Heterotrimeric G protein signaling in filamentous fungi.
ABSTRACT Filamentous fungi are multicellular eukaryotic organisms known for nutrient recycling as well as for antibiotic and food production. This group of organisms also contains the most devastating plant pathogens and several important human pathogens. Since the first report of heterotrimeric G proteins in filamentous fungi in 1993, it has been demonstrated that G proteins are essential for growth, asexual and sexual development, and virulence in both animal and plant pathogenic filamentous species. Numerous G protein subunit and G protein-coupled receptor genes have been identified, many from whole-genome sequences. Several regulatory pathways have now been delineated, including those for nutrient sensing, pheromone response and mating, and pathogenesis. This review provides a comparative analysis of G protein pathways in several filamentous species, with discussion of both unifying themes and important unique signaling paradigms.
Article: Genomic Insights into the Atopic Eczema-Associated Skin Commensal Yeast Malassezia sympodialis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Malassezia commensal yeasts are associated with a number of skin disorders, such as atopic eczema/dermatitis and dandruff, and they also can cause systemic infections. Here we describe the 7.67-Mbp genome of Malassezia sympodialis, a species associated with atopic eczema, and contrast its genome repertoire with that of Malassezia globosa, associated with dandruff, as well as those of other closely related fungi. Ninety percent of the predicted M. sympodialis protein coding genes were experimentally verified by mass spectrometry at the protein level. We identified a relatively limited number of genes related to lipid biosynthesis, and both species lack the fatty acid synthase gene, in line with the known requirement of these yeasts to assimilate lipids from the host. Malassezia species do not appear to have many cell wall-localized glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) proteins and lack other cell wall proteins previously identified in other fungi. This is surprising given that in other fungi these proteins have been shown to mediate interactions (e.g., adhesion and biofilm formation) with the host. The genome revealed a complex evolutionary history for an allergen of unknown function, Mala s 7, shown to be encoded by a member of an amplified gene family of secreted proteins. Based on genetic and biochemical studies with the basidiomycete human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans, we characterized the allergen Mala s 6 as the cytoplasmic cyclophilin A. We further present evidence that M. sympodialis may have the capacity to undergo sexual reproduction and present a model for a pseudobipolar mating system that allows limited recombination between two linked MAT loci. IMPORTANCE Malassezia commensal yeasts are associated with a number of skin disorders. The previously published genome of M. globosa provided some of the first insights into Malassezia biology and its involvement in dandruff. Here, we present the genome of M. sympodialis, frequently isolated from patients with atopic eczema and healthy individuals. We combined comparative genomics with sequencing and functional characterization of specific genes in a population of clinical isolates and in closely related model systems. Our analyses provide insights into the evolution of allergens related to atopic eczema and the evolutionary trajectory of the machinery for sexual reproduction and meiosis. We hypothesize that M. sympodialis may undergo sexual reproduction, which has important implications for the understanding of the life cycle and virulence potential of this medically important yeast. Our findings provide a foundation for the development of genetic and genomic tools to elucidate host-microbe interactions that occur on the skin and to identify potential therapeutic targets.mBio 01/2013; · 5.31 Impact Factor
Article: Rapid transcriptome characterization and parsing of sequences in a non-model host-pathogen interaction; pea-Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: White mold, caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, is one of the most important diseases of pea (Pisum sativum L.), however, little is known about the genetics and biochemistry of this interaction. Identification of genes underlying resistance in the host or pathogenicity and virulence factors in the pathogen will increase our knowledge of the pea-S. sclerotiorum interaction and facilitate the introgression of new resistance genes into commercial pea varieties. Although the S. sclerotiorum genome sequence is available, no pea genome is available, due in part to its large genome size (~3500 Mb) and extensive repeated motifs. Here we present an EST data set specific to the interaction between S. sclerotiorum and pea, and a method to distinguish pathogen and host sequences without a species-specific reference genome. RESULTS: 10,158 contigs were obtained by de novo assembly of 128,720 high-quality reads generated by 454 pyrosequencing of the pea-S. sclerotiorum interactome. A method based on the tBLASTx program was modified to distinguish pea and S. sclerotiorum ESTs. To test this strategy, a mixture of known ESTs (18,490 pea and 17,198 S. sclerotiorum ESTs) from public databases were pooled and parsed; the tBLASTx method successfully separated 90.1% of the artificial EST mix with 99.9% accuracy. The tBLASTx method successfully parsed 89.4% of the 454-derived EST contigs, as validated by PCR, into pea (6,299 contigs) and S. sclerotiorum (2,780 contigs) categories. Two thousand eight hundred and forty pea ESTs and 996 S. sclerotiorum ESTs were predicted to be expressed specifically during the pea-S. sclerotiorum interaction as determined by homology search against 81,449 pea ESTs (from flowers, leaves, cotyledons, epi- and hypocotyl, and etiolated and light treated etiolated seedlings) and 57,751 S. sclerotiorum ESTs (from mycelia at neutral pH, developing apothecia and developing sclerotia). Among those ESTs specifically expressed, 277 (9.8%) pea ESTs were predicted to be involved in plant defense and response to biotic or abiotic stress, and 93 (9.3%) S. sclerotiorum ESTs were predicted to be involved in pathogenicity/virulence. Additionally, 142 S. sclerotiorum ESTs were identified as secretory/signal peptides of which only 21 were previously reported. CONCLUSIONS: We present and characterize an EST resource specific to the pea-S. sclerotiorum interaction. Additionally, the tBLASTx method used to parse S. sclerotiorum and pea ESTs was demonstrated to be a reliable and accurate method to distinguish ESTs without a reference genome.BMC Genomics 11/2012; 13(1):668. · 4.07 Impact Factor
Article: Signaling Governed by G Proteins and cAMP Is Crucial for Growth, Secondary Metabolism and Sexual Development in Fusarium fujikuroi.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The plant-pathogenic fungus is a notorious rice pathogen causing hyper-elongation of infected plants due to the production of gibberellic acids (GAs). In addition to GAs, produces a wide range of other secondary metabolites, such as fusarins, fusaric acid or the red polyketides bikaverins and fusarubins. The recent availability of the fungal genome sequence for this species has revealed the potential of many more putative secondary metabolite gene clusters whose products remain to be identified. However, the complex regulation of secondary metabolism is far from being understood. Here we studied the impact of the heterotrimeric G protein and the cAMP-mediated signaling network, including the regulatory subunits of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), to study their effect on colony morphology, sexual development and regulation of bikaverins, fusarubins and GAs. We demonstrated that fusarubin biosynthesis is negatively regulated by at least two Gα subunits, FfG1 and FfG3, which both function as stimulators of the adenylyl cyclase FfAC. Surprisingly, the primary downstream target of the adenylyl cyclase, the PKA, is not involved in the regulation of fusarubins, suggesting that additional, yet unidentified, cAMP-binding protein(s) exist. In contrast, bikaverin biosynthesis is significantly reduced in and deletion mutants and positively regulated by FfAC and FfPKA1, while GA biosynthesis depends on the active FfAC and FfPKA2 in an FfG1- and FfG3-independent manner. In addition, we provide evidence that G Protein-mediated/cAMP signaling is important for growth in because deletion of , and resulted in impaired growth on minimal and rich media. Finally, sexual crosses of mutants showed the importance of a functional FfG1 protein for development of perithecia in the mating strain that carries the MAT1-1 idiomorph.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e58185. · 4.09 Impact Factor