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Analysis of subgroup C of fungal chitinases containing chitin-binding and LysM modules in the mycoparasite Trichoderma atroviride

Fungi have a plethora of chitinases, which can be phylogenetically divided into three subgroups (A, B and C). Subgroup C (sgC) chitinases are especially interesting due to their multiple carbohydrate-binding modules, but they have not been investigated in detail yet. In this study, we analyzed sgC chitinases in the mycoparasites Trichoderma atroviride and Trichoderma virens. The expression of sgC chitinase genes in T. atroviride was induced during mycoparasitism of the fungal prey Botrytis cinerea, but not Rhizoctonia solani and correspondingly only by fungal cell walls of the former. Interestingly, only few sgC chitinase genes were inducible by chitin, suggesting that non-chitinous cell wall components can act as inducers. In contrast, the transcriptional profile of the most abundantly expressed sgC chitinase gene tac6 indicated a role of the protein in hyphal network formation. This shows that sgC chitinases have diverse functions and are not only involved in the mycoparasitic attack. However, sequence analysis and 3D modelling revealed that TAC6 and also its ortholog in T. virens have potentially detrimental deletions in the substrate-binding site and are thus probably not catalytically active enzymes. Genomic analysis showed that the genes neighboring sgC chitinases often encode proteins that are solely composed of multiple LysM modules, which were induced by similar stimuli as their neighboring sgC chitinase genes. This study provides first insights into fungal sgC chitinases and their associated LysM proteins.

Authors:   Gruber, Sabine; Vaaje-Kolstad, Gustav; Matarese, Fabiola; López-Mondéjar, Rubén; Kubicek, Christian P.; Seidl-Seiboth, Verena
Journal:   Glycobiology
Volume:   21
edition:   1
Year:   2011
Pages:   122
DOI:   10.1093/glycob/cwq142
Publication date:   01-Jan-2011
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