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Mol Gen Genet. 1996 Jan 15;250(1):17-28.

Cloning and characterisation of genes (pkc1 and pkcA) encoding protein kinase C homologues from Trichoderma reesei and Aspergillus niger.

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  • 1Abteilung für Mikrobielle Biochemie, Institut für Biochemische Technologie und Mikrobiologie, TU Wein, Austria.


Oligonucleotides, designed on the basis of conserved flanking amino acid sequence segments within the catalytic domain of eukaryotic protein kinase C (PKC) proteins, were used as primers for polymerase chain reactions to amplify a 427-bp chromosomal DNA fragment from the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei. This fragment was then used to isolate genes encoding PKC homologues of T. reesei and Aspergillus niger (pkc1 and pkcA, respectively). The genes contain six (T. reesei) and eight (A. niger) introns, which exhibit notable conservation in position with those found in the corresponding Schizosaccharomyces pombe pkc1+ and Drosophila melanogaster dPKC53Ebr genes. A single 4.2-kb transcript was detected in Northern analyses. The deduced PKC1 (T.reesei, 126 kDa) and PKCA (A. niger, 122 kDa) amino acid sequences reveal domains homologous to the C1 and C3/C4 domains of PKC-related proteins, but lack typical Ca(2+)-binding (C2) domains. Both contain a large, extended N-terminus, which shares a high degree of similarity with the corresponding regions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae PKC1 and S. pombe pkc1+ and pkc2+ proteins, but which is not present in PKCs of Dictyostelium or higher eukaryotes. This extended region can be divided into three subdomains; the N-terminal one contains a hydrophobic helix-turn-helix motif, whereas the C-terminal one contains potential targets for proteolytic processing. A polyclonal antiserum raised against the pseudosubstrate-binding domain of PKC1 recognizes in T. reesei a 115-120 kDa protein in Western blots. Expression of pkc1 cDNA in insect cells directs the synthesis of a PKC1 protein of similar size. The T. reesei PKC1 protein was partially purified and some of its properties examined: it is stimulated about twofold by phospholipids or phorbol esters but is not stimulated by Ca2+. We conclude that these PKC proteins from filamentous fungi represent the Ca(2+)-insensitive fungal homologues of the nPKC family.

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