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Fungal Genet Biol. 2004 Apr;41(4):420-7.

Tubulins in Aspergillus nidulans.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Ohio State University, 484 West 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


The discovery and characterization of the tubulin superfamily in Aspergillus nidulans is described. Remarkably, the genes that encode alpha-, beta-, and gamma-tubulins were all identified first in A. nidulans. There are two alpha-tubulin genes, tubA and tubB, two beta-tubulin genes, benA and tubC, and one gamma-tubulin gene, mipA. Hyphal tubulin is encoded mainly by the essential genes tubA and benA. TubC is expressed during conidiation and tubB is required for the sexual cycle. Promoter swapping experiments indicate that the alpha-tubulins encoded by tubA and tubB are functionally interchangeable as are the beta-tubulins encoded by benA and tubC. BenA mutations that alter resistance to benzimidazole antimicrotubule agents are clustered and define a putative binding region for these compounds. gamma-Tubulin localizes to the spindle pole body and is essential for mitotic spindle formation. The phenotypes of mipA mutants suggest, moreover, that gamma-tubulin has essential functions in addition to microtubule nucleation.

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