Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Anatomy and Cell Biology


Lajoie, Patrick


The disruption of protein folding homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) results in an accumulation of toxic misfolded proteins and activates a network of signaling events collectively known as the unfolded protein response (UPR). While UPR activation upon ER stress is well characterized, how other signaling pathways integrate into the ER proteostasis network is unclear. Here, I sought to investigate how the target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) signaling cascade acts in parallel with the UPR to regulate ER stress sensitivity. Using S. cerevisiae, I found that TORC1 signaling is attenuated during ER stress and constitutive activation of TORC1 increases sensitivity to ER stressors such as tunicamycin and inositol deprivation. This phenotype is independent of the UPR. Transcriptome analysis revealed that TORC1 hyperactivation results in cell wall remodeling. Conversely, hyperactive TORC1 sensitizes cells to cell wall stressors, including the antifungal caspofungin. Elucidating the crosstalk between the UPR, cell wall integrity, and TORC1 signaling may uncover new paradigms through which the response to protein misfolding is regulated, and thus have crucial implications for the development of novel therapeutics against pathogenic fungal infections.

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