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HwHog1 kinase activity is crucial for survival of Hortaea werneckii in extremely hyperosmolar environments.

Journal article
Authors Anja Kejžar
Morten Grøtli
Markus J. Tamás
Ana Plemenitaš
Metka Lenassi
Published in Fungal genetics and biology : FG & B
Volume 74
Pages 45-58
ISSN 1096-0937
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 45-58
Language en
Subject categories Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Molecular biology, Microbiology


Although suggested, the involvement of the HOG pathway in adaptation processes in extremely halotolerant fungus Hortaea werneckii has never been specifically demonstrated. Here, we show that the H. werneckii HOG pathway is very robust, and that it includes two functionally redundant MAPK homologues, HwHog1A and HwHog1B, that show osmolyte-type-dependent phosphorylation. Inhibition of HwHog1 kinase activity with the ATP analogue BPTIP restricts H. werneckii colony growth at 3.0M NaCl, KCl and sorbitol, most likely due to restricted cell division. On the other hand, HwHog1-regulated transcription of a selected group of genes (HwSTL1, HwGUT2, HwOPI3, HwGDH1, HwUGP1, HwGPD1) is an osmolyte-specific process that is important for induction of gene transcription with high NaCl, for regulation of specific genes with high sorbitol, and has no role in KCl stressed cells. Survival of H. werneckii at moderate NaCl and KCl concentrations is not dependent on HwHog1 activity or the calcineurin pathway, and thus alternative mechanisms must exist. The HOG pathway described here is vital for the extreme osmotolerance of H. werneckii, and its regulation shows important differences from the homologue pathways characterised in other mesophilic and halotolerant fungi.

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