MpkA-dependent and -independent cell wall integrity signaling in Aspergillus nidulans

Tomonori Fujioka, Osamu Mizutani, Kentaro Furukawa, Natsuko Sato, Akira Yoshimi, Youhei Yamagata, Tasuku Nakajima, Keietsu Abe

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128 Citations (Scopus)


Cell wall integrity signaling (CWIS) maintains cell wall biogenesis in fungi, but only a few transcription factors (TFs) and target genes downstream of the CWIS cascade in filamentous fungi are known. Because a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MpkA) is a key CWIS enzyme, the transcriptional regulation of mpkA and of cell wall-related genes (CWGs) is important in cell wall biogenesis. We cloned Aspergillus nidulans mpkA; rlmA, a TF gene orthologous to Saccharomyces cerevisiae RLM1 that encodes Rlm1p, a major Mpk1p-dependent TF that regulates the transcription of MPK1 besides that of CWGs; and Answi4 and Answi6, homologous to S. cerevisiae SWI4 and SWI6, encoding the Mpk1p-activating TF complex Swi4p-Swi6p, which regulates CWG transcription in a cell cycle-dependent manner. A. nidulans rlmA and mpkA cDNA functionally complemented S. cerevisiae rlm1Δ and mpk1Δ mutants, respectively, but Answi4 and Answi6 cDNA did not complement swi4Δ and swi6Δ mutants. We constructed A. nidulans rlmA, Answi4 and Answi6, and mpkA disruptants (rlmAΔ, Answi4Δ Answi6Δ, and mpkAΔ strains) and analyzed mpkA and CWG transcripts after treatment with a β-1,3-glucan synthase inhibitor (micafungin) that could activate MpkA via CWIS. Levels of mpkA transcripts in the mutants as well as those in the wild type were changed after micafungin treatment. The β-glucuronidase reporter gene controlled by the mpkA promoter was expressed in the wild type but not in the mpkAΔ strain. Thus, mpkA transcription seems to be autoregulated by CWIS via MpkA but not by RlmA or AnSwi4-AnSwi6. The transcription of most CWGs except α-1,3-glucan synthase genes (agsA and agsB) was independent of RlmA and AnSwi4-AnSwi6 and seemed to be regulated by non-MpkA signaling. The transcriptional regulation of mpkA and of CWGs via CWIS in A. nidulans differs significantly from that in S. cerevisiae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1497-1510
Number of pages14
JournalEukaryotic Cell
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug


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