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Mol Microbiol. 2012 Apr;84(2):310-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08024.x. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

A homologue of the human STRIPAK complex controls sexual development in fungi.

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Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine und Molekulare Botanik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44780 Bochum, Germany.


Sexual development in fungi is a complex process involving the generation of new cell types and tissues - an essential step for all eukaryotic life. The characterization of sterile mutants in the ascomycete Sordaria macrospora has led to a number of proteins involved in sexual development, but a link between these proteins is still missing. Using a combined tandem-affinity purification/mass spectrometry approach, we showed in vivo association of developmental protein PRO22 with PRO11, homologue of mammalian striatin, and SmPP2AA, scaffolding subunit of protein phosphatase 2A. Further experiments extended the protein network to the putative kinase activator SmMOB3, known to be involved in sexual development. Extensive yeast two-hybrid studies allowed us to pinpoint functional domains involved in protein-protein interaction. We show for the first time that a number of already known factors together with new components associate in vivo to form a highly conserved multi-subunit complex. Strikingly, a similar complex has been described in humans, but the function of this so-called striatin interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complex is largely unknown. In S. macrospora, truncation of PRO11 and PRO22 leads to distinct defects in sexual development and cell fusion, indicating a role for the fungal STRIPAK complex in both processes.

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