Proteolytic activation and inactivation of chitin synthetase from Mucor rouxii.
Crude chitin synthetase preparations from the mycelial and yeast forms of Mucor rouxii behaved differently. The mycelial preparations, incubated at 28 degrees C, lost virtually all chitin synthetase activity in a few hours; by contrast, the activity of enzyme preparations from yeast cells increased several fold during similar incubations. These spontaneous changes were probably caused by endogenous protease(s). Seemingly, the chitin synthetase in yeast preparations was present mainly in a latent, 'zymogenic', form that was activated by proteases. In the mycelial preparations, chitin synthetase was present mainly in an active state and was rapidly degraded by endogenous proteolysis. Exogenous proteases accelerated activation and destruction of chitin synthetase; an acid protease from Rhizopus chinensis was the most effective activator. The activation of chitin synthetase was inhibited by a soluble protein in the cell-free extract. Treatment with the detergent Brij 36T stabilized the chitin synthetase of crude preparations against spontaneous changes. Stabilized preparations were rapidly activated by exogenous proteases. The different behaviour of chitin synthetases in crude extracts of mycelium and yeast cells is consistent with, and perhaps partially responsible for, the differences in wall construction between mycelial and yeast forms of M. rouxii. (+info)
KNR4, a suppressor of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cwh mutants, is involved in the transcriptional control of chitin synthase genes.
The KNR4 gene, originally isolated by complementation of a K9 killer-toxin-resistant mutant displaying reduced levels of both 1,3-beta-glucan and 1,3-beta-glucan synthase activity, was recloned from a YCp50 genomic library as a suppressor of Saccharomyces cerevisiae calcofluor-white-hypersensitive (cwh) mutants. In these mutants, which were characterized by increased chitin levels, the suppressor effect of KNR4 resulted, for some of them, in a lowering of polymer content to close to wild-type level, with no effect on the contents of beta-glucan and mannan. In all cases, this effect was accompanied by a strong reduction in mRNA levels corresponding to CHS1, CHS2 and CHS3, encoding chitin synthases, without affecting expression of FKS1 and RHO1, two genes encoding the catalytic subunit and a regulatory component of 1,3-beta-glucan synthase, respectively. Overexpression of KNR4 also inhibited expression of CHS genes in wild-type strains and in two other cwh mutants, whose sensitivity to calcofluor white was not suppressed by this gene. The physiological relevance of the KNR4 transcriptional effect was addressed in two different ways. In a wild-type strain exposed to alpha-factor, overexpression of this gene inhibited CHS1 induction and delayed shmoo formation, two events which are triggered in response to the pheromone, whereas it did not affect bud formation and cell growth in a chs1 chs2 double mutant. A chimeric protein made by fusing green fluorescent protein to the C terminus of Knr4p which fully complemented a knr4delta mutation was found to localize in patches at presumptive bud sites in unbudded cells and at the incipient bud site during bud emergence. Taken together, these results demonstrate that KNR4 has a regulatory role in chitin deposition and in cell wall assembly. A mechanism by which this gene affects expression of CHS genes is proposed. (+info)
Chs7p, a new protein involved in the control of protein export from the endoplasmic reticulum that is specifically engaged in the regulation of chitin synthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae CHS7 gene encodes an integral membrane protein located in the ER which is directly involved in chitin synthesis through the regulation of chitin synthase III (CSIII) activity. In the absence of CHS7 product, Chs3p, but not other secreted proteins, is retained in the ER, leading to a severe defect in CSIII activity and consequently, to a reduced rate of chitin synthesis. In addition, chs7 null mutants show the yeast phenotypes associated with a lack of chitin: reduced mating efficiency and lack of the chitosan ascospore layer, clear indications of Chs7p function throughout the S. cerevisiae biological cycle. CHS3 overexpression does not lead to increased levels of CSIII because the Chs3p excess is retained in the ER. However, joint overexpression of CHS3 and CHS7 increases the export of Chs3p from the ER and this is accompanied by a concomitant increase in CSIII activity, indicating that the amount of Chs7p is a limiting factor for CSIII activity. Accordingly, CHS7 transcription is increased when elevated amounts of chitin synthesis are detected. These results show that Chs7p forms part of a new mechanism specifically involved in Chs3p export from the ER and consequently, in the regulation of CSIII activity. (+info)
Proliferation of intrahyphal hyphae caused by disruption of csmA, which encodes a class V chitin synthase with a myosin motor-like domain in Aspergillus nidulans.
We have found that the Aspergillus nidulans csmA gene encodes a novel protein which consists of an N-terminal myosin motor-like domain and a C-terminal chitin synthase domain (M. Fujiwara, H. Horiuchi, A. Ohta, and M. Takagi, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 236:75-78, 1997). To clarify the roles of csmA in fungal morphogenesis, we constructed csmA null mutants. The growth rate of the mutant colonies was almost the same as that of the wild-type strain, but hyphal growth was severely inhibited when a chitin-binding reagent, Calcofluor white or Congo red, was added to the medium. Moreover, morphological abnormalities in tip growth and septum formation were identified microscopically. Proliferation of intracellular new hyphae, called intrahyphal hyphae, which behaved as intrinsic hyphae, was the most striking phenotypic feature among them. These phenotypes were not suppressed when the only chitin synthase domain of csmA was expressed under the control of the alcA promoter, whereas they were suppressed when the intact form of csmA was expressed. Therefore, it was concluded that the product of csmA (CsmA) has important roles in polarized cell wall synthesis and maintenance of cell wall integrity and that the myosin motor-like domain is indispensable for these functions. (+info)
Differential inhibitory effects of protoberberines on sterol and chitin biosyntheses in Candida albicans.
The anti-Candida potentials of 12 Korean medicinal plants were explored: methanol extracts from Coptis rhizoma and Phellodendron amurense caused significant inhibition of growth of Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei and Candida parapsilosis. The predominant active components of the extracts were the protoberberines berberine and palmatine; the most potent inhibition of growth was exhibited by berberine on C. krusei (MIC <4 mg/L) and palmatine on C. parapsilosis (MIC 16 mg/L). Both berberine and palmatine inhibited the in-vivo rate of incorporation of L-[methyl-14C]methionine into C-24 of ergosterol in C. albicans (50% inhibition concentration (IC50 values), 25 microM and 300 microM, respectively); this result suggests that sterol 24-methyl transferase (24-SMT) is one of the cellular targets for the antifungal activity of the protoberberines. In-vitro 24-SMT activity in microsomes from the yeast growth form of C. albicans was inhibited by both berberine (inhibition constant (Ki) 232 microM) and palmatine (Ki 257 microM) in a non-competitive manner; inhibition of 24-SMT was more marked for the mycelial form than for the yeast growth form of this organism. Palmatine inhibited chitin synthase from both the yeast and mycelial growth phases of C. albicans in a non-competitive manner (Ki 780 microM). The effects of protoberberines, extracted from established medicinal plants, on both sterol and cell wall biosyntheses in pathogenic fungi indicate that the potential of these compounds, or their semi-synthetic derivatives, as a novel class of antifungal agents should be investigated more fully. (+info)
The Candida albicans CHS4 gene complements a Saccharomyces cerevisiae skt5/chs4 mutation and is involved in chitin biosynthesis.
The Candida albicans CHS4 gene encoding chitin synthase 4 has been isolated using the Saccharomyces cerevisiae CHS4/SKT5 gene as a probe. The gene contains a 2061 bp open reading frame capable of encoding a protein of 687 amino acids (76053 Da). No intron was observed in the gene. Disruption of CHS4 in C. albicans yielded a Calcofluor-resistant phenotype, indicating that Chs4p contributes to chitin biosynthesis. Consistent with this, overexpression of Chs4p under the regulation of the ScGAL1 promoter enhanced chitin synthase 3 activity in S. cerevisiae 7- to 38-fold. In addition, chs3 and chs4 null mutants were significantly defective in Calcofluor white staining and their chitin content was 10% of that of the parental strain. Chs4p of C. albicans and S. cerevisiae showed 61% identity in the C-terminal half of the proteins and that region of C. albicans Chs4p complemented the Chs4p function of a mutant of S. cerevisiae resistant to Calcofluor white. Therefore, it appears that Chs4p is involved in chitin synthase 3 activity by combining with Chs3p to interact synergistically in chitin biosynthesis. (+info)
Active site determination of yeast geranylgeranyl protein transferase type I expressed in Escherichia coli.
The ram2 and cal1 genes encode the alpha and beta subunits of yeast geranylgeranyl protein transferase type I (GGPT-I), respectively. Arginine 166 of the beta subunit was changed to isoleucine (betaR166I), histidine 216 to aspartic acid (betaH216D), and asparagine 282 to alanine (betaN282A) by sequential PCR using mutagenic primers. The mutants were expressed under the same conditions as the wild-type and were assayed for GGPT-I activity. Wild-type yeast GGPT-I, alphaH145D, alphaD140N, betaR166I, betaH216D and betaN282A mutant GGPT-Is were partially purified by ammonium sulfate fractionation followed by a Q-Sepharose column. Characterization studies were performed using the active fraction of the Q-Sepharose column. In the chemical modification reactions, the catalytic activity of purified enzyme decreased in proportion to the concentration of modifying reagents, such as phenylglyoxal and diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC). Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) protected the enzyme activity from the modification with phenylglyoxal. The measurement of GGPP binding to wild-type and five mutant GGPT-Is was performed by a gel-filtration assay. The binding of GGPP to the betaR166I mutant was low and the Km value for GGPP in the betaR166I mutant increased about 29-fold. Therefore, the results suggest a role for this arginine residue that directly influences the GGPP binding. The activity of the DEPC-modified GGPT-I was inhibited by 80% at 5 mM DEPC. The differential absorption at 242 nm may suggest that at this concentration the modified histidine residues were 1.5 mol per GGPT-I. The protein substrate, glutathione S-transferase fused undecapeptide (GST-CAIL) protected the enzyme from inactivation by DEPC, and the Km value for GST-CAIL in the betaH216D mutant increased about 12-fold. The trypsin digestion of [14C]DEPC-modified enzyme yielded a single radioactive peptide. As a result of the sequence of this radioactive peptide, the histidine 216 residue was assumed to be an essential part of binding of peptide substrate. (+info)
Chitin synthase III: synthetic lethal mutants and "stress related" chitin synthesis that bypasses the CSD3/CHS6 localization pathway.
We screened Saccharomyces strains for mutants that are synthetically lethal with deletion of the major chitin synthase gene CHS3. In addition to finding, not surprisingly, that mutations in major cell wall-related genes such as FKS1 (glucan synthase) and mutations in any of the Golgi glycosylation complex genes (MNN9 family) are lethal in combination with chs3Delta, we found that a mutation in Srv2p, a bifunctional regulatory gene, is notably lethal in the chs3 deletion. In extending studies of fks1-chitin synthase 3 interactions, we made the surprising discovery that deletion of CSD3/CHS6, a gene normally required for Chs3p delivery and activity in vivo, was not lethal with fks1 and, in fact, that lack of Csd3p/Chs6p did not decrease the high level of stress-related chitin made in the fks1 mutant. This finding suggests that "stress response" chitin synthesis proceeds through an alternate Chs3p targeting pathway. (+info)