Genetics (April 2012)
TORC2 signaling is antagonized by protein phosphatase 2A and the Far complex in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase, a central regulator of eukaryotic cell growth, exists in two essential, yet distinct, TOR kinase complexes in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae: rapamycin-sensitive TORC1 and rapamycin-insensitive TORC2. Lst8, a component of both TOR complexes, is essential for cell viability. However, it is unclear whether the essential function of Lst8 is linked to TORC1, TORC2, or both. To that end, we carried out a genetic screen to isolate lst8 deletion suppressor mutants. Here we report that mutations in SAC7 and FAR11 suppress lethality of lst8? and TORC2-deficient (tor2-21) mutations but not TORC1 inactivation, suggesting that the essential function of Lst8 is linked only to TORC2. More importantly, characterization of bypass mutants reveals a role for protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) in the regulation of TORC2 signaling. We show that Far11, a member of the Far3-7-8-9-10-11 complex involved in pheromone-induced cell cycle arrest, interacts with Tpd3 and Pph21, conserved components of PP2A, and deletions of components of the Far3-7-8-9-10-11 complex and PP2A rescue growth defects in lst8? and tor2-21 mutants. In addition, loss of the regulatory B' subunit of PP2A Rts1 or Far11 restores phosphorylation to the TORC2 substrate Slm1 in a tor2-21 mutant. Mammalian Far11 orthologs FAM40A/B exist in a complex with PP2A known as STRIPAK, suggesting a conserved functional association of PP2A and Far11. Antagonism of TORC2 signaling by PP2A-Far11 represents a novel regulatory mechanism for controlling spatial cell growth of yeast.