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Fungal Genet Biol. 1998 Dec;25(3):143-56.

Sex and crime: heterotrimeric G proteins in fungal mating and pathogenesis.

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Department of Biology, University of Marburg, Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse, Marburg, 35032, Germany.


Heterotrimeric G proteins act as signal transducers that couple cell-surface receptors to cytoplasmic effector proteins. In fungi, G proteins play essential roles during sexual and pathogenic development. They are part of the pheromone signaling cascade in both ascomycetes and basidiomycetes, which is crucial for the recognition and fusion of cells of opposite mating type. In addition, G proteins affect a number of developmental and morphogenetic processes which determine the virulence of plant and human fungal pathogens. Cloning and targeted disruption of genes encoding alpha subunits of G proteins allowed the attribution of specific functions to these signal transducing molecules. Several lines of evidence indicate that many of the known fungal G proteins influence the intracellular level of cAMP by either stimulating or inhibiting adenylyl cyclase.

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