilizing the phylogenetic relatedness of Pc to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we interrogated a yeast proteome microarray containing >4000 purified protein based peptides, leading to the identification of 18 potential PcCbk1 and 15 PcSte20 substrates (Z-score>3.0). A number of these potential protein substrates are involved in bud site selection, polarized growth, and response to mating α factor and pseudohyphal and invasive growth. Full-length open reading frames suggested by the PcCbk1 and PcSte20 protoarrays were amplified and expressed. These five proteins were used as substrates for PcCbk1 or PcSte20, with each being highly phosphorylated by the respective kinase. Finally, to demonstrate the utility of this method to identify novel PcCbk1 and PcSte20 substrates, we analysed DNA sequence data from the partially complete Pc genome database and detected partial sequence information of potential PcCbk1 kinase substrates PcPxl1 and PcInt1. We additionally identified the potential PcSte20 kinase substrate PcBdf2. Full-length Pc substrates were cloned and expressed in yeast, and shown to be phosphorylated by the respective Pc kinases. In conclusion, the yeast protein microarray represents a novel crossover technique for identifying unique potential Pc kinase substrates.
- Life cycle
- Pneumocystis carinii
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology