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  • Developmental Roles of the Hog1 Protein Phosphatases of the Maize Pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus.

Developmental Roles of the Hog1 Protein Phosphatases of the Maize Pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland) (2021-02-04)
Rina Zuchman, Roni Koren, Benjamin A Horwitz
ABSTRACT

Protein phosphorylation cascades are universal in cell signaling. While kinome diversity allows specific phosphorylation events, relatively few phosphatases dephosphorylate key signaling proteins. Fungal mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK), in contrast to their mammalian counterparts, often show detectable basal phosphorylation levels. Dephosphorylation, therefore, could act as a signal. In Cochliobolus heterostrophus, the Dothideomycete causing Southern corn leaf blight, ferulic acid (FA)-an abundant phenolic found in plant host cell walls-acts as a signal to rapidly dephosphorylate the stress-activated MAP kinase Hog1 (High Osmolarity Glycerol 1). In order to identify the protein phosphatases responsible, we constructed mutants in Hog1 phosphatases predicted from the genome by homology to yeast and other species. We found that Cochliobolus heterostrophus mutants lacking PtcB, a member of the PP2C family, exhibited altered growth, sporulation, and attenuated dephosphorylation in response to FA. The loss of the dual-specificity phosphatase CDC14 led to slow growth, decreased virulence, and attenuated dephosphorylation. Mutants in two predicted tyrosine phosphatase genes PTP1 and PTP2 showed normal development and virulence. Our results suggest that a network of phosphatases modulate Hog1's dual phosphorylation levels. The mutants we constructed in this work provide a starting point to further unravel the signaling hierarchy by which exposure to FA leads to stress responses in the pathogen.

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Hygromycin B solution from Streptomyces hygroscopicus, ≥60% (HPLC), 45-60 mg/mL in H2O