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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1128/MBIO.03419-20

Chitosan and Chitin Deacetylase Activity Are Necessary for Development and Virulence of Ustilago maydis.

02 Mar 2021-Mbio (American Society for Microbiology)-Vol. 12, Iss: 2
Abstract: The biotrophic fungus Ustilago maydis harbors a chitin deacetylase (CDA) family of six active genes as well as one pseudogene which are differentially expressed during colonization. This includes one secreted soluble CDA (Cda4) and five putatively glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored CDAs, of which Cda7 belongs to a new class of fungal CDAs. Here, we provide a comprehensive functional study of the entire family. While budding cells of U. maydis showed a discrete pattern of chitosan staining, biotrophic hyphae appeared surrounded by a chitosan layer. We purified all six active CDAs and show their activity on different chitin substrates. Single as well as multiple cda mutants were generated and revealed a virulence defect for mutants lacking cda7 We implicated cda4 in production of the chitosan layer surrounding biotrophic hyphae and demonstrated that the loss of this layer does not reduce virulence. By combining different cda mutations, we detected redundancy as well as specific functions for certain CDAs. Specifically, certain combinations of mutations significantly affected virulence concomitantly with reduced adherence, appressorium formation, penetration, and activation of plant defenses. Attempts to inactivate all seven cda genes simultaneously were unsuccessful, and induced depletion of cda2 in a background lacking the other six cda genes illustrated an essential role of chitosan for cell wall integrity.IMPORTANCE The basidiomycete Ustilago maydis causes smut disease in maize, causing substantial losses in world corn production. This nonobligate pathogen penetrates the plant cell wall with the help of appressoria and then establishes an extensive biotrophic interaction, where the hyphae are tightly encased by the plant plasma membrane. For successful invasion and development in plant tissue, recognition of conserved fungal cell wall components such as chitin by the plant immune system needs to be avoided or suppressed. One strategy to achieve this lies in the modification of chitin to chitosan by chitin deacetylases (CDAs). U. maydis has seven cda genes. This study reveals discrete as well as redundant contributions of these genes to virulence as well as to cell wall integrity. Unexpectedly, the inactivation of all seven genes is not tolerated, revealing an essential role of chitosan for viability.

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Topics: Chitin deacetylase (57%), Ustilago (53%), Chitin (52%) ... read more
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6 results found


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.11.02.466889
Lay-Sun Ma1, Wei-Lun Tsai1, Raviraj M. Kalunke2, Raviraj M. Kalunke1  +4 moreInstitutions (2)
02 Nov 2021-bioRxiv
Abstract: Adapted plant pathogenic fungi deacetylate chitin to chitosan to avoid host perception and disarm the chitin-triggered plant immunity. Whether plants have evolved factors to counteract this fungal evasion mechanism in the plant-pathogen interface remains obscure. Here, we decipher the underlying mechanism of maize cysteine-rich receptor-like secreted proteins (CRRSPs)- AFP1, which exhibits mannose-binding dependent antifungal activity. AFP1 initials the action by binding to specific sites on the surface of yeast-like cells, filaments, and germinated spores of the biotrophic fungi Ustilago maydis. This could result in fungal cell growth and cell budding inhibition, delaying spore germination and subsequently reducing fungal viability in a mannose-binding dependence manner. The antifungal activity of AFP1 is conferred by its interaction with the PMT-dependent mannosylated chitin deacetylases (CDAs) and interfering with the conversion of chitin. Our finding that AFP1 targets CDAs from pathogenic fungi and nonpathogenic budding yeast suggests a potential application of the CRRSP in combating fungal diseases and reducing threats posed by the fungal kingdom.

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Topics: Spore germination (55%), Chitin (53%), Ustilago (51%)

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/JOF7100862
14 Oct 2021-Journal of Fungi
Abstract: Strain degeneration has been defined as a decrease or loss in the yield of important commercial traits resulting from subsequent culture, which ultimately leads to Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production. Pleurotus ostreatus is a lignin-producing nematophagous edible mushroom. Mycelia for mushroom production are usually maintained in subsequent culture in solid media and frequently show symptoms of strain degeneration. The dikaryotic strain P. ostreatus (DkN001) has been used in our lab as a model organism for different purposes. Hence, different tools have been developed to uncover genetic and molecular aspects of this fungus. In this work, strain degeneration was studied in a full-sib monokaryotic progeny of the DkN001 strain with fast (F) and slow (S) growth rates by using different experimental approaches (light microscopy, malondialdehyde levels, whole-genome transcriptome analysis, and chitosan effect on monokaryotic mycelia). The results obtained showed that: (i) strain degeneration in P. ostreatus is linked to oxidative stress, (ii) the oxidative stress response in monokaryons is genotype dependent, (iii) stress and detoxifying genes are highly expressed in S monokaryons with symptoms of strain degeneration, (iv) chitosan addition to F and S monokaryons uncovered the constitutive expression of both oxidative stress and cellular detoxifying genes in S monokaryon strains which suggest their adaptation to oxidative stress, and (v) the overexpression of the cell wall genes, Uap1 and Cda1, in S monokaryons with strain degeneration phenotype indicates cell wall reshaping and the activation of High Osmolarity Glycerol (HOG) and Cell Wall Integrity (CWI) pathways. These results could constitute a hallmark for mushroom producers to distinguish strain degeneration in commercial mushrooms.

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Topics: Pleurotus ostreatus (51%), Oxidative stress (51%), Dikaryon (50%)

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/JIPB.13162
Abstract: Phytopathogenic fungi secrete a large arsenal of effector molecules, including proteinaceous effectors, small RNAs, phytohormones and derivatives thereof. The pathogenicity of fungal pathogens is primarily determined by these effectors that are secreted into host cells to undermine innate immunity, as well as to facilitate the acquisition of nutrients for their in planta growth and proliferation. After conventional and non-conventional secretion, fungal effectors are translocated into different subcellular compartments of the host cells to interfere with various biological processes. In extracellular spaces, apoplastic effectors cope with physical and chemical barriers to break the first line of plant defenses. Intracellular effectors target essential immune components on the plasma membrane, in the cytosol, including cytosolic organelles, and in the nucleus to suppress host immunity and reprogram host physiology, favoring pathogen colonization. In this review, we comprehensively summarize the recent advances in fungal effector biology, with a focus on the versatile virulence functions of fungal effectors in promoting pathogen infection and colonization. A perspective of future research on fungal effector biology is also discussed.

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Topics: Effector (55%), Innate immune system (51%)

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/JOF7121009
25 Nov 2021-Journal of Fungi
Abstract: Fungicide resistance is a serious problem for agriculture. This is particularly apparent in the case of powdery mildew fungi. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new agrochemicals. Chitin is a well-known elicitor of plant immunity, and fungal pathogens have evolved strategies to overcome its detection. Among these strategies, chitin deacetylase (CDA) is responsible for modifying immunogenic chitooligomers and hydrolysing the acetamido group in the N-acetylglucosamine units to avoid recognition. In this work, we tested the hypothesis that CDA can be an appropriate target for antifungals using the cucurbit powdery mildew pathogen Podosphaera xanthii. According to our hypothesis, RNAi silencing of PxCDA resulted in a dramatic reduction in fungal growth that was linked to a rapid elicitation of chitin-triggered immunity. Similar results were obtained with treatments with carboxylic acids such as EDTA, a well-known CDA inhibitor. The disease-suppression activity of EDTA was not associated with its chelating activity since other chelating agents did not suppress disease. The binding of EDTA to CDA was confirmed by molecular docking studies. Furthermore, EDTA also suppressed green and grey mould-causing pathogens applied to oranges and strawberries, respectively. Our results conclusively show that CDA is a promising target for control of phytopathogenic fungi and that EDTA could be a starting point for fungicide design.

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Topics: Chitin deacetylase (54%), Powdery mildew (51%), Fungicide (51%)

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.JBC.2021.101129
Martin Bonin1, Lisanne Hameleers1, Lea Hembach1, Thomas Roret2  +3 moreInstitutions (3)
Abstract: Chitin deacetylases (CDAs) are found in many different organisms ranging from marine bacteria to fungi and insects. These enzymes catalyze the removal of acetyl groups from chitinous substrates generating various chitosans, linear co- polymers consisting of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and glucosamine (GlcN). CDAs influence the degree of acetylation (DA) of chitosans as well as their pattern of acetylation (PA), a parameter which was recently shown to influence the physicochemical properties and biological activities of chitosans. The binding site of CDAs typically consists of around four subsites, each accommodating a single sugar unit of the substrate. It has been hypothesized that the subsite preferences for GlcNAc or GlcN units play a crucial role in the acetylation pattern they generate, but so far, this characteristic was largely ignored, and still lacks structural data on the involved residues. Here, we determined the crystal structure of an Aspergillus niger CDA (AngCDA). Then, we used molecular dynamics simulations, backed up with a variety of in vitro activity assays using different well- defined polymeric and oligomeric substrates, to study this CDA in detail. We found that AngCDA strongly prefers a GlcNAc sugar unit at its -1 subsite and shows a weak GlcNAc preference at the other non-catalytic subsites, which was apparent both when de- and N- acetylating oligomeric substrates. Overall, our results show that the combination of in vitro and in silico methods used here enables the detailed analysis of CDAs, including their subsite preferences, which could influence their substrate targets and the characteristics of chitosans produced by these species.

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Topics: Chitin deacetylase (51%)

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52 results found


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/0003-2697(76)90527-3
Marion M. Bradford1Institutions (1)
Abstract: A protein determination method which involves the binding of Coomassie Brilliant Blue G-250 to protein is described. The binding of the dye to protein causes a shift in the absorption maximum of the dye from 465 to 595 nm, and it is the increase in absorption at 595 nm which is monitored. This assay is very reproducible and rapid with the dye binding process virtually complete in approximately 2 min with good color stability for 1 hr. There is little or no interference from cations such as sodium or potassium nor from carbohydrates such as sucrose. A small amount of color is developed in the presence of strongly alkaline buffering agents, but the assay may be run accurately by the use of proper buffer controls. The only components found to give excessive interfering color in the assay are relatively large amounts of detergents such as sodium dodecyl sulfate, Triton X-100, and commercial glassware detergents. Interference by small amounts of detergent may be eliminated by the use of proper controls.

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Topics: Bradford protein assay (59%), Lowry protein assay (55%), Spectrin binding (55%) ... read more

214,383 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.PEP.2005.01.016
F. William Studier1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Inducible expression systems in which T7 RNA polymerase transcribes coding sequences cloned under control of a T7lac promoter efficiently produce a wide variety of proteins in Escherichia coli. Investigation of factors that affect stability, growth, and induction of T7 expression strains in shaking vessels led to the recognition that sporadic, unintended induction of expression in complex media, previously reported by others, is almost certainly caused by small amounts of lactose. Glucose prevents induction by lactose by well-studied mechanisms. Amino acids also inhibit induction by lactose during log-phase growth, and high rates of aeration inhibit induction at low lactose concentrations. These observations, and metabolic balancing of pH, allowed development of reliable non-inducing and auto-inducing media in which batch cultures grow to high densities. Expression strains grown to saturation in non-inducing media retain plasmid and remain fully viable for weeks in the refrigerator, making it easy to prepare many freezer stocks in parallel and use working stocks for an extended period. Auto-induction allows efficient screening of many clones in parallel for expression and solubility, as cultures have only to be inoculated and grown to saturation, and yields of target protein are typically several-fold higher than obtained by conventional IPTG induction. Auto-inducing media have been developed for labeling proteins with selenomethionine, 15 No r 13 C, and for production of target proteins by arabinose induction of T7 RNA poly

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Topics: Lactose (51%), Gene expression (51%), lac operon (51%)

4,803 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NATURE10947
12 Apr 2012-Nature
Abstract: The past two decades have seen an increasing number of virulent infectious diseases in natural populations and managed landscapes. In both animals and plants, an unprecedented number of fungal and fungal-like diseases have recently caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever witnessed in wild species, and are jeopardizing food security. Human activity is intensifying fungal disease dispersal by modifying natural environments and thus creating new opportunities for evolution. We argue that nascent fungal infections will cause increasing attrition of biodiversity, with wider implications for human and ecosystem health, unless steps are taken to tighten biosecurity worldwide.

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Topics: Ecosystem health (53%), Biosecurity (51%)

1,978 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NATURE05248
Jörg Kämper1, Regine Kahmann1, Michael Bölker2, Li-Jun Ma3  +77 moreInstitutions (21)
02 Nov 2006-Nature
Abstract: Ustilago maydis is a ubiquitous pathogen of maize and a well-established model organism for the study of plant-microbe interactions. This basidiomycete fungus does not use aggressive virulence strategies to kill its host. U. maydis belongs to the group of biotrophic parasites (the smuts) that depend on living tissue for proliferation and development. Here we report the genome sequence for a member of this economically important group of biotrophic fungi. The 20.5-million-base U. maydis genome assembly contains 6,902 predicted protein-encoding genes and lacks pathogenicity signatures found in the genomes of aggressive pathogenic fungi, for example a battery of cell-wall-degrading enzymes. However, we detected unexpected genomic features responsible for the pathogenicity of this organism. Specifically, we found 12 clusters of genes encoding small secreted proteins with unknown function. A significant fraction of these genes exists in small gene families. Expression analysis showed that most of the genes contained in these clusters are regulated together and induced in infected tissue. Deletion of individual clusters altered the virulence of U. maydis in five cases, ranging from a complete lack of symptoms to hypervirulence. Despite years of research into the mechanism of pathogenicity in U. maydis, no 'true' virulence factors had been previously identified. Thus, the discovery of the secreted protein gene clusters and the functional demonstration of their decisive role in the infection process illuminate previously unknown mechanisms of pathogenicity operating in biotrophic fungi. Genomic analysis is, similarly, likely to open up new avenues for the discovery of virulence determinants in other pathogens.

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Topics: Virulence (56%), Fungal genetics (55%), Ustilago (53%) ... read more

1,024 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NMETH.2812
01 Feb 2014-Nature Methods
Abstract: encodes an RNA (crRNA), consisting of a guide RNA (gRNA) and transactivating CRISPR RNA parts. A processed crRNA fragment is incorporated into the Cas9 protein, guiding it to the target DNA, where the Cas9 nuclease introduces a double-strand break9,10. The CRISPR-Cas system has been successfully used in human induced pluripotent stem cells, mice, zebrafish and flies, among other organisms, to disrupt gene function. Here we describe E-CRISP, a web application to design gRNA sequences (Fig. 1a). It provides flexible output and experimentoriented design parameters, enabling design of multiple libraries and thereby systematic analysis of the influence of different parameters. E-CRISP identifies target sequences complementary to the gRNA ending in a 3ʹ protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM), N(G or A)G, which is required for the recruited Cas9 nuclease to cut the DNA double strand. E-CRISP uses a fast indexing approach to find binding sites and a binary interval tree for rapid annotation of putative gRNA target sites (Supplementary Note 1). Using these algorithms, it is feasible to create genome-scale libraries for several organisms in a few hours. For instance, to design a library covering the Drosophila melanogaster genome requires less than 1 h (Supplementary Fig. 1 and Supplementary Table 1). Off-target effects and target-site homology are evaluated by E-CRISP using the alignment program Bowtie2 (Supplementary Note 2). Designs are shown in the output if the number of offtargets does not exceed a user-specified threshold. If more than one design is found targeting a desired locus, designs are ranked according to on-target specificity and number of off-targets. E-CRISP can also be used to reevaluate CRISPR constructs for onor off-target sites and targeted genomic loci. As an example, we searched for designs to target let-7 for gene disruption in zebrafish, fly, worm and human (Fig. 1b). We found at least one gRNA design per locus. In worm, fly and human, the cuts are located at the site that is transformed to mature microRNA and thus should lead to mutations blocking its proper function. In zebrafish the cut is located in the predicted hairpin structure. E-CRISP is available for twelve organisms and can be easily extended. E-CRISP will help to further develop and deploy the acKnoWLedGments This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust through a Senior Research Fellowship to J.R. (084229), a core grant to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology (092076), a European Research Council grant (233457) to M.T., a Genome Québec International Recruitment Award to M.T. and a Canada Research Chair in Systems and Synthetic Biology to M.T.

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Topics: CRISPR (55%)

584 Citations


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