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Mol Microbiol. 2000 Dec;38(5):940-54.

Novel fungal transcriptional activators, Cmr1p of Colletotrichum lagenarium and pig1p of Magnaporthe grisea, contain Cys2His2 zinc finger and Zn(II)2Cys6 binuclear cluster DNA-binding motifs and regulate transcription of melanin biosynthesis genes in a developmentally specific manner.

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Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto Prefectural University, Kyoto 606-8522, Japan.


Colletotrichum lagenarium and Magnaporthe grisea are plant pathogenic fungi that produce melanin during the appressorial differentiation stage of conidial germination and during the late stationary phase of mycelial growth. Here, we report the identification of genes for two unique transcription factors, CMR1 (Colletotrichum melanin regulation) and PIG1 (pigment of Magnaporthe), that are involved in melanin biosynthesis. Both Cmr1p and Pig1p contain two distinct DNA-binding motifs, a Cys2His2 zinc finger motif and a Zn(II)2Cys6 binuclear cluster motif. The presence of both these motifs in a single transcriptional regulatory protein is unique among known eukaryotic transcription factors. Deletion of CMR1 in C. lagenarium caused a defect in mycelial melanization, but not in appressorial melanization. Also, cmr1Delta mutants do not express the melanin biosynthetic structural genes SCD1 and THR1 during mycelial melanization, although the expression of these two genes was not affected during appressorial melanization.

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