Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Feb;69(2):1187-96.

Involvement of calcium/calmodulin signaling in cercosporin toxin biosynthesis by Cercospora nicotianae.

Author information

Citrus Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, Florida 33850, USA.


Cercosporin is a non-host-selective, perylenequinone toxin produced by many phytopathogenic Cercospora species. The involvement of Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM) signaling in cercosporin biosynthesis was investigated by using pharmacological inhibitors. The results suggest that maintaining endogenous Ca(2+) homeostasis is required for cercosporin biosynthesis in Cercospora nicotianae. The addition of excess Ca(2+) to the medium slightly increased fungal growth but resulted in a reduction in cercosporin production. The addition of Ca(2+) chelators [EGTA and 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid] also reduced cercosporin production. Ca(2+) channel blockers exhibited a strong inhibition of cercosporin production only at higher concentrations (>2 mM). Cercosporin production was reduced greatly by Ca(2+) ionophores (A23187 and ionomycin) and internal Ca(2+) blocker [3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoic acid 8-(diethylamino)octyl ester]. Phospholipase C inhibitors (lithium, U73122, and neomycin) led to a concentration-dependent inhibition of cercosporin biosynthesis. Furthermore, the addition of CaM inhibitors (compound 48/80, trifluoperazine, W-7, and chlorpromazine) also markedly reduced cercosporin production. In contrast to W-7, W-5, with less specificity for CaM, led to only minor inhibition of cercosporin production. The inhibitory effects of Ca(2+)/CaM inhibitors were partially or completely reversed by the addition of external Ca(2+). As assessed with Fluo-3/AM (a fluorescent Ca(2+) indicator), the Ca(2+) content in the cytoplasm decreased significantly when fungal cultures were grown in a medium containing Ca(2+)/CaM antagonists, confirming the specificity of those Ca(2+)/CaM antagonists in C. nicotianae. Taken together, the results suggest that Ca(2+)/CaM signal transduction may play a pivotal role in cercosporin biosynthesis in C. nicotianae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center