G-protein coupled receptor-mediated nutrient sensing and developmental control in Aspergillus nidulans

Neil Andrew Brown, Thaila Fernanda dos Reis, Laure Nicolas Annick Ries, Camila Caldana, Jae Hyung Mah, Jae Hyuk Yu, Jeffrey M. Macdonald, Gustavo Henrique Goldman

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26 Citations (SciVal)


Nutrient sensing and utilisation are fundamental for all life forms. As heterotrophs, fungi have evolved a diverse range of mechanisms for sensing and taking up various nutrients. Despite its importance, only a limited number of nutrient receptors and their corresponding ligands have been identified in fungi. G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of transmembrane receptors. The Aspergillus nidulans genome encodes 16 putative GPCRs, but only a few have been functionally characterised. Our previous study showed the increased expression of an uncharacterised putative GPCR, gprH, during carbon starvation. GprH appears conserved throughout numerous filamentous fungi. Here, we reveal that GprH is a putative receptor involved in glucose and tryptophan sensing. The absence of GprH results in a reduction in cAMP levels and PKA activity upon adding glucose or tryptophan to starved cells. GprH is pre-formed in conidia and is increasingly active during carbon starvation, where it plays a role in glucose uptake and the recovery of hyphal growth. GprH also represses sexual development under conditions favouring sexual fruiting and during carbon starvation in submerged cultures. In summary, the GprH nutrient-sensing system functions upstream of the cAMP-PKA pathway, influences primary metabolism and hyphal growth, while represses sexual development in A.nidulans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-439
Number of pages20
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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