2005 Volume 80 Issue 5 Pages 325-343
It is known that some local anesthetics inhibit the growth of budding yeast cells. To investigate the pathway of local anesthetics’ action, we isolated and characterized mutants that were hyper-sensitive to tetracaine, and at the same time, temperature-sensitive for growth. They were collectively called las (local anesthetic sensitive) mutants. One of the LAS genes, LAS24, was found to be identical to KOG1, which had been independently discovered as a member of the TOR complex 1 (TORC1). Las24p/Kog1p is a widely conserved TOR binding protein containing the NRC domain, HEAT repeats and WD-40 repeats, but its function remains unknown. Like the tor mutants, the las24 mutants were found to have a defect in cell wall integrity and to show sensitivity to rapamycin. Furthermore, Las24p is required not only in TORC1-mediated (rapamycin-sensitive) pathways such as translation initiation control and phosphorylation of Npr1p and Gln3p, but also for the normal distribution of the actin cytoskeleton, which has been regarded as a TORC2-mediated event. Intriguingly, the temperature-sensitivity of the las24 mutant was suppressed by either activation of Tap42/PPase or by down-regulation of the RAS/cAMP pathway. Suppressors of the temperature-sensitivity of the las24-1 mutant were found not to be effective for suppression of the tetracaine-sensitivity of the same mutant. These observations along with the facts that tetracaine and high temperature differentially affected the las24-1 mutant suggest that Las24p/Kog1p is not a target of tetracaine and that the tetracaine-sensitive step may be one of downstream branches of the TORC1 pathway. Consistent with the broad cellular functions exerted by the TOR pathway, we found that Las24p was associated with membranes and was localized at vacuoles, the plasma membrane and small vesicles.