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Phosphorylation is a critical post-translational modification involved in the regulation of almost all cellular processes. However, less than 5% of thousands of recently discovered phosphorylation sites have a known function. Here, we devised a chemical genetic approach to study the functional relevance of phosphorylation in S. cerevisiae. We generated 474 phospho-deficient mutants that, along with the gene deletion library, were screened for fitness in 102 conditions. Of these, 42% exhibited growth phenotypes, suggesting these phosphosites are likely functional. We inferred their function based on the similarity of their growth profiles with that of gene deletions, and validated a subset by thermal proteome profiling and lipidomics. While some phospho-mutants showed loss-of-function phenotypes, a higher fraction exhibited phenotypes not seen in the corresponding gene deletion suggestive of a gain-of-function effect. For phosphosites conserved in humans, the severity of the yeast phenotypes is indicative of their human functional relevance. This study provides a roadmap for functionally characterizing phosphorylation in a systematic manner.

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