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The phocein homologue SmMOB3 is essential for vegetative cell fusion and sexual development in the filamentous ascomycete Sordaria macrospora

Members of the striatin family and their highly conserved interacting protein phocein/Mob3 are key components in the regulation of cell differentiation in multicellular eukaryotes. The striatin homologue PRO11 of the filamentous ascomycete Sordaria macrospora has a crucial role in fruiting body development. Here, we functionally characterized the phocein/Mob3 orthologue SmMOB3 of S. macrospora. We isolated the gene and showed that both, pro11 and Smmob3 are expressed during early and late developmental stages. Deletion of Smmob3 resulted in a sexually sterile strain, similar to the previously characterized pro11 mutant. Fusion assays revealed that ∆Smmob3 was unable to undergo self-fusion and fusion with the pro11 strain. The essential function of the SmMOB3 N-terminus containing the conserved mob domain was demonstrated by complementation analysis of the sterile S. macrospora ∆Smmob3 strain. Downregulation of either pro11 in ∆Smmob3, or Smmob3 in pro11 mutants by means of RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in synthetic sexual defects, demonstrating for the first time the importance of a putative PRO11/SmMOB3 complex in fruiting body development.

Authors:   Yasmine Bernhards, Stefanie Pöggeler
Journal:   Current Genetics
Year:   2011
DOI:   10.1007/s00294-010-0333-z
Publication date:   12-Jan-2011
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