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Fungal Genet Biol. 1999 Feb;26(1):71-80.

Pyruvate decarboxylase filaments are associated with the cortical cytoskeleton of asci and spores over the sexual cycle of filamentous ascomycetes.

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  • 1Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Ciudad Universitaria, Córdoba, 5016, Argentina.


We show that pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) 8- to 10-nm-diameter filaments, first described in vegetative cells of Neurospora crassa, are ubiquitously present in filamentous fungi. The cellular arrangement of these structures was examined over the entire sexual cycle of the ascomycetes N. crassa, N. tetraesperma, Podospora anserina, and Sordaria macrospora. PDC-filaments were found associated with the cortical microtubule array of asci and ascospores and absent from the vicinity of spindles and spindle pole bodies. Nocodazole-induced depolymerization of the cortical microtubules results in the loss of PDC-filaments. Moreover, a S. macrospora mutant defective in cortical MT distribution shows abnormal PDC organization. Neurospora asci generated on various metabolic conditions, which modify the presence and relative abundance of PDC-filaments in vegetative cells, have identical patterns of subcellular distribution of these structures. A N. crassa mutant (snowflake) that accumulates giant bundles of PDC-filaments during vegetative growth, shows normal distribution of the filaments during ascogenesis. Thus, the regulation conditioning the presence and supramolecular assembly of PDC-filaments in Neurospora differs between vegetative and sexual cells. Taken together, these results suggest that PDC in filamentous fungi may perform two functions, intervening as an enzyme in vegetative metabolism and as a structural protein associated with the cytoskeleton during sexual development.

Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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