Mitogen activated protein kinases of Aspergillus fumigatus.


May GS, Xue T, Kontoyiannis DP, Gustin MC.

Date: 7 September 2006


In microbial eukaryotes, mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways play a pivotal role in regulating cellular physiology. In fungi MAPK pathways have established functions in mating-pheromone responses, maintaining cell wall integrity, responding to changes in osmolarity and nutrient sensing. We have been studying MAPK functions in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The genome of A. fumigatus has four MAPK genes, sakA/hogA, mpkA, mpkB and mpkC. Deletion of the sakA gene produces a strain that does not correctly regulate conidial germination, sense environmental nitrogen or responds to hypertonic stress. The function of the remaining MAPK genes is still under investigation, but by analogy to work in other filamentous fungi, we speculate as to their possible functions in A. fumigatus.

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