Dynamic transcriptomic and phosphoproteomic analysis during cell wall stress in Aspergillus nidulans


Chelius C, Huso W, Reese S, Doan A, Lincoln S, Lawson K, Tran B, Purohit R, Glaros T, Srivastava R, Harris S, Marten MR.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2020 May 19. pii: mcp.RA119.001769.


The fungal cell-wall integrity signaling (CWIS) pathway regulates cellular response to environmental stress to enable wall repair and resumption of normal growth.  This complex, interconnected, pathway has been only partially characterized in filamentous fungi.  To better understand the dynamic cellular response to wall perturbation, a β-glucan synthase inhibitor (micafungin) was added to a growing A. nidulans shake-flask culture.  From this flask, transcriptomic and phosphoproteomic data were acquired over 10 and 120 minutes, respectively.  To differentiate statistically-significant dynamic behavior from noise, a multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS) model was applied to both data sets.  Over 1800 genes were dynamically expressed and 430 phosphorylation sites had changing phosphorylation levels upon micafungin exposure. Twelve kinases had altered phosphorylation and phenotypic profiling of all non-essential kinase deletion mutants revealed putative connections between PrkA, Hk-8-4, and Stk19 and the CWIS pathway. Our collective data implicate actin regulation, endocytosis, and septum formation as critical cellular processes responding to activation of the CWIS pathway, and connections between CWIS and calcium, HOG, and SIN signaling pathways.