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mSystems. 2019 Sep 10;4(5). pii: e00397-19. doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00397-19.

The Formaldehyde Dehydrogenase SsFdh1 Is Regulated by and Functionally Cooperates with the GATA Transcription Factor SsNsd1 in Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.

Author information

1
College of Plant Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, China.
2
College of Plant Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, China gyu@sibs.ac.cn lijingtao@qau.edu.cn panhongyu@jlu.edu.cn.
3
Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
4
Key Lab of Integrated Crop Pest Management of Shandong Province, College of Plant Health and Medicine, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, China.
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Contributed equally

Abstract

GATA transcription factors (TFs) are common eukaryotic regulators, and glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenases (GD-FDH) are ubiquitous enzymes with formaldehyde detoxification activity. In this study, the formaldehyde dehydrogenase Sclerotinia sclerotiorum Fdh1 (SsFdh1) was first characterized as an interacting partner of a GATA TF, SsNsd1, in S. sclerotiorum Genetic analysis reveals that SsFdh1 functions in formaldehyde detoxification, nitrogen metabolism, sclerotium development, and pathogenicity. Both SsNsd1 and SsFdh1 harbor typical zinc finger motifs with conserved cysteine residues. SsNsd1 regulates SsFdh1 in two distinct manners. SsNsd1 directly binds to GATA-box DNA in the promoter region of Ssfdh1; SsNsd1 associates with SsFdh1 through disulfide bonds formed by conserved Cys residues. The SsNsd1-SsFdh1 interaction and nuclear translocation were found to prevent efficient binding of SsNsd1 to GATA-box DNA. Site-directed point mutation of these Cys residues influences the SsNsd1-SsFdh1 interaction and SsNsd1 DNA binding capacity. SsFdh1 is regulated by and functions jointly with the SsNsd1 factor, providing new insights into the complex transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of GATA factors.IMPORTANCE S. sclerotiorum is a pathogenic fungus with sclerotium and infection cushion development, making S. sclerotiorum one of the most challenging agricultural pathogens with no effective control method. We identified important sclerotium and compound appressorium formation determinants, SsNsd1 and SsFdh1, and investigated their regulatory mechanism at the molecular level. SsNsd1 and SsFdh1 are zinc finger motif-containing proteins and associate with each other in the nucleus. On other hand, SsNsd1, as a GATA transcription factor, directly binds to GATA-box DNA in the promoter region of Ssfdh1 The SsNsd1-SsFdh1 interaction and nuclear translocation were found to prevent efficient binding of SsNsd1 to GATA-box DNA. Our results provide insights into the role of the GATA transcription factor and its regulation of formaldehyde dehydrogenase in stress resistance, fungal sclerotium and compound appressorium development, and pathogenicity.

KEYWORDS:

GATA transcription factor; Sclerotinia sclerotiorum ; glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase; metabolism; pathogenicity

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