Andrew P Capaldi

Andrew P Capaldi

Associate Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Associate Professor, Genetics - GIDP
Associate Professor, BIO5 Institute
Member of the General Faculty
Member of the Graduate Faculty
Primary Department
(520) 626-9376

Research Interest

Andrew Capaldi, PhD, researches the signaling pathways and transcription factors in a cell that are organized into circuits. They allow cells to process information and make decisions. For Dr. Capaldi, the work arises in understanding both how these circuits are built from their components, and how they function and malfunction. To address these questions, he is working to reverse engineer the circuitry that controls cell growth in budding yeast using a combination of genomic, proteomic and computational methods.


Buchan, J. R., Capaldi, A. P., & Parker, R. (2012). TOR-tured yeast find a new way to stand the heat. Molecular cell, 47(2), 155-7.
BIO5 Collaborators
Ross Buchan, Andrew P Capaldi

In this issue, Takahara and Maeda (2012) discover that together, Pbp1 and sequestration of the TORC1 complex in cytoplasmic mRNP stress granules provides a negative regulatory mechanism for TORC1 signaling during stress.

Hughes Hallett, J. E., Luo, X., & Capaldi, A. P. (2014). State transitions in the TORC1 signaling pathway and information processing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics, 198(2), 773-86.

TOR kinase complex I (TORC1) is a key regulator of cell growth and metabolism in all eukaryotes. Previous studies in yeast have shown that three GTPases-Gtr1, Gtr2, and Rho1-bind to TORC1 in nitrogen and amino acid starvation conditions to block phosphorylation of the S6 kinase Sch9 and activate protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). This leads to downregulation of 450 Sch9-dependent protein and ribosome synthesis genes and upregulation of 100 PP2A-dependent nitrogen assimilation and amino acid synthesis genes. Here, using bandshift assays and microarray measurements, we show that the TORC1 pathway also populates three other stress/starvation states. First, in glucose starvation conditions, the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK/Snf1) and at least one other factor push the TORC1 pathway into an off state, in which Sch9-branch signaling and PP2A-branch signaling are both inhibited. Remarkably, the TORC1 pathway remains in the glucose starvation (PP2A inhibited) state even when cells are simultaneously starved for nitrogen and glucose. Second, in osmotic stress, the MAPK Hog1/p38 drives the TORC1 pathway into a different state, in which Sch9 signaling and PP2A-branch signaling are inhibited, but PP2A-branch signaling can still be activated by nitrogen starvation. Third, in oxidative stress and heat stress, TORC1-Sch9 signaling is blocked while weak PP2A-branch signaling occurs. Together, our data show that the TORC1 pathway acts as an information-processing hub, activating different genes in different conditions to ensure that available energy is allocated to drive growth, amino acid synthesis, or a stress response, depending on the needs of the cell.

Worley, J., Luo, X., & Capaldi, A. P. (2013). Inositol Pyrophosphates Regulate Cell Growth and the Environmental Stress Response by Activating the HDAC Rpd3L. Cell Reports, 3(5), 1476-1482.

PMID: 23643537;PMCID: PMC3672359;Abstract:

Cells respond to stress and starvation by adjusting their growth rate and enacting stress defense programs. In eukaryotes this involves inactivation of TORC1, which in turn triggers downregulation of ribosome and protein synthesis genes and upregulation of stress response genes. Here we report that the highly conserved inositol pyrophosphate (PP-IP) second messengers (including 1-PP-IP5, 5-PP-IP4, and 5-PP-IP5) are also critical regulators of cell growth and the general stress response, acting in parallel with the TORC1 pathway to control the activity of the class I histone deacetylase Rpd3L. In fact, yeast cells that cannot synthesize any of the PP-IPs mount little to no transcriptional response to osmotic, heat, or oxidative stress. Furthermore, PP-IP-dependent regulation of Rpd3L occurs independently of the role individual PP-IPs (such as 5-PP-IP5) play in activating specialized stress/starvation response pathways. Thus, the PP-IP second messengers simultaneously activate and tune the global response to stress and starvation signals. © 2013 The Authors.

Capaldi, A. P., & Radford, S. E. (1998). Kinetic studies of β-sheet protein folding. Current Opinion in Structural Biology, 8(1), 86-92.

PMID: 9519300;Abstract:

New studies have shown that folding of β-sheet proteins can occur with and without intermediates, with fast to slow refolding rates and late to very late transition states. These experiments demonstrate that, despite early speculation to the contrary, β-sheet protein folding does not appear to be fundamentally different from that of helical and mixed α,β proteins.

Shah, A. M., Conn, D. A., Li, S. -., Capaldi, A., Jäger, J., & Sweasy, J. B. (2001). A DNA polymerase β mutator mutant with reduced nucleotide discrimination and increased protein stability. Biochemistry, 40(38), 11372-11381.

PMID: 11560485;Abstract:

DNA polymerase β (pol β) offers a simple system to examine the role of polymerase structure in the fidelity of DNA synthesis. In this study, the M282L variant of pol β (M282Lβ) was identified using an in vivo genetic screen. Met282, which does not contact the DNA template or the incoming deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) substrate, is located on α-helix N of pol β. This mutant enzyme demonstrates increased mutagenesis in both in vivo and in vitro assays. M282Lβ has a 7.5-fold higher mutation frequency than wild-type pol β; M282Lβ commits a variety of base substitution and frameshift errors. Transient-state kinetic methods were used to investigate the mechanism of intrinsic mutator activity of M282Lβ. Results show an 11-fold decrease in dNTP substrate discrimination at the level of ground-state binding. However, during the protein conformational change and/or phosphodiester bond formation, the nucleotide discrimination is improved. X-ray crystallography was utilized to gain insights into the structural basis of the decreased DNA synthesis fidelity. Most of the structural changes are localized to site 282 and the surrounding region in the C-terminal part of the 31-kDa domain. Repositioning of mostly hydrophobic amino acid residues in the core of the C-terminal portion generates a protein with enhanced stability. The combination of structural and equilibrium unfolding data suggests that the mechanism of nucleotide discrimination is possibly affected by the compacting of the hydrophobic core around residue Leu282. Subsequent movement of an adjacent surface residue, Arg283, produces a slight increase in volume of the pocket that may accommodate the incoming correct base pair. The structural changes of M282Lβ ultimately lead to an overall reduction in polymerase fidelity.