Extracellular proteinase formation in carbon starving Aspergillus nidulans cultures - Physiological function and regulation

Melinda Szilágyi, Nak Jung Kwon, Fruzsina Bakti, Márta M-Hamvas, Katalin Jámbrik, Heesoo Park, István Pócsi, Jae Hyuk Yu, Tamás Emri

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Extracellular proteinase formation in carbon depleted cultures of the model filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans was studied to elucidate its regulation and possible physiological function. As demonstrated by gene deletion, culture optimization, microbial physiological and enzymological experiments, the PrtA and PepJ proteinases of A. nidulans did not appear to play a decisive role in the autolytic decomposition of fungal cells under the conditions we tested. However, carbon starvation induced formation of the proteinases observable in autolytic cultures. Similar to other degradative enzymes, production of proteinase was regulated by FluG-BrlA asexual developmental signaling and modulated by PacC-dependent pH-responsive signaling. Under the same carbon starved culture conditions, alterations of CreA, MeaB or heterotrimeric G protein mediated signaling pathways caused less significant changes in the formation of extracellular proteinases. Taken together, these results indicate that while the accumulation of PrtA and PepJ is tightly coupled to the initiation of autolysis, they are not essential for autolytic cell wall degradation in A. nidulans. Thus, as Aspergillus genomes contain a large group of genes encoding proteinases with versatile physiological functions, selective control of proteinase production in fungal cells is needed for the improved industrial use of fungi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of basic microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Aspergillus nidulans
  • Autolysis
  • Extracellular proteinase
  • FluG-BrlA signaling
  • Heterologous protein production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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