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Mol Microbiol. 2009 Oct;74(2):480-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06878.x. Epub 2009 Sep 22.

Functions and regulation of the Nox family in the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina: a new role in cellulose degradation.

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UFR des Sciences du Vivant, Univ Paris 7 Denis Diderot, 75013 Paris, France.


NADPH oxidases are enzymes that produce reactive oxygen species. Studies in mammals, plants and fungi have shown that they play important roles in differentiation, defence, host/pathogen interaction and mutualistic symbiosis. In this paper, we have identified a Podospora anserina mutant strain impaired for processes controlled by PaNox1 and PaNox2, the two Nox isoforms characterized in this model ascomycete. We show that the gene mutated is PaNoxR, the homologue of the gene encoding the regulatory subunit p67(phox), conserved in mammals and fungi, and that PaNoxR regulates both PaNox1 and PaNox2. Genome sequence analysis of P. anserina reveals that this fungus posses a third Nox isoform, PaNox3, related to human Nox5/Duox and plant Rboh. We have generated a knock-out mutant of PaNox3 and report that PaNox3 plays a minor role in P. anserina, if any. We show that PaNox1 and PaNox2 play antagonist roles in cellulose degradation. Finally, we report for the first time that a saprobic fungus, P. anserina, develops special cell structures dedicated to breach and to exploit a solid cellulosic substrate, cellophane. Importantly, as for similar structures present in some plant pathogens, their proper differentiation requires PaNox1, PaNox2, PaNoxR and the tetraspanin PaPls1.

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