Characterization and submitochondrial localization of the alpha subunit of the mitochondrial processing peptidase from the aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii.
In an effort to investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for the drastic morphological changes the mitochondria go through during the life cycle of the aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii, the gene encoding the alpha subunit of the mitochondrial processing peptidase (alpha-MPP) was isolated. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that the predicted alpha-MPP polypeptide comprises 474 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 51,900 Da, presenting a characteristic mitochondrial signal sequence. Northern blot analysis indicated a single 1.4-kb transcript encoding the B. emersonii alpha-MPP, whose levels decrease during sporulation, becoming very low in the zoospore, and increase again during germination. Despite these variations in mRNA concentration, B. emersonii alpha-MPP protein levels do not change significantly during the life cycle of the fungus, as observed in Western blots. Experiments to investigate the submitochondrial localization of B. emersonii alpha-MPP and beta-MPP were also carried out, and the results indicated that both subunits are associated with the mitochondrial inner membrane, possibly as part of the bc1 complex, as described for plants. (+info)
Searching for the role of protein phosphatases in eukaryotic microorganisms.
Preference for specific protein substrates together with differential sensitivity to activators and inhibitors has allowed classification of serine/threonine protein phosphatases (PPs) into four major types designated types 1, 2A, 2B and 2C (PP1, PP2A, PP2B and PP2C, respectively). Comparison of sequences within their catalytic domains has indicated that PP1, PP2A and PP2B are members of the same gene family named PPP. On the other hand, the type 2C enzyme does not share sequence homology with the PPP members and thus represents another gene family, known as PPM. In this report we briefly summarize some of our studies about the role of serine/threonine phosphatases in growth and differentiation of three different eukaryotic models: Blastocladiella emersonii, Neurospora crassa and Dictyostelium discoideum. Our observations suggest that PP2C is the major phosphatase responsible for dephosphorylation of amidotransferase, an enzyme that controls cell wall synthesis during Blastocladiella emersonii zoospore germination. We also report the existence of a novel acid- and thermo-stable protein purified from Neurospora crassa mycelia, which specifically inhibits the PP1 activity of this fungus and mammals. Finally, we comment on our recent results demonstrating that Dictyostelium discoideum expresses a gene that codes for PP1, although this activity has never been demonstrated biochemically in this organism. (+info)
Chitin biosynthesis during Blastocladiella zoospore germination: evidence that the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway is post-translationally activated during cell differentiation.
De novo construction of a chitinous cell wall accompanies Blastocladiella emersonii zoospore germination. At least an order of magnitude increase in total hexosamine occurs during germination. This increase is into polymer (chitin) and occurs on schedule in the presence of cycloheximide. Uridine-5'-diphospho-N-acetylglucosamine (UDPGlcNAc), both the end product of hexosamine biosynthesis and a substrate for chitin biosynthesis, is a potent inhibitor of the activity of the first pathway-specific enzyme of hexosamine biosynthesis in zoospore extracts. Certain uridine nucleotides, not perceptibly influencing the activity of the first enzyme per se, counteract the inhibitory effects of UDPGlcNAc. The concentration of UDPGlcNAc in the zoospore is sufficient to act as an inhibitor of the enzyme, but the amount of UDPGlcNAc is sufficient, by over an order of magnitude, to account for the chitin synthesized during germination. Both the production of UDPGlcNAc and its utilization for chitin synthesis appear to be post-translationally regulated in zoospores and during zoospore germination. (+info)
Structure, expression, and functional analysis of the gene coding for calmodulin in the chytridiomycete Blastocladiella emersonii.
The single calmodulin (CaM) gene and the corresponding cDNA of the chytridiomycete Blastocladiella emersonii were isolated and characterized. The CaM gene is interrupted by three introns and transcribed in a single 0.7-kb mRNA species encoding a predicted protein 91% identical to human CaM. B. emersonii CaM has been expressed in Escherichia coli as a fusion protein with gluthatione S-transferase (GST) and purified by affinity chromatography and cleavage from the GST portion using a site-specific protease. In the presence of Ca(2+), B. emersonii CaM exhibited a shift in apparent molecular mass similar to that observed with bovine CaM and was able to activate the autophosphorylation of CaM-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) from rat brain. CaM expression is developmentally regulated in B. emersonii, with CaM mRNA and protein concentrations increasing during sporulation to maximum levels observed just prior to the release of the zoospores into the medium. Both CaM protein and mRNA levels decrease drastically at the zoospore stage, increasing again during germination. The CaM antagonists compound 48/80, calmidazolium, and W7 were shown to completely inhibit B. emersonii sporulation when added to the cultures at least 120, 150, and 180 min after induction, respectively. All these drugs also inhibited growth and zoospore production in this fungus. The Ca(2+) channel blocker TMB-8 and the CaMKII inhibitor KN93 completely inhibited sporulation if added up to 60 min after induction of this stage, but only KN93 affected fungal growth. The data presented suggest that the Ca(2+)-CaM complex and CaMKII play an important role during growth and sporulation in B. emersonii. (+info)
Esterase activity during the life cycle of Blastocladiella emersonii.
Total esterase activity was measured in extracts on Blastocladiella throughout its life cycle by the degradation of alpha-naphthyl acetate. A fivefold incease in activity, apparently due to the synthesis of new enzymes, was found during sporulation. (+info)
Characterization and expression of two genes encoding isoforms of a putative Na, K-ATPase in the chytridiomycete Blastocladiella emersonii.
A P-type ATPase gene (BePAT1) from the aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii, which surprisingly showed high similarity with the alpha-subunit of Na, K-ATPases from animal cells, has been reported recently [Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1383 (1998) 183]. In the present study, we describe the characterization of a second gene, denominated BePAT2, and show that these two genes have a different intron-exon structure but encode putative proteins with greater than 90% amino acid identity. Northern blot and multiplex reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays have revealed that BePAT1 and BePAT2 genes have a non-coordinate, developmentally regulated expression during B. emersonii life cycle. Phosphoenzyme formation experiments using the immunopurified enzymes have indicated the presence of a Na, K-ATPase-like activity. Furthermore, immunofluorescence studies using B. emersonii zoospores localized the ATPases on the plasma membrane of these cells. (+info)
Cloning and structural analysis of the gene for the regulatory subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase in Blastocladiella emersonii.
We have isolated and characterized cDNA and genomic DNA clones encoding the regulatory subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase in the aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii. Nucleotide sequence analysis has shown that the predicted protein comprises 403 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 44,263 Da and an overall 40% identity to mammalian RII subunits, including a serine in the phosphorylation site, which confirms the Blastocladiella protein as a type II regulatory subunit. The B. emersonii R gene presents two introns, one located in the 5'-noncoding region, whereas the other interrupts the coding region, just after the dimerization domain of the protein. The promoter region does not contain recognizable TATA or CCAAT sequences and is very GC rich, a characteristic shared by mammalian cAMP-dependent protein kinase subunit genes previously analyzed. S1 mapping and primer extension experiments revealed multiple transcription initiation sites. Several sequence motifs were identified in the 5'-flanking region which could be responsible for the regulation of this gene. (+info)
Gene discovery and expression profile analysis through sequencing of expressed sequence tags from different developmental stages of the chytridiomycete Blastocladiella emersonii.
Blastocladiella emersonii is an aquatic fungus of the chytridiomycete class which diverged early from the fungal lineage and is notable for the morphogenetic processes which occur during its life cycle. Its particular taxonomic position makes this fungus an interesting system to be considered when investigating phylogenetic relationships and studying the biology of lower fungi. To contribute to the understanding of the complexity of the B. emersonii genome, we present here a survey of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from various stages of the fungal development. Nearly 20,000 cDNA clones from 10 different libraries were partially sequenced from their 5' end, yielding 16,984 high-quality ESTs. These ESTs were assembled into 4,873 putative transcripts, of which 48% presented no matches with existing sequences in public databases. As a result of Gene Ontology (GO) project annotation, 1,680 ESTs (35%) were classified into biological processes of the GO structure, with transcription and RNA processing, protein biosynthesis, and transport as prevalent processes. We also report full-length sequences, useful for construction of molecular phylogenies, and several ESTs that showed high similarity with known proteins, some of which were not previously described in fungi. Furthermore, we analyzed the expression profile (digital Northern analysis) of each transcript throughout the life cycle of the fungus using Bayesian statistics. The in silico approach was validated by Northern blot analysis with good agreement between the two methodologies. (+info)