Pseudohyphal differentiation in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is induced in diploid cells in response to nitrogen starvation and abundant fermentable carbon source. Filamentous growth requires at least two signaling pathways: the pheromone responsive MAP kinase cascade and the Gpa2p-cAMP-PKA signaling pathway. Recent studies have established a physical and functional link between the Galpha protein Gpa2 and the G protein-coupled receptor homolog Gpr1. We report here that the Gpr1 receptor is required for filamentous and haploid invasive growth and regulates expression of the cell surface flocculin Flo11. Epistasis analysis supports a model in which the Gpr1 receptor regulates pseudohyphal growth via the Gpa2p-cAMP-PKA pathway and independently of both the MAP kinase cascade and the PKA related kinase Sch9. Genetic and physiological studies indicate that the Gpr1 receptor is activated by glucose and other structurally related sugars. Because expression of the GPR1 gene is known to be induced by nitrogen starvation, the Gpr1 receptor may serve as a dual sensor of abundant carbon source (sugar ligand) and nitrogen starvation. In summary, our studies reveal a novel G protein-coupled receptor senses nutrients and regulates the dimorphic transition to filamentous growth via a Galpha protein-cAMP-PKA signal transduction cascade.
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