Transcription factors Mat2 and Znf2 operate cellular circuits orchestrating opposite- and same-sex mating in Cryptococcus neoformans.

Loading...
Thumbnail Image

Date

2010

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats

312
views
292
downloads

Citation Stats

Abstract

Cryptococcus neoformans is a human fungal pathogen that undergoes a dimorphic transition from a unicellular yeast to multicellular hyphae during opposite sex (mating) and unisexual reproduction (same-sex mating). Opposite- and same-sex mating are induced by similar environmental conditions and involve many shared components, including the conserved pheromone sensing Cpk1 MAPK signal transduction cascade that governs the dimorphic switch in C. neoformans. However, the homeodomain cell identity proteins Sxi1alpha/Sxi2a encoded by the mating type locus that are essential for completion of sexual reproduction following cell-cell fusion during opposite-sex mating are dispensable for same-sex mating. Therefore, identification of downstream targets of the Cpk1 MAPK pathway holds the key to understanding molecular mechanisms governing the two distinct developmental fates. Thus far, homology-based approaches failed to identify downstream transcription factors which may therefore be species-specific. Here, we applied insertional mutagenesis via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and transcription analysis using whole genome microarrays to identify factors involved in C. neoformans differentiation. Two transcription factors, Mat2 and Znf2, were identified as key regulators of hyphal growth during same- and opposite-sex mating. Mat2 is an HMG domain factor, and Znf2 is a zinc finger protein; neither is encoded by the mating type locus. Genetic, phenotypic, and transcriptional analyses of Mat2 and Znf2 provide evidence that Mat2 is a downstream transcription factor of the Cpk1 MAPK pathway whereas Znf2 functions as a more terminal hyphal morphogenesis determinant. Although the components of the MAPK pathway including Mat2 are not required for virulence in animal models, Znf2, as a hyphal morphology determinant, is a negative regulator of virulence. Further characterization of these elements and their target circuits will reveal genes controlling biological processes central to fungal development and virulence.

Department

Description

Provenance

Subjects

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1371/journal.pgen.1000953

Publication Info

Lin, Xiaorong, Jennifer C Jackson, Marianna Feretzaki, Chaoyang Xue and Joseph Heitman (2010). Transcription factors Mat2 and Znf2 operate cellular circuits orchestrating opposite- and same-sex mating in Cryptococcus neoformans. PLoS genetics, 6(5). p. e1000953. 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000953 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/4468.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.


Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.