The nutrient transceptor/PKA pathway functions independently of TOR and responds to leucine and Gcn2 in a TOR-independent manner

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Two nutrient-controlled signalling pathways, the PKA and TOR pathway, play a major role in nutrient regulation of growth as well as growth-correlated properties in yeast. The relationship between the two pathways is not well understood. We have used Gap1 and Pho84 transceptor-mediated activation of trehalase and phosphorylation of fragmented Sch9 as a read-out for rapid nutrient activation of PKA or TORC1, respectively. We have identified conditions in which L-citrulline-induced activation of Sch9 phosphorylation is compromised, but not activation of trehalase: addition of the TORC1 inhibitor, rapamycin and low levels of L-citrulline. The same disconnection was observed for phosphate activation in phosphate-starved cells. The leu2 auxotrophic mutation reduces amino acid activation of trehalase, which is counteracted by deletion of GCN2. Both effects were also independent of TORC1. Our results show that rapid activation of the TOR pathway by amino acids is not involved in rapid activation of the PKA pathway and that effects of Gcn2 inactivation as well as leu2 auxotrophy all act independently of the TOR pathway. Hence, rapid nutrient signalling to PKA and TOR in cells arrested by nutrient starvation acts through parallel pathways.

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