Functional characterization of the sterigmatocystin secondary metabolite gene cluster in the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina: involvement in oxidative stress response, sexual development, pigmentation and interspecific competitions.
Shen Ling,Porée François-Hugues,Gaslonde Thomas,Lalucque Hervé,Chapeland-Leclerc Florence,Ruprich-Robert Gwenaël
Filamentous fungi are known as prolific untapped reservoirs of diverse secondary metabolites, where genes required for their synthesis are organized in clusters. The bioactive properties of these compounds are closely related to their functions in fungal biology, which are not well understood. In this study, we focused on the Podospora anserina gene cluster responsible for the biosynthesis of sterigmatocystin (ST). Deletion of the PaStcA gene encoding the polyketide synthase and overexpression (OE) of the PaAflR gene encoding the ST-specific transcription factor in P. anserina were performed. We showed that growth of PaStcA was inhibited in the presence of methylglyoxal, while OE-PaAflR showed a little inhibition, indicating that ST production may enhance oxidative stress tolerance in P. anserina. We also showed that the OE-PaAflR strain displayed an overpigmented thallus mediated by the melanin pathway. Overexpression of PaAflR also led to sterility. Interspecific confrontation assays showed that ST-overexpressed strains produced a high level of peroxides and possessed a higher competitiveness against other fungi. Comparative metabolite profiling demonstrated that PaStcA strain was unable to produce ST, while OE-PaAflR displayed a ST overproduction. This study contributes to a better understanding of ST in P. anserina, especially with regard to its involvement in fungal physiology.
The msh1 gene is responsible for short life span mutant natural death and functions to maintain mitochondrial DNA integrity.
Endo Mitsuyoshi,Yokoi Takato,Hatazawa Suguru,Kojima Yuna,Takahama Shiena,Yoshihara Ryouhei,Tanaka Shuuitsu,Hatakeyama Shin
Fungal genetics and biology : FG & B
Wild-type filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa continues to grow its hyphae for a very lengthy period of time (>2 years), whereas mutations at the natural death (nd) locus shorten life span (approximately 20 days). By positional cloning based on heat augmented mutagen sensitivity of the nd strain, we identified a nonsense mutation in the msh1 gene, an eukaryotic homolog of bacterial MutS, and this mutation resulted in encoding non-functional polypeptide. By tagging with GFP, subcellular localization of the MSH1 protein in the mitochondria was observed, and knock out of the msh1 gene caused severe growth deficiency accompanying mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) aberrations such as large-scale mtDNA deletions and rearrangements as seen in the nd strain. These results suggested that MSH1 may maintain mtDNA integrity. Thus, loss of function compromises mtDNA, leading to the acceleration of cellular aging.
Octodon degus: a natural model of multimorbidity for ageing research.
Cuenca-Bermejo Lorena,Pizzichini Elisa,Gonzalez-Cuello Ana Maria,De Stefano Maria Egle,Fernandez-Villalba Emiliano,Herrero María-Trinidad
Ageing research reviews
Integrating the multifactorial processes co-occurring in both physiological and pathological human conditions still remains one of the main challenges in translational investigation. Moreover, the impact of age-associated disorders has increased, which underlines the urgent need to find a feasible model that could help in the development of successful therapies. In this sense, the Octodon degus has been indicated as a 'natural' model in many biomedical areas, especially in ageing. This rodent shows complex social interactions and high sensitiveness to early-stressful events, which have been used to investigate neurodevelopmental processes. Interestingly, a high genetic similarity with some key proteins implicated in human diseases, such as apolipoprotein-E, β-amyloid or insulin, has been demonstrated. On the other hand, the fact that this animal is diurnal has provided important contribution in the field of circadian biology. Concerning age-related diseases, this rodent could be a good model of multimorbidity since it naturally develops cognitive decline, neurodegenerative histopathological hallmarks, visual degeneration, type II diabetes, endocrinological and metabolic dysfunctions, neoplasias and kidneys alterations. In this review we have collected and summarized the studies performed on the Octodon degus through the years that support its use as a model for biomedical research, with a special focus on ageing.