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Relocalization of Phospholipase D Activity Mediates Membrane Formation During Meiosis


Phospholipase D (PLD) enzymes catalyze the hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine and are involved in membrane trafficking and cytoskeletal reorganization. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae SPO14 gene encodes a PLD that is essential for meiosis. We have analyzed the role of PLD in meiosis by examining two mutant proteins, one with a point mutation in a conserved residue (Spo14pK--> H) and one with an amino-terminal deletion (Spo14pDeltaN), neither of which can restore meiosis in a spo14 deletion strain. Spo14pK--> H is enzymatically inactive, indicating that PLD activity is required, whereas Spo14pDeltaN retains PLD catalytic activity in vitro, indicating that PLD activity is not sufficient for meiosis. To explore other aspects of Spo14 function, we followed the localization of the enzyme during meiosis. Spo14p is initially distributed throughout the cell, becomes concentrated at the spindle pole bodies after the meiosis I division, and at meiosis II localizes to the new spore membrane as it surrounds the nuclei and then expands to encapsulate the associated cytoplasm during the formation of spores. The catalytically inactive protein also undergoes relocalization during meiosis; however, in the absence of PLD activity, no membrane is formed. In contrast, Spo14pDeltaN does not relocalize properly, indicating that the failure of this protein to complement a spo14 mutant is due to its inability to localize its PLD activity. Furthermore, we find that Spo14p movement is correlated with phosphorylation of the protein. These experiments indicate that PLD participates in regulated membrane formation during meiosis, and that both its catalytic activity and subcellular redistribution are essential for this function.

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