Role of Fig1, a component of the low-affinity calcium uptake system, in growth and sexual development of filamentous fungi.
ABSTRACT: The function of Fig1, a transmembrane protein of the low-affinity calcium uptake system (LACS) in fungi, was examined for its role in the growth and development of the plant pathogen Fusarium graminearum. The ?fig1 mutants failed to produce mature perithecia, and sexual development was halted prior to the formation of perithecium initials. The loss of Fig1 function also resulted in a reduced vegetative growth rate. Macroconidium production was reduced 70-fold in the ?fig1 mutants compared to the wild type. The function of the high-affinity calcium uptake system (HACS), comprised of the Ca(2+) channels Mid1 and Cch1, was previously characterized for F. graminearum. To better understand the roles of the LACS and the HACS, ?fig1 ?mid1, ?fig1 ?cch1, and ?fig1 ?mid1 ?cch1 double and triple mutants were generated, and the phenotypes of these mutants were more severe than those of the ?fig1 mutants. Pathogenicity on wheat was unaffected for the ?fig1 mutants, but the ?fig1 ?mid1, ?fig1 ?cch1, and ?fig1 ?mid1 ?cch1 mutants, lacking both LACS and HACS functions, had reduced pathogenicity. Additionally, ?fig1 mutants of Neurospora crassa were examined and did not affect filamentous growth or female fertility in a ?fig1 mating type A strain, but the ?fig1 mating type a strain failed to produce fertile fruiting bodies. These results are the first report of Fig1 function in filamentous ascomycetes and expand its role to include complex fruiting body and ascus development.
Project description:Calcium-mediated signaling pathways are widely employed in eukaryotes and are implicated in the regulation of diverse biological processes. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, at least two different calcium uptake systems have been identified: the high-affinity calcium influx system (HACS) and the low-affinity calcium influx system (LACS). Compared to the HACS, the LACS in fungi is not well known. In this study, FigA, a homolog of the LACS member Fig1 from S. cerevisiae, was functionally characterized in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Loss of figA resulted in retardant hyphal growth and a sharp reduction of conidial production. Most importantly, FigA is essential for the homothallic mating (self-fertilization) process; further, FigA is required for heterothallic mating (outcrossing) in the absence of HACS midA. Interestingly, in a figA deletion mutant, adding extracellular Ca(2+) rescued the hyphal growth defects but could not restore asexual and sexual reproduction. Furthermore, quantitative PCR results revealed that figA deletion sharply decreased the expression of brlA and nsdD, which are known as key regulators during asexual and sexual development, respectively. In addition, green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagging at the C terminus of FigA (FigA::GFP) showed that FigA localized to the center of the septum in mature hyphal cells, to the location between vesicles and metulae, and between the junctions of metulae and phialides in conidiophores. Thus, our findings suggest that FigA, apart from being a member of a calcium uptake system in A. nidulans, may play multiple unexplored roles during hyphal growth and asexual and sexual development.
Project description:In the filamentous phytopathogen Botrytis cinerea, the Ca(2+)/calcineurin signaling cascade has been shown to play an important role in fungal growth, differentiation, and virulence. This study deals with the functional characterization of two components of this pathway, the putative calcium channel proteins Cch1 and Mid1. The cch1 and mid1 genes were deleted, and single and double knockout mutants were analyzed during different stages of the fungal life cycle. Our data indicate that Cch1 and Mid1 are functionally required for vegetative growth under conditions of low extracellular calcium, since the growth of both deletion mutants is strongly impaired when they are exposed to the Ca(2+)-chelating agents EGTA and 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA). The impact of external Ca(2+) was investigated by supplementing with CaCl(2) and the ionophore A23187, both of which resulted in elevated growth for all mutants. However, deletion of either gene had no impact on germination, sporulation, hyphal morphology, or virulence. By use of the aequorin reporter system to measure intracellular calcium levels, no differences between the mutant strains and the wild type were obtained. Localization studies revealed a subcellular distribution of the Mid1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein in network-like filaments, probably the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes, indicating that Mid1 is not a plasma membrane-located calcium channel in B. cinerea.
Project description:Transient and highly regulated elevations of cytosolic Ca2+ control a variety of cellular processes. Bulk measurements using radioactive Ca2+ and the luminescent sensor aequorin have shown that in response to pheromone, budding yeast cells undergo a rise of cytosolic Ca2+ that is mediated by two import systems composed of the Mid1-Cch1-Ecm7 protein complex and the Fig1 protein. Although this response has been widely studied, there is no treatment of Ca2+ dynamics at the single-cell level. Here, using protein calcium indicators, we show that both vegetative and pheromone-treated yeast cells exhibit discrete and asynchronous Ca2+ bursts. Most bursts reach maximal amplitude in 1-10 s, range between 7 and 30 s, and decay in a way that fits a single-exponential model. In vegetative cells, bursts are scarce but preferentially occur when cells are transitioning G1 and S phases. On pheromone presence, Ca2+ burst occurrence increases dramatically, persisting during cell growth polarization. Pheromone concentration modulates burst frequency in a mechanism that depends on Mid1, Fig1, and a third, unidentified, import system. We also show that the calcineurin-responsive transcription factor Crz1 undergoes nuclear localization bursts during the pheromone response.
Project description:Arthrobotrys oligospora is a typical nematode-trapping fungus capturing free-living nematodes by adhesive networks. Component of the low-affinity calcium uptake system (LACS) has been documented to involve in growth and sexual development of filamentous fungi. Bioassay showed incapacity of trap formation in A. oligospora on Water Agar plate containing 1 mM ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA) due to Ca2+ absorbing block. The functions of homologous proteins (AoFIG_1 and AoFIG_2) of LACS were examined on conidiation and trap formation of A. oligospora. Compared with wild type, ΔAoFIG_1 (AOL_s00007g566) resulted in 90% of trap reduction, while ΔAoFIG_2 (AOL_s00004g576) reduced vegetative growth rate up to 44% and had no trap and conidia formed. The results suggest that LACS transmembrane protein fig1 homologs play vital roles in the trap-formation and is involved in conidiation and mycelium growth of A. oligospora. Our findings expand fig1 role to include development of complex trap device and conidiation.
Project description:Although the high affinity Ca(2+) channel, Cch1, and its subunit Mid1 have been investigated and evaluated in yeast and some of filamentous fungi, little is known about the function of their homologs in the Aspergilli. Here, we have functionally characterized the yeast homologs, CchA and MidA, in Aspergillus nidulans using conditional and null deletion mutants. CchA and MidA not only have functional benefits of fast growth, which is consistent with Cch1 and Mid1 in yeast, but also have unique and complex roles in regulating conidiation, hyphal polarity and cell wall components in low-calcium environments. The defect of CchA or MidA resulted in a sharp reduction in the number of conidiospores, accompanied by abnormal metulae, and undeveloped-phialides at a higher density of inoculum. Most interestingly, these conidiation defects in mutants can, remarkably, be rescued either by extra-cellular Ca(2+) in a calcineurin-dependent way or by osmotic stress in a calcineurin-independent way. Moreover, the fact that the phenotypic defects are not exacerbated by the presence of the double deletion, together with the Y2H assay, indicates that CchA and MidA may form a complex to function together. Our findings suggest that the high-affinity Ca(2+) channel may represent a viable and completely unexplored avenue to reduce conidiation in the Aspergilli.
Project description:Yeasts and fungi generate Ca2+ signals in response to environmental stresses through Ca2+ channels essentially composed of Cch1 and Mid1. Cch1 is homologous to the pore-forming ?1 subunit of animal voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) and sodium leak channels nonselective (NALCNs), whereas Mid1 is a membrane-associated protein similar to the regulatory ?2/? subunit of VGCCs and the regulatory subunit of NALCNs. Although the physiological roles of Cch1/Mid1 channels are known, their molecular regulation remains elusive, including subunit interactions regulating channel functionality. Herein, we identify amino acid residues involved in interactions between the pore-forming Cch1 subunit and the essential regulatory Mid1 subunit of Saccharomyces cerevisiae In vitro mutagenesis followed by functional assays and co-immunoprecipitation experiments reveal that three residues present in a specific extracellular loop in the repeat III region of Cch1 are required for interaction with Mid1, and that one essential Mid1 residue is required for interaction with Cch1. Importantly, these residues are necessary for Ca2+ channel activity and are highly conserved in fungal and animal counterparts. We discuss that this unique subunit interaction-based regulatory mechanism for Cch1 differs from that of VGCCs/NALCNs.
Project description:Calcium (Ca(2+))-mediated signaling events in fungal pathogens such as Cryptococcus neoformans are central to physiological processes, including those that mediate stress responses and promote virulence. The Cch1-Mid1 channel (CMC) represents the only high-affinity Ca(2+) channel in the plasma membrane of fungal cells; consequently, cryptococci cannot survive in low-Ca(2+) environments in the absence of CMC. Previous electrophysiological characterization revealed that Cch1, the predicted channel pore, and Mid1, a binding partner of Cch1, function as a store-operated Ca(2+)-selective channel gated by depletion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca(2+) stores. Cryptococci lacking CMC did not survive ER stress, indicating its critical role in restoring Ca(2+) homeostasis. Despite the requirement for Mid1 in promoting Ca(2+) influx via Cch1, identification of the role of Mid1 remains elusive. Here we show that the C-terminal tail of Mid1 is a modulatory region that impinges on Cch1 channel activity directly and mediates the trafficking of Mid1 to the plasma membrane. This region consists of the last 24 residues of Mid1, and the functional expression of Mid1 in a human embryonic cell line (HEK293) and in C. neoformans is dependent on this domain. Substitutions of arginine (R619A) or cysteine (C621A) in the modulatory region failed to target Mid1 to the plasma membrane and prevented CMC activity. Interestingly, loss of a predicted protein kinase C (PKC)-phosphorylated serine residue (S605A) had no effect on Mid1 trafficking but did alter the kinetics of Cch1 channel activity. Thus, establishment of Ca(2+) homeostasis in C. neoformans is dependent on a modulatory domain of Mid1.
Project description:Pathogenic fungi have developed mechanisms to cope with stresses imposed by hosts. For Cryptococcus spp., this implies active defense mechanisms that attenuate and ultimately overcome the onslaught of oxidative stresses in macrophages. Among cellular pathways within Cryptococcus neoformans' arsenal is the plasma membrane high-affinity Cch1-Mid1 calcium (Ca(2+)) channel (CMC). Here we show that CMC has an unexpectedly complex and disparate role in mitigating oxidative stress. Upon inhibiting the Ccp1-mediated oxidative response pathway with antimycin, strains of C. neoformans expressing only Mid1 displayed enhanced growth, but this was significantly attenuated upon H2O2 exposure in the absence of Mid1, suggesting a regulatory role for Mid1 acting through the Ccp1-mediated oxidative stress response. This notion is further supported by the interaction detected between Mid1 and Ccp1 (cytochrome c peroxidase). In contrast, Cch1 appears to have a more general role in promoting cryptococci survival during oxidative stress. A strain lacking Cch1 displayed a growth defect in the presence of H2O2 without BAPTA [(1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, cesium salt] or additional stressors such as antimycin. Consistent with a greater contribution of Cch1 to oxidative stress tolerance, an intracellular growth defect was observed for the cch1? strain in the macrophage cell line J774A.1. Interestingly, while the absence of either Mid1 or Cch1 significantly compromises the ability of C. neoformans to tolerate oxidative stress, the absence of both Mid1 and Cch1 has a negligible effect on C. neoformans growth during H2O2 stress, suggesting the existence of a compensatory mechanism that becomes active in the absence of CMC.
Project description:Increased drug resistance in Candida glabrata (a model non-albicans Candida) calls for the identification of potential molecular targets for the development of effective drugs. Hypoxia (a state of low oxygen) is an important host factor, which affects the virulence of the pathogen and efficacy of drugs. In the present study, in vitro characterization of 13 null mutants of C. glabrata were done under hypoxic condition (1% O2). These mutants have a major role to play in cellular pathways, viability and pathogenesis (cell wall biosynthesis, ergosterol synthesis, calcium-calcineurin, etc.). The in vitro growth, biofilm formation and susceptibility of biofilm to antifungal drugs of these mutants were compared with the control. Hypoxia reduced the susceptibility of planktonic cells to fluconazole. The mutants ecm33?, kre1?, rox1?, and kre2? showed maximum reductions in their biofilm activities (>20%). The selected mutants (upc2B?, kre2 ?, ecm7?, rox1 ?, mid1?, ecm33?, cch1?, kre1?) showed reduced biofilm activities (>30%) in the presence of 16 ?g ml-1 fluconazole under hypoxia. Functional analysis revealed that Kre1, Ecm33, Upc2B, Kre2, Ecm7, Cch1, Mid1 and Rox1 can be explored as a potential drug target for developing novel antifungal drugs.
Project description:The yeast Cch1/Mid1 Ca2+ channel is equivalent to animal voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and activated in cells incubated in low Ca2+ medium. We herein investigated the third subunit, Ecm7, under the same cell culture conditions. The deletion of ECM7 slightly lowered Ca2+ influx activity in the CNB1+ background, in which calcineurin potentially dephosphorylates Cch1, but markedly lowered this activity in the cnb1? background. The deletion of the C-terminal cytoplasmic region of Ecm7 also reduced Ca2+ influx activity. We identified a novel Cch1-interacting protein, Scs2, which is known as a cortical endoplasmic reticulum membrane protein. The deletion of SCS2 did not affect Ca2+ influx activity when calcineurin was inhibited by FK506, but enhanced this activity by 35% when the enzyme was not inhibited. However, this enhancement was canceled by the deletion of ECM7. These results suggest that Cch1/Mid1 is regulated differentially by Ecm7 and Scs2 in a manner that is dependent on the phosphorylation status of Cch1.