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Fungal Genet Biol. 2009 Feb;46(2):146-58. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2008.11.007. Epub 2008 Dec 6.

The ABC transporter ATR1 is necessary for efflux of the toxin cercosporin in the fungus Cercospora nicotianae.

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Department of Plant Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA.


The Cercospora nicotianae mutant deficient for the CRG1 transcription factor has marked reductions in both resistance and biosynthesis of the toxin cercosporin. We cloned and sequenced full-length copies of two genes, ATR1 and CnCFP, previously identified from a subtractive library between the wild type (WT) and a crg1 mutant. ATR1 is an ABC transporter gene and has an open reading frame (ORF) of 4368bp with one intron. CnCFP encodes a MFS transporter with homology to Cercospora kikuchii CFP, previously implicated in cercosporin export, and has an ORF of 1975bp with three introns. Disruption of ATR1 indicated atr1-null mutants had dramatic reductions in cercosporin production (25% and 20% of WT levels) in solid and liquid cultures, respectively. The ATR1 disruptants also showed moderately higher sensitivity to cercosporin. Constitutive expression of ATR1 in the crg1 mutant restored cercosporin biosynthesis and moderately increased resistance. In contrast, CnCFP overexpression in the mutant did not restore toxin production, however, it moderately enhanced toxin resistance. The results together indicate ATR1 acts as a cercosporin efflux pump in this fungus and plays a partial role in resistance.

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