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Defining the transcriptional responses of Aspergillus nidulans to cation/alkaline pH stress and the role of the transcription factor SltA

AuthorsPicazo, Irene ; Etxebeste, Oier; Requena, Elena; Garzia, Aitor; Espeso, Eduardo A.
KeywordsAspergillus nidulans
Alkaline pH stress
Cation stress
Signal transduction
Transcriptional control
Issue Date31-Jul-2020
PublisherMicrobiology Society
CitationMicrobial Genomics (2020)
AbstractFungi have developed the ability to overcome extreme growth conditions and thrive in hostile environments. The model fungus Aspergillus nidulans tolerates, for example, ambient alkalinity up to pH 10 or molar concentrations of multiple cations. The ability to grow under alkaline pH or saline stress depends on the effective function of at least three regulatory pathways mediated by the zinc-finger transcription factor PacC, which mediates the ambient pH regulatory pathway, the calcineurin-dependent CrzA and the cation homeostasis responsive factor SltA. Using RNA sequencing, we determined the effect of external pH alkalinization or sodium stress on gene expression. The data show that each condition triggers transcriptional responses with a low degree of overlap. By sequencing the transcriptomes of the null mutant, the role of SltA in the above-mentioned homeostasis mechanisms was also studied. The results show that the transcriptional role of SltA is wider than initially expected and implies, for example, the positive control of the PacC-dependent ambient pH regulatory pathway. Overall, our data strongly suggest that the stress response pathways in fungi include some common but mostly exclusive constituents, and that there is a hierarchical relationship among the main regulators of stress response, with SltA controlling pacC expression, at least in A. nidulans.
Description18 p.-7 fig.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1099/mgen.0.000415
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