Protein phosphatase 2A is involved in hyphal growth of Neurospora crassa

E. Yatzkan, B. Szöor, Z. Fehér, V. Dombrádi, O. Yarden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Cantharidin and calyculin A, natural toxins that are inhibitors of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A (PP1 and PP2A, respectively), inhibit Neurospora crassa hyphal growth. When N. cassa was grown in the presence of either drug, abnormalities were observed at hyphal tips. In addition, both drugs induced an increase in hyphal branching. Cantharidin inhibited N. crassa hyphal growth in a temperature-dependent manner, as the effect of the drug was more pronounced at 34°C than at 25°C. In addition to the drug-mediated inhibition of phosphatase activity, a genetic approach was used to determine the phenotypic consequences of reduced PP2A activity. Two strains with subnormal PP2A activity were constructed. The first, in which the original pph-1 gene (encoding the PP2A catalytic subunit) was replaced with an ectopically integrated copy of pph-1, exhibited lower levels of pph-1 transcript, lower PP2A activity and increased sensitivity to cantharidin. Similarly, in a second strain, in which the pph-1 gene was cloned in an antisense orientation downstream of the inducible isocitrate lyase promoter, lower levels of pph-1 transcript, as well as of PP2A activity, and a reduction in hyphal growth were observed. The results of this study indicate that PP2A, and probably other Ser/Thr phosphatases, are involved in the regulation of hyphal growth in N. crassa.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)523-531
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and General Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank Barbara Valant, Paul Bowyer and Mike Plamann for the pCB 1004, pIAT and pACTIN plasmids, respectively. This research was supported, in part, by BARD, The United States Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund and by an Israeli-Hungarian bilateral grant ISR-2/96.


  • Calyculin A
  • Cantharidin
  • Neurospora crassa
  • Okadaic acid
  • Protein phosphatase 2A


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