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Current Genetics

Lauren Hinkel, Manuel D Ospina-Giraldo
Although chitin is a major component of the fungal cell wall, in oomycetes (fungal-like organisms), this compound has only been found in very little amounts, mostly in the cell wall of members of the genera Achlya and Saprolegnia. In the oomycetes Phytophthora infestans and P. sojae the presence of chitin has not been demonstrated; however, the gene putatively encoding chitin synthase (CHS), the enzyme that synthesizes chitin, is present in their genomes. The evolutionary significance of the CHS gene in P. infestans and P...
March 17, 2017: Current Genetics
Ryo Matsuo, Shogo Mizobuchi, Maya Nakashima, Kensuke Miki, Dai Ayusawa, Michihiko Fujii
Oxygen is essential for aerobic organisms but causes cytotoxicity probably through the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study, we screened for the genes that regulate oxidative stress in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and found that expression of CTH2/TIS11 caused an increased resistance to ROS. CTH2 is up-regulated upon iron starvation and functions to remodel metabolism to adapt to iron starvation. We showed here that increased resistance to ROS by CTH2 would likely be caused by the decreased ROS production due to the decreased activity of mitochondrial respiration, which observation is consistent with the fact that CTH2 down-regulates the mitochondrial respiratory proteins...
March 13, 2017: Current Genetics
Ayyappa Kumar Sista Kameshwar, Wensheng Qin
Lignin, most complex and abundant biopolymer on the earth's surface, attains its stability from intricate polyphenolic units and non-phenolic bonds, making it difficult to depolymerize or separate from other units of biomass. Eccentric lignin degrading ability and availability of annotated genome make Phanerochaete chrysosporium ideal for studying lignin degrading mechanisms. Decoding and understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the process of lignin degradation will significantly aid the progressing biofuel industries and lead to the production of commercially vital platform chemicals...
March 8, 2017: Current Genetics
Christina M Kelliher, Steven B Haase
Proliferation and host evasion are critical processes to understand at a basic biological level for improving infectious disease treatment options. The human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans causes fungal meningitis in immunocompromised individuals by proliferating in cerebrospinal fluid. Current antifungal drugs target "virulence factors" for disease, such as components of the cell wall and polysaccharide capsule in C. neoformans. However, mechanistic links between virulence pathways and the cell cycle are not as well studied...
March 6, 2017: Current Genetics
Ananya Barman, Ranjan Tamuli
We investigated phenotypes of the double mutants of the calcium (Ca(2+)) signaling genes plc-1, splA2, and cpe-1 encoding for a phospholipase C1 (PLC-1), a secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2), and a Ca(2+)/H(+) exchanger (CPE-1), respectively, to understand the cell functions regulated by their genetic interactions. Mutants lacking plc-1 and either splA2 or cpe-1 exhibited numerous defects including reduced colonial growth, stunted aerial hyphae, premature conidiation on plates with delayed germination, inappropriate conidiation in submerged culture, and lesser mycelial pigmentation...
March 6, 2017: Current Genetics
Alexey P Galkin
Discovery of prions-proteins that are able to convert between structurally distinct states, of which one or more is transmissible, led to the concept of "protein-based inheritance". According to this concept, the formation of prion fibrils causes DNA-independent heritable traits in microorganisms. Recently, we described a new and unusual type of prion inheritance. We showed that the yeast prions [PIN (+)] and [SWI (+)], like classical genes, demonstrate complementary interaction that causes a phenotypic change in yeast cells...
March 4, 2017: Current Genetics
Revathi S Iyer, Paike Jayadeva Bhat
Diploid cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae undergo pseudohyphal differentiation in response to nutrient depletion. Although this dimorphic transition occurs due to signals originating from carbon and nitrogen limitation, how these signals are coordinated and integrated is not understood. Results of this study indicate that the pseudohyphal defect of the mep2∆ mutant is overcome upon disruption of KRH2/GPB1 but not KRH1/GPB2. Further, the agar invasion defect observed in a mep2 mutant strain is suppressed only by deleting KRH2 and not KRH1...
February 28, 2017: Current Genetics
Melanie Polke, Ilse D Jacobsen
Quorum sensing, a form of molecular communication in microbial communities, is relatively well studied in bacterial species, but poorly understood in fungi. Farnesol, a quorum sensing molecule secreted by the opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans, was the first quorum sensing molecule described in a eukaryotic organism. However, despite considerable research efforts and advances in recent years, the mechanisms behind its action remain largely elusive. Only recently, we showed that deletion of the C...
February 28, 2017: Current Genetics
Yoshifumi Oguro, Harutake Yamazaki, Satoshi Ara, Yosuke Shida, Wataru Ogasawara, Masamichi Takagi, Hiroaki Takaku
Microbial lipids are sustainable feedstock for the production of oleochemicals and biodiesel. Oleaginous yeasts have recently been proposed as alternative lipid producers to plants and animals to promote sustainability in the chemical and fuel industries. The oleaginous yeast Lipomyces starkeyi has great industrial potential as an excellent lipid producer. However, improvement of its lipid productivity is essential for the cost-effective production of oleochemicals and fuels. Genetic and metabolic engineering of L...
February 20, 2017: Current Genetics
Yoko Kusuya, Daisuke Hagiwara, Kanae Sakai, Takashi Yaguchi, Tohru Gonoi, Hiroki Takahashi
Copper (Cu) is an essential metal for all living organisms, although it is toxic in excess. Filamentous fungus must acquire copper from its environment for growth. Despite its essentiality for growth, the mechanisms that maintain copper homeostasis are not fully understood in filamentous fungus. To gain insights into copper homeostasis, we investigated the roles of a copper transcription factor Afmac1 in the life-threatening fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, a homolog of the yeast MAC1. We observed that the Afmac1 deletion mutant exhibited not only significantly slower growth, but also incomplete conidiation including a short chain of conidia and defective melanin...
February 18, 2017: Current Genetics
Ragini Rai, Shikha Laloraya
Replication of linear chromosomes is facilitated by firing of multiple replication origins that ensures timely duplication of the entire chromosome. The Smc5/6 complex is thought to play an important role in replication by its involvement in the restart of collapsed replication forks. Here, we present genetic evidence for functional interaction between replication origin distribution and two subunits of the Smc5/6 complex, Smc6 and Mms21, as well as Top1. An artificial chromosome that has a long arm having low origin density (5ori∆YAC) is relatively unstable compared to the YAC having normal origin distribution in wild-type cells, but is partially stabilized in smc6-56 and top1∆ mutants...
February 16, 2017: Current Genetics
Yung-Yu Tsai, Takao Ohashi, Takenori Kanazawa, Pirapan Polburee, Ryo Misaki, Savitree Limtong, Kazuhito Fujiyama
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 13, 2017: Current Genetics
Felix Kliewe, Maike Engelhardt, Rasha Aref, Hans-Joachim Schüller
It is generally assumed that pathway-specific transcriptional activators recruit pleiotropic coactivators (such as chromatin-modifying complexes or general transcription factors), while specific repressors contact pleiotropic corepressors creating an inaccessible chromatin by the action of histone deacetylases. We have previously shown that the negative regulator Opi1 of yeast phospholipid biosynthesis inhibits transcription by recruiting corepressors Sin3 and Cyc8 in the presence of precursor molecules inositol and choline...
February 7, 2017: Current Genetics
Kazi T Islam, Jason P Bond, Ahmad M Fakhoury
Fusarium virguliforme is a soil-borne pathogenic fungus that causes sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybean. Its pathogenicity is believed to require the activity of cell-wall-degrading enzymes (CWDEs). The sucrose non-fermenting protein kinase 1 gene (SNF1) is a key component of the glucose de-repression pathway in yeast, and a regulator of gene expression for CWDEs in some plant pathogenic fungi. To elucidate the functional role of the SNF1 homolog in F. virguliforme, FvSNF1 was disrupted using a split-marker strategy...
January 28, 2017: Current Genetics
Nasim Sabouri
Approximately, 1% of the genes in eukaryotic genomes encode for helicases, which make the number of helicases expressed in the cell considerably high. Helicases are motor proteins that participate in many central aspects of the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, and based on their helicase motif conservation, they are divided into different helicase families. The Pif1 family of helicases is an evolutionarily conserved helicase family that is associated with familial breast cancer in humans. The Schizosaccharomyces pombe Pfh1 helicase belongs to the Pif1 helicase family and is a multi-tasking helicase that is important for replication fork progression through natural fork barriers, for G-quadruplex unwinding, and for Okazaki fragment maturation, and these activities are potentially shared by the human Pif1 helicase...
January 4, 2017: Current Genetics
Inbal Herold, Oded Yarden
Impairment of the Neurospora crassa Nuclear DBF2-related kinase-encoding gene cot-1 results in pleiotropic effects, including abnormally thick hyphal cell walls and septa. An increase in the transcript abundance of genes encoding chitin and glucan synthases and the chitinase gh18-5, but not the cell wall integrity pathway transcription factor rlm-1, accompany the phenotypic changes observed. Deletion of chs-5 or chs-7 in a cot-1 background results in a reduction of hyperbranching frequency characteristic of the cot-1 parent...
February 2017: Current Genetics
Jara Radeck, Georg Fritz, Thorsten Mascher
The cell envelope stress response (CESR) encompasses all regulatory events that enable a cell to protect the integrity of its envelope, an essential structure of any bacterial cell. The underlying signaling network is particularly well understood in the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis. It consists of a number of two-component systems (2CS) and extracytoplasmic function σ factors that together regulate the production of both specific resistance determinants and general mechanisms to protect the envelope against antimicrobial peptides targeting the biogenesis of the cell wall...
February 2017: Current Genetics
Hui Kang, Daniel J Lew
Studies on a yeast cell cycle checkpoint that can delay mitosis depending on whether cells have built a bud have identified a "sensor" that seems to recognize the organization of filament-forming septin proteins. Innovative work applying correlative light and platinum replica electron microscopy suggests that the informative septin organization involves parallel alignment of septin filaments, and another striking study shows that septin filaments prefer to populate membranes that have positive micron-scale curvature...
February 2017: Current Genetics
Meng-Ting Zheng, Hui Ding, Lei Huang, Ya-Hui Wang, Mi-Na Yu, Rui Zheng, Jun-Jie Yu, Yong-Feng Liu
Ustilaginoidea virens is the causal agent of rice false smut disease resulting in quantitative and qualitative losses in rice. To gain insights into the pathogenic mechanisms of U. virens, we established a T-DNA insertion mutant library of U. virens through Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation and selected an enhanced pathogenicity mutant (i.e., B3277). We analyzed the biological characteristics of the wild-type P1 and B3277. The growth rate and sporulation of B3277 were decreased compared with those of P1; the ferrous iron could be utilized by B3277, but inhibited the growth of P1...
February 2017: Current Genetics
Rita Hõrak, Hedvig Tamman
Toxin-antitoxin (TA) loci were first described as killing systems for plasmid maintenance. The surprisingly abundant presence of TA loci in bacterial chromosomes has stimulated an extensive research in the recent decade aimed to understand the biological importance of these potentially deadly systems. Accumulating evidence suggests that the evolutionary success of genomic TA systems could be explained by their ability to increase bacterial fitness under stress conditions. While TA systems remain quiescent under favorable growth conditions, the toxins can be activated in response to stress resulting in growth suppression and development of stress-tolerant dormant state...
February 2017: Current Genetics
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