Signal Transductions in Fungi

A special issue of Journal of Fungi (ISSN 2309-608X). This special issue belongs to the section "Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 66593

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Allgemeine und Molekulare Botanik, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstr 150, 44780 Bochum, Germany
Interests: fungal morphogenesis; sexual development; secondary metabolism; gene expression; fungal signal transduction pathways
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Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

In all living organisms, extracellular signals are translated through signal transduction processes into specific responses. Research with fungal experimental systems has substantially uncovered the components participating in these processes, such as kinases, phosphatases, receptors, and second messengers. Different signal transduction pathways interact at various cellular levels and form networks that allow for the integration of multiple signals for coordinated cellular responses. Such responses include changes in the transcription of genes, the translation and modification of RNAs, and post-translational and conformational changes in proteins. Most importantly, these processes are dependent on their cellular locations. These molecular events trigger a variety of fungal cellular reactions and developmental processes, including DNA damage response, cell cycle arrest and progression, pathogenicity and symbiotic interactions, asexual and sexual morphogenesis, primary and secondary metabolism, stress adaptation, autophagy, and apoptosis.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kück
Guest Editor

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Editorial

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5 pages, 214 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue “Signal Transductions in Fungi”
by Ulrich Kück
J. Fungi 2022, 8(5), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8050528 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1401
Abstract
In all living organisms, extracellular signals are translated into specific responses through signal transduction processes [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)

Research

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17 pages, 2604 KiB  
Article
The Gβ-like Protein AfCpcB Affects Sexual Development, Response to Oxidative Stress and Phagocytosis by Alveolar Macrophages in Aspergillus fumigatus
by Joo-Yeon Lim, Yeon-Ju Kim and Hee-Moon Park
J. Fungi 2022, 8(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8010056 - 6 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2190
Abstract
G-protein signaling is important for signal transduction, allowing various stimuli that are external to a cell to affect its internal molecules. In Aspergillus fumigatus, the roles of Gβ-like protein CpcB on growth, asexual development, drug sensitivity, and virulence in a mouse model [...] Read more.
G-protein signaling is important for signal transduction, allowing various stimuli that are external to a cell to affect its internal molecules. In Aspergillus fumigatus, the roles of Gβ-like protein CpcB on growth, asexual development, drug sensitivity, and virulence in a mouse model have been previously reported. To gain a deeper insight into Aspergillus fumigatus sexual development, the ΔAfcpcB strain was generated using the supermater AFB62 strain and crossed with AFIR928. This cross yields a decreased number of cleistothecia, including few ascospores. The sexual reproductive organ-specific transcriptional analysis using RNAs from the cleistothecia (sexual fruiting bodies) indicated that the CpcB is essential for the completion of sexual development by regulating the transcription of sexual genes, such as veA, steA, and vosA. The ΔAfcpcB strain revealed increased resistance to oxidative stress by regulating genes for catalase, peroxiredoxin, and ergosterol biosynthesis. The ΔAfcpcB strain showed decreased uptake by alveolar macrophages in vitro, decreased sensitivity to Congo red, decreased expression of cell wall genes, and increased expression of the hydrophobin genes. Taken together, these findings indicate that AfCpcB plays important roles in sexual development, phagocytosis by alveolar macrophages, biosynthesis of the cell wall, and oxidative stress response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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24 pages, 4262 KiB  
Article
The Importance of Nitric Oxide as the Molecular Basis of the Hydrogen Gas Fumigation-Induced Alleviation of Cd Stress on Ganoderma lucidum
by Dyaaaldin Abdalmegeed, Gan Zhao, Pengfei Cheng, Javaid A. Bhat, Wajid Ali Khattak, Mostafa G. Ali, Fawze Alnadari, Ilyas Ali, Qurban Ali, Sameh A. Korma, Yehia A.-G. Mahmoud, Manar K. Abd Elnabi, Weiti Cui and Wenbiao Shen
J. Fungi 2022, 8(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8010010 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2934
Abstract
Whether or not hydrogen gas (H2) can reduce cadmium (Cd) toxicity in Ganoderma lucidum has remained largely unknown. Here, we report that Cd-induced growth inhibition in G. lucidum was significantly alleviated by H2 fumigation or hydrogen-rich water (HRW), evaluated by [...] Read more.
Whether or not hydrogen gas (H2) can reduce cadmium (Cd) toxicity in Ganoderma lucidum has remained largely unknown. Here, we report that Cd-induced growth inhibition in G. lucidum was significantly alleviated by H2 fumigation or hydrogen-rich water (HRW), evaluated by lower oxidative damage and Cd accumulation. Moreover, the amelioration effects of H2 fumigation were better than of HRW in an optimum concentration of H2 under our experimental conditions. Further results showed that H2-alleviated growth inhibition in G. lucidum was accompanied by increased nitric oxide (NO) level and nitrate reductase (NR) activity under Cd stress. On the other hand, the mitigation effects were reversed after removing endogenous NO with its scavenger cPTIO or inhibiting H2-induced NR activity with sodium tungstate. The role of NO in H2-alleviated growth inhibition under Cd stress was proved to be achieved through a restoration of redox balance, an increase in cysteine and proline contents, and a reduction in Cd accumulation. In summary, these results clearly revealed that NR-dependent NO might be involved in the H2-alleviated Cd toxicity in G. lucidum through rebuilding redox homeostasis, increasing cysteine and proline levels, and reducing Cd accumulation. These findings may open a new window for H2 application in Cd-stressed economically important fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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19 pages, 3679 KiB  
Article
A Transient Receptor Potential-like Calcium Ion Channel in the Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus nidulans
by Hongchen Wang, Qiuyi Chen, Shizhu Zhang and Ling Lu
J. Fungi 2021, 7(11), 920; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7110920 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1907
Abstract
Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) proteins constitute a superfamily that encodes transmembrane ion channels with highly diverse permeation and gating properties. Filamentous fungi possess putative TRP channel-encoded genes, but their functions remain elusive. Here, we report that a putative TRP-like calcium channel, trpR, in [...] Read more.
Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) proteins constitute a superfamily that encodes transmembrane ion channels with highly diverse permeation and gating properties. Filamentous fungi possess putative TRP channel-encoded genes, but their functions remain elusive. Here, we report that a putative TRP-like calcium channel, trpR, in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, performs important roles in conidiation and in adapting to cell wall disruption reagents in a high temperature-induced defect-dependent manner, especially under a calcium-limited culture condition. The genetic and functional relationship between TrpR and the previously identified high-affinity calcium channels CchA/MidA indicates that TrpR has an opposite response to CchA/MidA when reacting to cell wall disruption reagents and in regulating calcium transients. However, a considerable addition of calcium can rescue all the defects that occur in TrpR and CchA/MidA, meaning that calcium is able to bypass the necessary requirement. Nevertheless, the colocalization at the membrane of the Golgi for TrpR and the P-type Golgi Ca2+ ATPase PmrA suggests two channels that may work as ion transporters, transferring Ca2+ from the cytosol into the Golgi apparatus and maintaining cellular calcium homeostasis. Therefore, combined with data for the trpR deletion mutant revealing abnormal cell wall structures, TrpR works as a Golgi membrane calcium ion channel that involves cell wall integration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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23 pages, 5147 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Putative Nucleoporin POM33 in the Filamentous Fungus Sordaria macrospora
by Anika Groth, Kerstin Schmitt, Oliver Valerius, Britta Herzog and Stefanie Pöggeler
J. Fungi 2021, 7(9), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7090682 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2770
Abstract
In the filamentous fungus Sordaria macrospora (Sm), the STRIPAK complex is required for vegetative growth, fruiting-body development and hyphal fusion. The SmSTRIPAK core consists of the striatin homolog PRO11, the scaffolding subunit of phosphatase PP2A, SmPP2AA, and its catalytic subunit SmPP2Ac1. Among other [...] Read more.
In the filamentous fungus Sordaria macrospora (Sm), the STRIPAK complex is required for vegetative growth, fruiting-body development and hyphal fusion. The SmSTRIPAK core consists of the striatin homolog PRO11, the scaffolding subunit of phosphatase PP2A, SmPP2AA, and its catalytic subunit SmPP2Ac1. Among other STRIPAK proteins, the recently identified coiled-coil protein SCI1 was demonstrated to co-localize around the nucleus. Pulldown experiments with SCI identified the transmembrane nucleoporin (TM Nup) SmPOM33 as a potential nuclear-anchor of SmSTRIPAK. Localization studies revealed that SmPOM33 partially localizes to the nuclear envelope (NE), but mainly to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We succeeded to generate a Δpom33 deletion mutant by homologous recombination in a new S. macrospora Δku80 recipient strain, which is defective in non-homologous end joining. Deletion of Smpom33 did neither impair vegetative growth nor sexual development. In pulldown experiments of SmPOM33 followed by LC/MS analysis, ER-membrane proteins involved in ER morphology, protein translocation, glycosylation, sterol biosynthesis and Ca2+-transport were significantly enriched. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD026253. Although no SmSTRIPAK components were identified as putative interaction partners, it cannot be excluded that SmPOM33 is involved in temporarily anchoring the SmSTRIPAK to the NE or other sites in the cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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40 pages, 1946 KiB  
Article
H2O2 Induces Major Phosphorylation Changes in Critical Regulators of Signal Transduction, Gene Expression, Metabolism and Developmental Networks in Aspergillus nidulans
by Ulises Carrasco-Navarro and Jesús Aguirre
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080624 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4285
Abstract
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) regulate several aspects of cell physiology in filamentous fungi including the antioxidant response and development. However, little is known about the signaling pathways involved in these processes. Here, we report Aspergillus nidulans global phosphoproteome during mycelial growth and show [...] Read more.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) regulate several aspects of cell physiology in filamentous fungi including the antioxidant response and development. However, little is known about the signaling pathways involved in these processes. Here, we report Aspergillus nidulans global phosphoproteome during mycelial growth and show that under these conditions, H2O2 induces major changes in protein phosphorylation. Among the 1964 phosphoproteins we identified, H2O2 induced the phosphorylation of 131 proteins at one or more sites as well as the dephosphorylation of a larger set of proteins. A detailed analysis of these phosphoproteins shows that H2O2 affected the phosphorylation of critical regulatory nodes of phosphoinositide, MAPK, and TOR signaling as well as the phosphorylation of multiple proteins involved in the regulation of gene expression, primary and secondary metabolism, and development. Our results provide a novel and extensive protein phosphorylation landscape in A. nidulans, indicating that H2O2 induces a shift in general metabolism from anabolic to catabolic, and the activation of multiple stress survival pathways. Our results expand the significance of H2O2 in eukaryotic cell signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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29 pages, 6990 KiB  
Article
Transcription Factors in the Fungus Aspergillus nidulans: Markers of Genetic Innovation, Network Rewiring and Conflict between Genomics and Transcriptomics
by Oier Etxebeste
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080600 - 25 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3821
Abstract
Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are shaped by the democratic/hierarchical relationships among transcription factors (TFs) and associated proteins, together with the cis-regulatory sequences (CRSs) bound by these TFs at target promoters. GRNs control all cellular processes, including metabolism, stress response, growth and development. Due [...] Read more.
Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are shaped by the democratic/hierarchical relationships among transcription factors (TFs) and associated proteins, together with the cis-regulatory sequences (CRSs) bound by these TFs at target promoters. GRNs control all cellular processes, including metabolism, stress response, growth and development. Due to the ability to modify morphogenetic and developmental patterns, there is the consensus view that the reorganization of GRNs is a driving force of species evolution and differentiation. GRNs are rewired through events including the duplication of TF-coding genes, their divergent sequence evolution and the gain/loss/modification of CRSs. Fungi (mainly Saccharomycotina) have served as a reference kingdom for the study of GRN evolution. Here, I studied the genes predicted to encode TFs in the fungus Aspergillus nidulans (Pezizomycotina). The analysis of the expansion of different families of TFs suggests that the duplication of TFs impacts the species level, and that the expansion in Zn2Cys6 TFs is mainly due to dispersed duplication events. Comparison of genomic annotation and transcriptomic data suggest that a significant percentage of genes should be re-annotated, while many others remain silent. Finally, a new regulator of growth and development is identified and characterized. Overall, this study establishes a novel theoretical framework in synthetic biology, as the overexpression of silent TF forms would provide additional tools to assess how GRNs are rewired. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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21 pages, 2847 KiB  
Article
Tracking Fungal Growth: Establishment of Arp1 as a Marker for Polarity Establishment and Active Hyphal Growth in Filamentous Ascomycetes
by Anika Groth, Carolin Schunke, Eva Johanna Reschka, Stefanie Pöggeler and Daniela Elisabeth Nordzieke
J. Fungi 2021, 7(7), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7070580 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2824
Abstract
Polar growth is a key characteristic of all filamentous fungi. It allows these eukaryotes to not only effectively explore organic matter but also interact within its own colony, mating partners, and hosts. Therefore, a detailed understanding of the dynamics in polar growth establishment [...] Read more.
Polar growth is a key characteristic of all filamentous fungi. It allows these eukaryotes to not only effectively explore organic matter but also interact within its own colony, mating partners, and hosts. Therefore, a detailed understanding of the dynamics in polar growth establishment and maintenance is crucial for several fields of fungal research. We developed a new marker protein, the actin-related protein 1 (Arp1) fused to red and green fluorescent proteins, which allows for the tracking of polar axis establishment and active hyphal growth in microscopy approaches. To exclude a probable redundancy with known polarity markers, we compared the localizations of the Spitzenkörper (SPK) and Arp1 using an FM4-64 staining approach. As we show in applications with the coprophilous fungus Sordaria macrospora and the hemibiotrophic plant pathogen Colletotrichum graminicola, the monitoring of Arp1 can be used for detailed studies of hyphal growth dynamics and ascospore germination, the interpretation of chemotropic growth processes, and the tracking of elongating penetration pegs into plant material. Since the Arp1 marker showed the same dynamics in both fungi tested, we believe this marker can be broadly applied in fungal research to study the manifold polar growth processes determining fungal life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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21 pages, 3529 KiB  
Article
mRNA Inventory of Extracellular Vesicles from Ustilago maydis
by Seomun Kwon, Oliver Rupp, Andreas Brachmann, Christopher Frederik Blum, Anton Kraege, Alexander Goesmann and Michael Feldbrügge
J. Fungi 2021, 7(7), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7070562 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 4738
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) can transfer diverse RNA cargo for intercellular communication. EV-associated RNAs have been found in diverse fungi and were proposed to be relevant for pathogenesis in animal hosts. In plant-pathogen interactions, small RNAs are exchanged in a cross-kingdom RNAi warfare and [...] Read more.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) can transfer diverse RNA cargo for intercellular communication. EV-associated RNAs have been found in diverse fungi and were proposed to be relevant for pathogenesis in animal hosts. In plant-pathogen interactions, small RNAs are exchanged in a cross-kingdom RNAi warfare and EVs were considered to be a delivery mechanism. To extend the search for EV-associated molecules involved in plant-pathogen communication, we have characterised the repertoire of EV-associated mRNAs secreted by the maize smut pathogen, Ustilago maydis. For this initial survey, we examined EV-enriched fractions from axenic filamentous cultures that mimic infectious hyphae. EV-associated RNAs were resistant to degradation by RNases and the presence of intact mRNAs was evident. The set of mRNAs enriched inside EVs relative to the fungal cells are functionally distinct from those that are depleted from EVs. mRNAs encoding metabolic enzymes are particularly enriched. Intriguingly, mRNAs of some known effectors and other proteins linked to virulence were also found in EVs. Furthermore, several mRNAs enriched in EVs are also upregulated during infection, suggesting that EV-associated mRNAs may participate in plant-pathogen interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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17 pages, 6080 KiB  
Article
Inositol Signaling in the Basidiomycete Fungus Schizophyllum commune
by Reyna Murry, Lea Traxler, Jessica Pötschner, Thomas Krüger, Olaf Kniemeyer, Katrin Krause and Erika Kothe
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060470 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3265
Abstract
Intracellular signaling is conserved in eukaryotes to allow for response to extracellular signals and to regulate development and cellular functions. In fungi, inositol phosphate signaling has been shown to be involved in growth, sexual reproduction, and metabolic adaptation. However, reports on mushroom-forming fungi [...] Read more.
Intracellular signaling is conserved in eukaryotes to allow for response to extracellular signals and to regulate development and cellular functions. In fungi, inositol phosphate signaling has been shown to be involved in growth, sexual reproduction, and metabolic adaptation. However, reports on mushroom-forming fungi are lacking so far. In Schizophyllum commune, an inositol monophosphatase has been found up-regulated during sexual development. The enzyme is crucial for inositol cycling, where it catalyzes the last step of inositol phosphate metabolism, restoring the inositol pool from the monophosphorylated inositol monophosphate. We overexpressed the gene in this model basidiomycete and verified its involvement in cell wall integrity and intracellular trafficking. Strong phenotypes in mushroom formation and cell metabolism were evidenced by proteome analyses. In addition, altered inositol signaling was shown to be involved in tolerance towards cesium and zinc, and increased metal tolerance towards cadmium, associated with induced expression of kinases and repression of phosphatases within the inositol cycle. The presence of the heavy metals Sr, Cs, Cd, and Zn lowered intracellular calcium levels. We could develop a model integrating inositol signaling in the known signal transduction pathways governed by Ras, G-protein coupled receptors, and cAMP, and elucidate their different roles in development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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13 pages, 6513 KiB  
Article
Botrytis cinerea G Protein β Subunit Bcgb1 Controls Growth, Development and Virulence by Regulating cAMP Signaling and MAPK Signaling
by Jiejing Tang, Mingde Wu, Jing Zhang, Guoqing Li and Long Yang
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060431 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2809
Abstract
Botrytis cinerea is a necrotrophic phytopathogenic fungus that causes gray mold disease in many crops. To better understand the role of G protein signaling in the development and virulence of this fungus, the G protein β subunit gene Bcgb1 was knocked out in [...] Read more.
Botrytis cinerea is a necrotrophic phytopathogenic fungus that causes gray mold disease in many crops. To better understand the role of G protein signaling in the development and virulence of this fungus, the G protein β subunit gene Bcgb1 was knocked out in this study. The ΔBcgb1 mutants showed reduced mycelial growth rate, but increased aerial hyphae and mycelial biomass, lack of conidiation, failed to form sclerotia, increased resistance to cell wall and oxidative stresses, delayed formation of infection cushions, and decreased virulence. Deletion of Bcgb1 resulted in a significant reduction in the expression of several genes involved in cAMP signaling, and caused a notable increase in intracellular cAMP levels, suggesting that G protein β subunit Bcgb1 plays an important role in cAMP signaling. Furthermore, phosphorylation levels of MAP kinases (Bmp1 and Bmp3) were increased in the ΔBcgb1 mutants. Yeast two-hybrid assays showed that Bcgb1 interacts with MAPK (Bmp1 and Bmp3) cascade proteins (BcSte11, BcBck1, BcMkk1, and BcSte50), and the Bmp1-regulated gene Bcgas2 was up-regulated in the ΔBcgb1 mutant. These results indicated that Gβ protein Bcgb1 is involved in the MAPK signaling pathway in B. cinerea. In summary, our results revealed that Gβ protein Bcgb1 controls development and virulence through both the cAMP and MAPK (Bmp1 and Bmp3) signaling pathways in B. cinerea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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18 pages, 2537 KiB  
Article
What Role Might Non-Mating Receptors Play in Schizophyllum commune?
by Sophia Wirth, Daniela Freihorst, Katrin Krause and Erika Kothe
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7050399 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2623
Abstract
The B mating-type locus of the tetrapolar basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune encodes pheromones and pheromone receptors in multiple allelic specificities. This work adds substantial new evidence into the organization of the B mating-type loci of distantly related S. commune strains showing a high level [...] Read more.
The B mating-type locus of the tetrapolar basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune encodes pheromones and pheromone receptors in multiple allelic specificities. This work adds substantial new evidence into the organization of the B mating-type loci of distantly related S. commune strains showing a high level of synteny in gene order and neighboring genes. Four pheromone receptor-like genes were found in the genome of S. commune with brl1, brl2 and brl3 located at the B mating-type locus, whereas brl4 is located separately. Expression analysis of brl genes in different developmental stages indicates a function in filamentous growth and mating. Based on the extensive sequence analysis and functional characterization of brl-overexpression mutants, a function of Brl1 in mating is proposed, while Brl3, Brl4 and Brl2 (to a lower extent) have a role in vegetative growth, possible determination of growth direction. The brl3 and brl4 overexpression mutants had a dikaryon-like, irregular and feathery phenotype, and they avoided the formation of same-clone colonies on solid medium, which points towards enhanced detection of self-signals. These data are supported by localization of Brl fusion proteins in tips, at septa and in not-yet-fused clamps of a dikaryon, confirming their importance for growth and development in S. commune. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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9 pages, 1416 KiB  
Communication
The Molecular Mechanism of Fludioxonil Action Is Different to Osmotic Stress Sensing
by Katharina Bersching and Stefan Jacob
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7050393 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3192
Abstract
The group III two-component hybrid histidine kinase MoHik1p in the filamentous fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is known to be a sensor for external osmotic stress and essential for the fungicidal activity of the phenylpyrrole fludioxonil. The mode of action of fludioxonil has not yet [...] Read more.
The group III two-component hybrid histidine kinase MoHik1p in the filamentous fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is known to be a sensor for external osmotic stress and essential for the fungicidal activity of the phenylpyrrole fludioxonil. The mode of action of fludioxonil has not yet been completely clarified but rather assumed to hyperactivate the high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) signaling pathway. To date, not much is known about the detailed molecular mechanism of how osmotic stress is detected or fungicidal activity is initiated within the HOG pathway. The molecular mechanism of signaling was studied using a mutant strain in which the HisKA signaling domain was modified by an amino acid change of histidine H736 to alanine A736. We found that MoHik1pH736A is as resistant to fludioxonil but not as sensitive to osmotic stress as the null mutant ∆Mohik1. H736 is required for fludioxonil action but is not essential for sensing sorbitol stress. Consequently, this report provides evidence of the difference in the molecular mechanism of fludioxonil action and the perception of osmotic stress. This is an excellent basis to understand the successful phenylpyrrole-fungicides’ mode of action better and will give new ideas to decipher cellular signaling mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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10 pages, 1204 KiB  
Communication
Evidence of a New MoYpd1p Phosphotransferase Isoform in the Multistep Phosphorelay System of Magnaporthe oryzae
by Sri Bühring, Alexander Yemelin, Thomas Michna, Stefan Tenzer and Stefan Jacob
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7050389 - 15 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2784
Abstract
Different external stimuli are perceived by multiple sensor histidine kinases and transmitted by phosphorylation via the phosphotransfer protein Ypd1p in the multistep phosphorelay system of the high osmolarity glycerol signaling pathway of filamentous fungi. How the signal propagation takes place is still not [...] Read more.
Different external stimuli are perceived by multiple sensor histidine kinases and transmitted by phosphorylation via the phosphotransfer protein Ypd1p in the multistep phosphorelay system of the high osmolarity glycerol signaling pathway of filamentous fungi. How the signal propagation takes place is still not known in detail since multiple sensor histidine kinase genes in most filamentous fungi are coded in the genome, whereas only one gene for Ypd1p exists. That raises the hypothesis that various Ypd1p isoforms are produced from a single gene sequence, perhaps by alternative splicing, facilitating a higher variability in signal transduction. We found that the mRNA of MoYPD1 in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is subjected to an increased structural variation and amplified putative isoforms on a cDNA level. We then generated mutant strains overexpressing these isoforms, purified the products, and present here one previously unknown MoYpd1p isoform on a proteome level. Alternative splicing was found to be a valid molecular mechanism to increase the signal diversity in eukaryotic multistep phosphorelay systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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24 pages, 9895 KiB  
Article
Stress-Activated Protein Kinase Signalling Regulates Mycoparasitic Hyphal-Hyphal Interactions in Trichoderma atroviride
by Dubraska Moreno-Ruiz, Linda Salzmann, Mark D. Fricker, Susanne Zeilinger and Alexander Lichius
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7050365 - 6 May 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4276
Abstract
Trichoderma atroviride is a mycoparasitic fungus used as biological control agent against fungal plant pathogens. The recognition and appropriate morphogenetic responses to prey-derived signals are essential for successful mycoparasitism. We established microcolony confrontation assays using T. atroviride strains expressing cell division cycle 42 [...] Read more.
Trichoderma atroviride is a mycoparasitic fungus used as biological control agent against fungal plant pathogens. The recognition and appropriate morphogenetic responses to prey-derived signals are essential for successful mycoparasitism. We established microcolony confrontation assays using T. atroviride strains expressing cell division cycle 42 (Cdc42) and Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1) interactive binding (CRIB) reporters to analyse morphogenetic changes and the dynamic displacement of localized GTPase activity during polarized tip growth. Microscopic analyses showed that Trichoderma experiences significant polarity stress when approaching its fungal preys. The perception of prey-derived signals is integrated via the guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling network, and deletion of the MAP kinases Trichoderma MAPK 1 (Tmk1) and Tmk3 affected T. atroviride tip polarization, chemotropic growth, and contact-induced morphogenesis so severely that the establishment of mycoparasitism was highly inefficient to impossible. The responses varied depending on the prey species and the interaction stage, reflecting the high selectivity of the signalling process. Our data suggest that Tmk3 affects the polarity-stress adaptation process especially during the pre-contact phase, whereas Tmk1 regulates contact-induced morphogenesis at the early-contact phase. Neither Tmk1 nor Tmk3 loss-of-function could be fully compensated within the GTPase/MAPK signalling network underscoring the crucial importance of a sensitive polarized tip growth apparatus for successful mycoparasitism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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15 pages, 3646 KiB  
Article
Elevated Sporulation Efficiency in Fission Yeast Schizosaccharomyces japonicus Strains Isolated from Drosophila
by Taisuke Seike, Natsue Sakata, Fumio Matsuda and Chikara Furusawa
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7050350 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3219
Abstract
The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces japonicus, comprising S. japonicus var. japonicus and S. japonicus var. versatilis varieties, has unique characteristics such as striking hyphal growth not seen in other Schizosaccharomyces species; however, information on its diversity and evolution, in particular mating and sporulation, [...] Read more.
The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces japonicus, comprising S. japonicus var. japonicus and S. japonicus var. versatilis varieties, has unique characteristics such as striking hyphal growth not seen in other Schizosaccharomyces species; however, information on its diversity and evolution, in particular mating and sporulation, remains limited. Here we compared the growth and mating phenotypes of 17 wild strains of S. japonicus, including eight S. japonicus var. japonicus strains newly isolated from an insect (Drosophila). Unlike existing wild strains isolated from fruits/plants, the strains isolated from Drosophila sporulated at high frequency even under nitrogen-abundant conditions. In addition, one of the strains from Drosophila was stained by iodine vapor, although the type strain of S. japonicus var. japonicus is not stained. Sequence analysis further showed that the nucleotide and amino acid sequences of pheromone-related genes have diversified among the eight strains from Drosophila, suggesting crossing between S. japonicus cells of different genetic backgrounds occurs frequently in this insect. Much of yeast ecology remains unclear, but our findings suggest that insects such as Drosophila might be a good niche for mating and sporulation, and will provide a basis for the understanding of sporulation mechanisms via signal transduction, as well as the ecology and evolution of yeast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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29 pages, 5510 KiB  
Article
Unfolded Protein Response and Scaffold Independent Pheromone MAP Kinase Signaling Control Verticillium dahliae Growth, Development, and Plant Pathogenesis
by Jessica Starke, Rebekka Harting, Isabel Maurus, Miriam Leonard, Rica Bremenkamp, Kai Heimel, James W. Kronstad and Gerhard H. Braus
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040305 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3207
Abstract
Differentiation, growth, and virulence of the vascular plant pathogen Verticillium dahliae depend on a network of interconnected cellular signaling cascades. The transcription factor Hac1 of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated unfolded protein response (UPR) is required for initial root colonization, fungal growth, and vascular propagation [...] Read more.
Differentiation, growth, and virulence of the vascular plant pathogen Verticillium dahliae depend on a network of interconnected cellular signaling cascades. The transcription factor Hac1 of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated unfolded protein response (UPR) is required for initial root colonization, fungal growth, and vascular propagation by conidiation. Hac1 is essential for the formation of microsclerotia as long-time survival resting structures in the field. Single endoplasmic reticulum-associated enzymes for linoleic acid production as precursors for oxylipin signal molecules support fungal growth but not pathogenicity. Microsclerotia development, growth, and virulence further require the pheromone response mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, but without the Ham5 scaffold function. The MAPK phosphatase Rok1 limits resting structure development of V.dahliae, but promotes growth, conidiation, and virulence. The interplay between UPR and MAPK signaling cascades includes several potential targets for fungal growth control for supporting disease management of the vascular pathogen V.dahliae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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12 pages, 2206 KiB  
Article
Hog1 Controls Lipids Homeostasis Upon Osmotic Stress in Candida albicans
by Carmen Herrero-de-Dios, Elvira Román, Jesús Pla and Rebeca Alonso-Monge
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040355 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2475
Abstract
As opportunistic pathogen, Candida albicans adapts to different environmental conditions and its corresponding stress. The Hog1 MAPK (Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase) was identified as the main MAPK involved in the response to osmotic stress. It was later shown that this MAPK is also [...] Read more.
As opportunistic pathogen, Candida albicans adapts to different environmental conditions and its corresponding stress. The Hog1 MAPK (Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase) was identified as the main MAPK involved in the response to osmotic stress. It was later shown that this MAPK is also involved in the response to a variety of stresses and therefore, its role in virulence, survival to phagocytes and establishment as commensal in the mouse gastrointestinal tract was reported. In this work, the role of Hog1 in osmotic stress is further analyzed, showing that this MAPK is involved in lipid homeostasis. The hog1 mutant accumulates lipid droplets when exposed to osmotic stress, leading to an increase in cell permeability and delaying the endocytic trafficking routes. Cek1, a MAPK also implicated in the response to osmotic challenge, did not play a role in lipid homeostasis indicating that Hog1 is the main MAP kinase in this response. The alteration on lipid metabolism observed in hog1 mutants is proposed to contribute to the sensitivity to osmotic stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Other

13 pages, 3535 KiB  
Review
Sensing and Responding to Hypersaline Conditions and the HOG Signal Transduction Pathway in Fungi Isolated from Hypersaline Environments: Hortaea werneckii and Wallemia ichthyophaga
by Ana Plemenitaš
J. Fungi 2021, 7(11), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7110988 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2097
Abstract
Sensing and responding to changes in NaCl concentration in hypersaline environments is vital for cell survival. In this paper, we identified and characterized key components of the high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG) signal transduction pathway, which is crucial in sensing hypersaline conditions in the extremely [...] Read more.
Sensing and responding to changes in NaCl concentration in hypersaline environments is vital for cell survival. In this paper, we identified and characterized key components of the high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG) signal transduction pathway, which is crucial in sensing hypersaline conditions in the extremely halotolerant black yeast Hortaea werneckii and in the obligate halophilic fungus Wallemia ichthyophaga. Both organisms were isolated from solar salterns, their predominating ecological niche. The identified components included homologous proteins of both branches involved in sensing high osmolarity (SHO1 and SLN1) and the homologues of mitogen-activated protein kinase module (MAPKKK Ste11, MAPKK Pbs2, and MAPK Hog1). Functional complementation of the identified gene products in S. cerevisiae mutant strains revealed some of their functions. Structural protein analysis demonstrated important structural differences in the HOG pathway components between halotolerant/halophilic fungi isolated from solar salterns, salt-sensitive S. cerevisiae, the extremely salt-tolerant H. werneckii, and halophilic W. ichthyophaga. Known and novel gene targets of MAP kinase Hog1 were uncovered particularly in halotolerant H. werneckii. Molecular studies of many salt-responsive proteins confirm unique and novel mechanisms of adaptation to changes in salt concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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16 pages, 4234 KiB  
Review
A Network of Pathways Controlling Cellular Homeostasis Affects the Onset of Senescence in Podospora anserina
by Heinz D. Osiewacz and Lea Schürmanns
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040263 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2655
Abstract
Research on Podospora anserina unraveled a network of molecular pathways affecting biological aging. In particular, a number of pathways active in the control of mitochondria were identified on different levels. A long-known key process active during aging of P. anserina is the age-related [...] Read more.
Research on Podospora anserina unraveled a network of molecular pathways affecting biological aging. In particular, a number of pathways active in the control of mitochondria were identified on different levels. A long-known key process active during aging of P. anserina is the age-related reorganization of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mechanisms involved in the stabilization of the mtDNA lead to lifespan extension. Another critical issue is to balance mitochondrial levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This is important because ROS are essential signaling molecules, but at increased levels cause molecular damage. At a higher level of the network, mechanisms are active in the repair of damaged compounds. However, if damage passes critical limits, the corresponding pathways are overwhelmed and impaired molecules as well as those present in excess are degraded by specific enzymes or via different forms of autophagy. Subsequently, degraded units need to be replaced by novel functional ones. The corresponding processes are dependent on the availability of intact genetic information. Although a number of different pathways involved in the control of cellular homeostasis were uncovered in the past, certainly many more exist. In addition, the signaling pathways involved in the control and coordination of the underlying pathways are only initially understood. In some cases, like the induction of autophagy, ROS are active. Additionally, sensing and signaling the energetic status of the organism plays a key role. The precise mechanisms involved are elusive and remain to be elucidated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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Other

11 pages, 289 KiB  
Perspective
STRIPAK, a Key Regulator of Fungal Development, Operates as a Multifunctional Signaling Hub
by Ulrich Kück and Valentina Stein
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060443 - 1 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3471
Abstract
The striatin-interacting phosphatases and kinases (STRIPAK) multi subunit complex is a highly conserved signaling complex that controls diverse developmental processes in higher and lower eukaryotes. In this perspective article, we summarize how STRIPAK controls diverse developmental processes in euascomycetes, such as fruiting body [...] Read more.
The striatin-interacting phosphatases and kinases (STRIPAK) multi subunit complex is a highly conserved signaling complex that controls diverse developmental processes in higher and lower eukaryotes. In this perspective article, we summarize how STRIPAK controls diverse developmental processes in euascomycetes, such as fruiting body formation, cell fusion, sexual and vegetative development, pathogenicity, symbiosis, as well as secondary metabolism. Recent structural investigations revealed information about the assembly and stoichiometry of the complex enabling it to act as a signaling hub. Multiple organellar targeting of STRIPAK subunits suggests how this complex connects several signaling transduction pathways involved in diverse cellular developmental processes. Furthermore, recent phosphoproteomic analysis shows that STRIPAK controls the dephosphorylation of subunits from several signaling complexes. We also refer to recent findings in yeast, where the STRIPAK homologue connects conserved signaling pathways, and based on this we suggest how so far non-characterized proteins may functions as receptors connecting mitophagy with the STRIPAK signaling complex. Such lines of investigation should contribute to the overall mechanistic understanding of how STRIPAK controls development in euascomycetes and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transductions in Fungi)
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