Cell elongation and branching are regulated by differential phosphorylation states of the nuclear Dbf2-related kinase COT1 in Neurospora crassa

Carmit Ziv*, Galia Kra-Oz, Rena Gorovits, Sabine März, Stephan Seiler, Oded Yarden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dysfunction of the Neurospora crassa nuclear Dbf2-related kinase COT1 leads to cessation of tip extension and massive induction of new sites of growth. To determine the role phosphorylation plays in COT1 function, we mutated COT1 residues corresponding to positions of highly conserved nuclear Dbf2-related phosphorylation sites. Analyses of the point-mutation cot-1 strains (mimicking non- and constitutively phosphorylated states) indicate the involvement of COT1 phosphorylation in the regulation of hyphal elongation and branching as well as asexual development by altering cell wall integrity and actin organization. Phosphorylation of COT1's activation segment (at Ser417) is required for proper in vitro kinase activity, but has only a limited effect on hyphal growth. In marked contrast, even though phosphorylation of the C-terminal hydrophobic motif (at Thr589) is crucial for all COT1 functions in vivo, the lack of Thr589 phosphorylation did not significantly affect in vitro COT1 kinase activity. Nevertheless, its regulatory role has been made evident by the significant increase observed in COT1 kinase activity when this residue was substituted in a manner mimicking constitutive phosphorylation. We conclude that COT1 regulates elongation and branching in an independent manner, which is determined by its phosphorylation state.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)974-989
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume74
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009

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