Environmental suppression of Neurospora crassa cot-1 hyperbranching: A link between COT1 kinase and stress sensing

Rena Gorovits, Oded Yarden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


cot-1 mutants belong to a class of Neurospora crassa colonial temperature-sensitive (cot) mutants that exhibit abnormal polar extension and branching patterns when grown at restrictive temperatures. cot-1 encodes a Ser/Thr protein kinase that is structurally related to the human myotonic dystrophy kinase which, when impaired, confers a disease that involves changes in cytoarchitecture and ion homeostasis. When grown under restrictive conditions, cot-1 cultures exhibited enhanced medium acidification rates, increased relative abundance of sodium, and increased intracellular glycerol content, indicating an ion homeostasis defect in a hyperbranching mutant. The application of ion transport blockers led to only mild suppression of the cot-1 phenotype. The presence of increased medium NaCl or sorbitol, H 2O2, or ethanol levels significantly suppressed the cot-1 phenotype, restored ion homeostasis, and was accompanied by reduced levels of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) activity. The cot-1 phenotype could also be partially suppressed by direct inhibition of PKA with KT-5720. A reduced availability of fermentable carbon sources also had a suppressive effect on the cot-1 phenotype. In contrast to the effect of extragenic ropy suppressors of cot-1, environmental stress-related suppression of cot-1 did not change COT1 polypeptide expression patterns in the mutant. We suggest that COT1 function is linked to environmental stress response signaling and that altering PKA activity bypasses the requirement for fully functional COT1.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)699-707
Number of pages9
JournalEukaryotic Cell
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003


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