The NDR kinase DBF-2 is involved in regulation of mitosis, conidial development, and glycogen metabolism in Neurospora crassa

Efrat Dvash, Galia Kra-Oz, Carmit Ziv, Shmuel Carmeli, Oded Yarden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neurospora crassa dbf-2 encodes an NDR (nuclear Dbf2-related) protein kinase, homologous to LATS1, a core component of the Hippo pathway. This pathway plays important roles in restraining cell proliferation and promoting apoptosis in differentiating cells. Here, we demonstrate that DBF-2 is involved in three fundamental processes in a filamentous fungus: cell cycle regulation, glycogen biosynthesis, and conidiation. DBF-2 is predominantly localized to the nucleus, and most (approximately 60%) dbf-2 null mutant nuclei are delayed in mitosis, indicating that DBF-2 activity is required for properly completing the cell cycle. The dbf-2 mutant exhibits reduced basal hyphal extension rates accompanied by a carbon/nitrogen ratio-dependent bursting of hyphal tips, vast glycogen leakage, defects in aerial hypha formation, and impairment of all three asexual conidiation pathways in N. crassa. Our findings also indicate that DBF-2 is essential for sexual reproduction in a filamentous fungus. Defects in other Hippo and glycogen metabolism pathway components (mob-1, ccr-4, mst-1, and gsk-3) share similar phenotypes such as mitotic delay and decreased CDC-2 (cell division cycle 2) protein levels, massive hyphal swellings, hyphal tip bursting, glycogen leakage, and impaired conidiation. We propose that DBF-2 functions as a link between Hippo and glycogen metabolism pathways.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)502-513
Number of pages12
JournalEukaryotic Cell
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

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