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Mol Microbiol. 2007 Jan;63(1):242-55. Epub 2006 Dec 5.

Aspergillus nidulans VeA subcellular localization is dependent on the importin alpha carrier and on light.

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1
Northern Illinois University, Biological Sciences, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy Montgomery Hall, Dekalb, IL 60115, USA.

Abstract

The veA gene is a light-dependent regulator governing development and secondary metabolism in Aspergillus nidulans. We have identified a putative bipartite nuclear localization signal (NLS) motif in the A. nidulans VeA amino acid sequence and demonstrated its functionality when expressed in yeast. Furthermore, migration of VeA to the nucleus was dependent on the importin alpha. This bipartite NLS is also functional when VeA is expressed in A. nidulans. Interestingly, we found that VeA migration to the nucleus is light-dependent. While in the dark VeA is located mainly in the nuclei, under light VeA is found abundantly in the cytoplasm. The VeA1 mutant protein (lacking the first 36 amino acids at the N-terminus) was found predominantly in the cytoplasm independent of illumination. This indicates that the truncated bipartite NLS in VeA1 is not functional and fails to respond to light. These results might explain the lack of the morphological light-dependent response in strains carrying the veA1 allele. We also evaluated the effect of light on production of the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin in a veA wild-type and the veA1 mutant strains and found that the highest amount of toxin was produced by the veA+ strain growing in the dark, condition favouring accumulation of VeA in the nucleus.

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