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Mol Biol Cell. 1996 Oct; 7(10): 1511–1519.
PMCID: PMC276002

Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase is essential for both growth and nuclear division in Aspergillus nidulans.


The calmodulin gene has been shown to be essential for cell cycle progression in a number of eukaryotic organisms. In vertebrates and Aspergillus nidulans the calmodulin dependence also requires calcium. We demonstrate that the unique gene encoding a multifunctional calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) is also essential in A. nidulans. This enzyme is required both for the nuclear division cycle and for hyphal growth, because spores containing the disrupted gene arrest with a single nucleus and fail to extend a germ tube. A strain conditional for the expression of CaMK was created. When grown under conditions that resulted in a 90% decrease in the enzyme, both nuclear division and growth were markedly slowed. The CaMK seems to be important for progression from G2 to mitosis.

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