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Trends Microbiol. 2008 Jun;16(6):291-300. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2008.03.006. Epub 2008 May 3.

Ambient pH gene regulation in fungi: making connections.

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  • 1Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Ramiro de Maeztu, Madrid, Spain.


Many fungi grow over a wide pH range and their gene expression is tailored to the environmental pH. In Aspergillus nidulans, the transcription factor PacC, an activator of genes expressed in alkaline conditions and a repressor of those expressed in acidic conditions, undergoes two processing proteolyses, the first being pH-signal dependent and the second proteasomal. Signal transduction involves a 'go-between' connecting two complexes, one of which comprises two plasma membrane proteins and an arrestin and the other comprises PacC, a cysteine protease, a scaffold and endosomal components. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae PacC orthologue, Rim101p, differs in that it does not undergo the second round of proteolysis and it functions directly as a repressor only. PacC/Rim101-mediated pH regulation is crucial to fungal pathogenicity.

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