Programmed Cell Death Across the Eukaryotic Kingdoms

EU 6th Framework STREP

Research group of Corinne Clavé

Autophagy & TOR kinase signaling in filamentous fungi




Fig.: Death by self-incompatibility in thermosensitive her-R het-V strain of P. anserina  

Clavé's laboratory studies the autophagic PCD reaction of vegetative incompatibility in the filamentous fungus P. anserina that occurs upon the fusion of genetically different cells that co-express incompatible het genes. This reaction is associated with the expression of idi genes that are also induced by starvation. This fungal PCD may employ similar mechanisms as autophagic PCD described in higher eukaryotes that are negatively controlled by the target of rapamycin (TOR), a conserved protein kinase. The inactivation of TOR via het gene co-expression might be indirect and result from metabolic perturbations. Alternatively, het products may belong to a signaling cascade feeding into the TOR pathway. Several het loci have been characterized previously in the lab. het-D & E are paralogs encoding proteins with a P-loop domain and WD-40 repeats, structural motifs are present in Apaf-1. het-C encodes a glycolipid transfer protein whose A. thaliana ortholog ACD11is involved in PCD in plants (see P1). het-s encodes a prion protein that is infectious, aggregates in vivo and forms amyloid fibrils in vitro. Interestingly autophagy has been proposed as a PCD mechanism in amyloid diseases such as Parkinson's. Specific skills of the lab include: filamentous fungi specific technologies, DNA and RNA technologies, fluorescence microscopy, recombinant protein expression and protein purification.


Relevant References

1) Pinan-Lucarré et al. (2003) Autophagy is induced during cell death by incompatibility and is essential for differentiation in the filamentous fungus P. anserina. Mol Microbiol 47, 321-33
2) Dementhon et al. (2003) Rapamycin mimics the incompatibility reaction in the fungus P. anserina. Eukaryot Cell 2, 238-46
3) Paoletti et al. (2001) Identification and characterization of a gene encoding a subtilisin-like serine protease induced during the vegetative incompatibility reaction in P. anserina. Curr Genet 39, 244-52
4) Saupe et al. (2000) Characteriation of hch, the P. anserina homolog of the het-c heterokaryon incompatibility gene of N. crassa. Curr Genet 38, 39-47
5) Bourges et al. (1998) Regulation of gene expression during the vegetative incompatibility reaction in P. anserina: characterization of three induced genes. Genetics 150, 633-41


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