Project description:Cellulose is recalcitrant to deconstruction to glucose for use in fermentation strategies for biofuels and chemicals derived from lignocellulose. In Neurospora crassa, the transcriptional regulator, CLR-2, is required for cellulolytic gene expression and cellulose deconstruction. To assess conservation and divergence of cellulase gene regulation between fungi from different ecological niches, we compared clr-2 function with its ortholog (clrB) in the distantly related species, Aspergillus nidulans. Transcriptional profiles induced by exposure to crystalline cellulose were similar in both species. Approximately 50% of the cellulose-responsive genes showed strict dependence on functional clr-2/clrB, with a subset of 28 genes encoding plant biomass degrading enzymes that were conserved between N. crassa and A. nidulans. Importantly, misexpression of clr-2 under noninducing conditions was sufficient to drive cellulase gene expression, secretion, and activity in N. crassa, to a level comparable to wild type exposed to Avicel. However, misexpression of clrB in A. nidulans was not sufficient to drive cellulase gene expression under noninducing conditions, although an increase in cellulase activity was observed under crystalline cellulose conditions. Manipulation of clr-2 orthologs among filamentous fungi may enable regulated cellulosic enzyme production in a wide array of culture conditions and host strains, potentially reducing costs associated with enzyme production for plant cell wall deconstruction. However, this functionality may require additional engineering in some species.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Fungal deconstruction of the plant cell requires a complex orchestration of a wide array of intracellular and extracellular enzymes. In Neurospora crassa, CLR-1, CLR-2, and XLR-1 have been identified as key transcription factors regulating plant cell wall degradation in response to soluble sugars. The XLR-1 regulon was defined using a constitutively active mutant allele, resulting in hemicellulase gene expression and secretion under noninducing conditions. To define genes directly regulated by CLR-1, CLR-2, and XLR-1, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation and next-generation sequencing (ChIPseq) on epitope-tagged constructs of these three transcription factors. When N. crassa is exposed to plant cell wall material, CLR-1, CLR-2, and XLR-1 individually bind to the promoters of the most strongly induced genes in their respective regulons. These include promoters of genes encoding cellulases for CLR-1 and CLR-2 (CLR-1/CLR-2) and promoters of genes encoding hemicellulases for XLR-1. CLR-1 bound to its regulon under noninducing conditions; however, this binding alone did not translate into gene expression and enzyme secretion. Motif analysis of the bound genes revealed conserved DNA binding motifs, with the CLR-2 motif matching that of its closest paralog in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Gal4p. Coimmunoprecipitation studies showed that CLR-1 and CLR-2 act in a homocomplex but not as a CLR-1/CLR-2 heterocomplex. IMPORTANCE:Understanding fungal regulation of complex plant cell wall deconstruction pathways in response to multiple environmental signals via interconnected transcriptional circuits provides insight into fungus/plant interactions and eukaryotic nutrient sensing. Coordinated optimization of these regulatory networks is likely required for optimal microbial enzyme production.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Plant biomass degradation by fungal-derived enzymes is rapidly expanding in economic importance as a clean and efficient source for biofuels. The ability to rationally engineer filamentous fungi would facilitate biotechnological applications for degradation of plant cell wall polysaccharides. However, incomplete knowledge of biomolecular networks responsible for plant cell wall deconstruction impedes experimental efforts in this direction. RESULTS:To expand this knowledge base, a detailed network of reactions important for deconstruction of plant cell wall polysaccharides into simple sugars was constructed for the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. To reconstruct this network, information was integrated from five heterogeneous data types: functional genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, genetics, and biochemical characterizations. The combined information was encapsulated into a feature matrix and the evidence weighted to assign annotation confidence scores for each gene within the network. Comparative analyses of RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data shed light on the regulation of the plant cell wall degradation network, leading to a novel hypothesis for degradation of the hemicellulose mannan. The transcription factor CLR-2 was subsequently experimentally shown to play a key role in the mannan degradation pathway of N. crassa. CONCLUSIONS:Here we built a network that serves as a scaffold for integration of diverse experimental datasets. This approach led to the elucidation of regulatory design principles for plant cell wall deconstruction by filamentous fungi and a novel function for the transcription factor CLR-2. This expanding network will aid in efforts to rationally engineer industrially relevant hyper-production strains.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Crop residue is an abundant, low-cost plant biomass material available worldwide for use in the microbial production of enzymes, biofuels, and valuable chemicals. However, the diverse chemical composition and complex structure of crop residues are more challenging for efficient degradation by microbes than are homogeneous polysaccharides. In this study, the transcriptional responses of Neurospora crassa to various plant straws were analyzed using RNA-Seq, and novel beneficial factors for biomass-induced enzyme production were evaluated. RESULTS:Comparative transcriptional profiling of N. crassa grown on five major crop straws of China (barley, corn, rice, soybean, and wheat straws) revealed a highly overlapping group of 430 genes, the biomass commonly induced core set (BICS). A large proportion of induced carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZy) genes (82 out of 113) were also conserved across the five plant straws. Excluding 178 genes within the BICS that were also upregulated under no-carbon conditions, the remaining 252 genes were defined as the biomass regulon (BR). Interestingly, 88 genes were only induced by plant biomass and not by three individual polysaccharides (Avicel, xylan, and pectin); these were denoted as the biomass unique set (BUS). Deletion of one BUS gene, the transcriptional regulator rca-1, significantly improved lignocellulase production using plant biomass as the sole carbon source, possibly functioning via de-repression of the regulator clr-2. Thus, this result suggests that rca-1 is a potential engineering target for biorefineries, especially for plant biomass direct microbial conversion processes. CONCLUSIONS:Transcriptional profiling revealed a large core response to different sources of plant biomass in N. crassa. The sporulation regulator rca-1 was identified as beneficial for biomass-based enzyme production.
Project description:Rational engineering of filamentous fungi for improved cellulase production is hampered by our incomplete knowledge of transcriptional regulatory networks. We therefore used the model filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa to search for uncharacterized transcription factors associated with cellulose deconstruction. A screen of a N. crassa transcription factor deletion collection identified two uncharacterized zinc binuclear cluster transcription factors (clr-1 and clr-2) that were required for growth and enzymatic activity on cellulose, but were not required for growth or hemicellulase activity on xylan. Transcriptional profiling with next-generation sequencing methods refined our understanding of the N. crassa transcriptional response to cellulose and demonstrated that clr-1 and clr-2 were required for the bulk of that response, including induction of all major cellulase and some major hemicellulase genes. Functional CLR-1 was necessary for expression of clr-2 and efficient cellobiose utilization. Phylogenetic analyses showed that CLR-1 and CLR-2 are conserved in the genomes of most filamentous ascomycete fungi capable of degrading cellulose. In Aspergillus nidulans, a strain carrying a deletion of the clr-2 homolog (clrB) failed to induce cellulase gene expression and lacked cellulolytic activity on Avicel. Further manipulation of this control system in industrial production strains may significantly improve yields of cellulases for cellulosic biofuel production.
2012-01-01 | S-EPMC3358856 | BioStudies
Project description:Identification of direct target genes of the Neurospora crassa essential plant biomass deconstruction transcription factors CLR-1, CLR-2 and XLR-1
Project description:abstract: The plant cell wall is composed of many complex polymers, and its deconstruction requires an equally complex orchestration of a wide array of enzymes. In Neurospora crassa, clr-1, clr-2 and xlr-1 have been identified as the key transcription factors involved in cell wall breakdown. In order to define their regulons, we performed ChIPseq upon these three transcription factors. CLR-1, CLR-2 and XLR-1 each bind to the most highly and differentially expressed gene populations, which include the cellulases for the CLRs and the hemicellulases for XLR-1. CLR-1 also bound to its regulon under non-inducing conditions; however, this did not translate into gene expression. Motif analysis of the bound genes revealed conserved DNA binding motifs, with the CLR-2 motif matching that of its closest yeast homolog, GAL4. Co-immunoprecipitation studies were able to show that CLR-1 and CLR-2 act as homodimers. Finally, we report on a conserved XLR-1 point mutation that is sufficient to drive hemicellulase expression under non-inducing conditions. Understanding how these transcription factors work in concert to break down plant biomass can inform decisions on how to best engineer future fungal strains for decreased enzyme costs. RNAseq and ChIPseq was performed upon knockout mutants and wild type strains growing on various carbon sources to determin the role of the transcription factors CLR-1, CLR-2, and XLR-1 in plant cell wall degradation
Project description:abstract: The plant cell wall is composed of many complex polymers, and its deconstruction requires an equally complex orchestration of a wide array of enzymes. In Neurospora crassa, clr-1, clr-2 and xlr-1 have been identified as the key transcription factors involved in cell wall breakdown. In order to define their regulons, we performed ChIPseq upon these three transcription factors. CLR-1, CLR-2 and XLR-1 each bind to the most highly and differentially expressed gene populations, which include the cellulases for the CLRs and the hemicellulases for XLR-1. CLR-1 also bound to its regulon under non-inducing conditions; however, this did not translate into gene expression. Motif analysis of the bound genes revealed conserved DNA binding motifs, with the CLR-2 motif matching that of its closest yeast homolog, GAL4. Co-immunoprecipitation studies were able to show that CLR-1 and CLR-2 act as homodimers. Finally, we report on a conserved XLR-1 point mutation that is sufficient to drive hemicellulase expression under non-inducing conditions. Understanding how these transcription factors work in concert to break down plant biomass can inform decisions on how to best engineer future fungal strains for decreased enzyme costs. RNAseq and ChIPseq upon knockout mutants and sild type growing on various carbon sources to determin the role of the transcription factors: CLR-1, CLR-2, and XLR-1 in plant cell wall degradation
Project description:Cellulose, particularly the major cellulolytic product cellobiose, can induce the production of enzymes associated with deconstruction of lignocellulose in filamentous fungi. However, the detailed mechanisms underlying this biotechnologically important process remain to be disclosed. Here, the proteome response to cellobiose, crystalline cellulose (Avicel), and carbon starvation of a Neurospora crassa triple β-glucosidase mutant were compared using tandem mass tag (TMT)-based proteome quantification. Improved quantification accuracy was achieved with synchronous precursor selection (SPS)-based MS3 technology compared to MS2 using a high resolution tribrid mass spectrometer. Exposure to carbon starvation, cellobiose or Avicel induced the production of cellulase and lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase enzymes in N. crassa, as well as a cellobionic acid transporter, indicating their functional roles in the early adaptation to plant cell wall. In particular, cellobiose specifically induced the production of proteins in the functional categories of protein processing and export as well as cell wall organization. The data presented here integrates the signaling pathway associated with cellobiose transporters CDT-1 and/or CDT-2 with the direct targets of the transcription factors CLR-1, CLR-2, and XLR-1, the unfolded protein response (UPR) mediated by Ire-1/Hac-1, as well as calcium homeostasis and cell wall organization. The cellobiose-dependent response network will be useful for rational strain improvement to facilitate the production of lignocellulases in filamentous fungi and plant biomass-based products.