Phosphorylation of proteins is a key posttranslational modification in cellular signaling, regulating many aspects of cellular responses. We have used a quantitative, integrated, phosphoproteomic approach to characterize the cellular responses of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to the fatty acid oleic acid, a molecule with broad human health implications and a potent inducer of peroxisomes. A combination of cryolysis and urea solubilization was used to minimize the opportunity for reorientation of the phosphoproteome, and HILIC and IMAC chemistries were employed to fractionate and enrich for phosphopeptides. Using these approaches, numerous phosphorylated peptides specific to oleate-induced and glucose-repressed conditions were identified and mapped to known signaling pathways. These include several transcription factors, two of which, Pip2p and Cst6p, must be phosphorylated for the normal transcriptional response of fatty acid responsive loci encoding peroxisomal proteins. The phosphoproteome data were integrated with results from genome-wide assays studying the effects of signaling molecule deletions and known protein-protein interactions to generate a putative fatty acid-responsive signaling network. In this network, the most highly connected nodes are those with the largest effects on cellular responses to oleic acid. These properties are consistent with a scale-free topology, demonstrating that scale-free properties are conserved in condition-specific networks.
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