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Genes 2017, 8(7), 188; doi:10.3390/genes8070188

Boron Tolerance in Aspergillus nidulans Is Sustained by the SltA Pathway Through the SLC-Family Transporters SbtA and SbtB

1
Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CSIC), Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2
Department of Plan Protection, INIA, Carretera de la Coruña km. 7, 28040 Madrid, Spain
3
Biochemistry II laboratory, Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of the Basque Country, 20018 San Sebastian, Spain
4
Laboratory of RNA Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Juan Francisco Martín
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 17 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Abstract

Microbial cells interact with the environment by adapting to external changes. Signal transduction pathways participate in both sensing and responding in the form of modification of gene expression patterns, enabling cell survival. The filamentous fungal-specific SltA pathway regulates tolerance to alkalinity, elevated cation concentrations and, as shown in this work, also stress conditions induced by borates. Growth of sltA mutants is inhibited by increasing millimolar concentrations of boric acid or borax (sodium tetraborate). In an attempt to identify genes required for boron-stress response, we determined the boric acid or borax-dependent expression of sbtA and sbtB, orthologs of Saccharomyces cerevisiae bor1, and a reduction in their transcript levels in a ΔsltA mutant. Deletion of sbtA, but mainly that of sbtB, decreased the tolerance to boric acid or borax. In contrast, null mutants of genes coding for additional transporters of the Solute Carrier (SLC) family, sB, sbtD or sbtE, showed an unaltered growth pattern under the same stress conditions. Taken together, our results suggest that the SltA pathway induces, through SbtA and SbtB, the export of toxic concentrations of borates, which have largely recognized antimicrobial properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: filamentous fungi; stress-response; boron tolerance; morphogenesis; transcriptional regulation; SLC-family transporters filamentous fungi; stress-response; boron tolerance; morphogenesis; transcriptional regulation; SLC-family transporters
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Villarino, M.; Etxebeste, O.; Mendizabal, G.; Garzia, A.; Ugalde, U.; Espeso, E.A. Boron Tolerance in Aspergillus nidulans Is Sustained by the SltA Pathway Through the SLC-Family Transporters SbtA and SbtB. Genes 2017, 8, 188.

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