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Aspergillus nidulans ambient pH signaling does not require endocytosis

AuthorsLucena-Agell, Daniel; Galindo, Antonio ; Arst, Herbert Nathan Jr.; Peñalva, Miguel Ángel
Issue DateJun-2015
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationEukaryot Cell 14(6):545-53 (2015)
AbstractAspergillus nidulans (Pal) ambient pH signaling takes place in cortical structures containing components of the ESCRT pathway, which are hijacked by the alkaline pH-activated, ubiquitin-modified version of the arrestin-like protein PalF and taken to the plasma membrane. There, ESCRTs scaffold the assembly of dedicated Pal proteins acting downstream. The molecular details of this pathway, which results in the two-step proteolytic processing of the transcription factor PacC, have received considerable attention due to the key role that it plays in fungal pathogenicity. While current evidence strongly indicates that the pH signaling role of ESCRT complexes is limited to plasma membrane-associated structures where PacC proteolysis would take place, the localization of the PalB protease, which almost certainly catalyzes the first and only pH-regulated proteolytic step, had not been investigated. In view of ESCRT participation, this formally leaves open the possibility that PalB activation requires endocytic internalization. As endocytosis is essential for hyphal growth, nonlethal endocytic mutations are predicted to cause an incomplete block. We used a SynA internalization assay to measure the extent to which any given mutation prevents endocytosis. We show that none of the tested mutations impairing endocytosis to different degrees, including slaB1, conditionally causing a complete block, have any effect on the activation of the pathway. We further show that PalB, like PalA and PalC, localizes to cortical structures in an alkaline pH-dependent manner. Therefore, signaling through the Pal pathway does not involve endocytosis.
Description9 p.-6 fig.-1 tab.
Publisher version (URL)https://dx.doi.org/10.1128/EC.00031-15
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