The protein factor-arrest 11 (Far11) is essential for the toxicity of human caspase-10 in yeast and participates in the regulation of autophagy and the DNA damage signaling.
The heterologous expression of human caspase-10 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae induces a lethal phenotype, which includes some hallmarks of apoptosis and autophagy, alterations in the intra-S checkpoint, and cell death. To determine the cellular processes and pathways that are responsible of the caspase-10-induced cell death we have designed a loss-of-function screening system to identify genes that are essential for the lethal phenotype. We observed that the ER-Golgi-localized family of proteins Far, MAPK signaling, the autophagy machinery, and several kinases and phosphatases are essential for caspase-10 toxicity. We also found that the expression of caspase-10 elicits a simultaneous activation of the MAP kinases Fus3, Kss1, and Slt2. Furthermore, the protein Far11, which is a target of MAP kinases, is essential for the dephosphorylation of Atg13 and, consequently, for the induction of autophagy. In addition, Far11 participates in the regulation of the DNA damage response through the dephosphorylation of Rad53. Finally, we have also demonstrated that Far11 is able to physically interact with the phosphatases Pph21, Pph22, and Pph3. Overall, our results indicate that the expression of human caspase-10 in S. cerevisiae activates an intracellular death signal that depends on the Far protein complex and that Far11 may function as a regulator subunit of phosphatases in different processes, thus representing a mechanistic link between them.