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Mol Microbiol. 1997 Apr;24(1):105-17.

The gene encoding the major proline transporter of Aspergillus nidulans is upregulated during conidiospore germination and in response to proline induction and amino acid starvation.

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Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.


In Aspergillus nidulans a highly specific L-proline transporter is encoded by the prnB gene which is tightly linked to all other genes involved in proline catabolism. In mycelia, the expression of the prn structural genes is finely co-regulated in response to proline induction and nitrogen/carbon catabolite repression. In this study we establish that prnB expression is also activated during germination of conidiospores. This activation persists until the development of 6 h-old mycelia and it is independent of proline induction mediated by the pathway-specific prnA gene product. We then show that, in mycelia, prnB transcription is activated in response to proline or histidine starvation. This process has two components: a prnA-dependent and a prnA-independent component. A cis-acting element that conforms to the consensus target of the GCN4/CPC1 transcriptional activators mediating amino acid biosynthesis activation in other fungi is involved in the activation of prnB transcription in response to amino acid starvation. We also show that the stimulation of prnB expression in germinating conidiospores is not due exclusively to transient internal amino acid starvation occurring during the transition from conidiospore to mycelium. This is the first report that an amino acid transporter gene is upregulated during development and in response to amino acid starvation and specific amino acid induction.

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