The Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene YPA1 encodes a protein homologous to the phosphotyrosyl phosphatase activator, PTPA, of the mammalian protein phosphatase type 2A (PP2A). In order to examine the biological role of PTPA, we disrupted YPA1 and characterised the phenotype of the ypa1Delta mutant. Comparison of the growth rate of the wild-type strain and the ypa1Delta mutant on glucose-rich medium after nutrient depletion showed that the ypa1Delta mutant traversed the lag period more rapidly. This accelerated progression through "Start" was also observed after release from alpha-factor-induced G1 arrest as evidenced by a higher number of budding cells, a faster increase in CLN2 mRNA expression and a more rapid reactivation of Cdc28 kinase activity. This phenotype was specific for deletion of YPA1 since it was not observed when YPA2, the second PTPA gene in budding yeast was deleted. Reintroduction of YPA1 or the human PTPA cDNA in the ypa1Delta mutant suppressed this phenotype as opposed to overexpression of YPA2. Disruption of both YPA genes is lethal, since sporulation of heterozygous diploids resulted in at most three viable spores, none of them with a ypa1Delta ypa2Delta genotype. This observation indicates that YPA1 and YPA2 share some essential functions. We compared the ypa1Delta mutant phenotype with a PP2A double deletion mutant and a PP2A temperature-sensitive mutant. The PP2A-deficient yeast strain also showed accelerated progression through the G1 phase. In addition, both PP2A and ypa1Delta mutants show similar aberrant bud morphology. This would support the notion that YPA1 may act as a positive regulator of PP2A in vivo.
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