Proper cell division is essential for growth and development of uni- and multicellular organisms. The fungal septation initiation network (SIN) functions as kinase cascade that connects cell cycle progression with the initiation of cytokinesis. Miss-regulation of the homologous Hippo pathway in animals results in excessive cell proliferation and formation of tumors, underscoring the conservation of both pathways. How SIN proteins interact and transmit signals through the cascade is only beginning to be understood. Moreover, our understanding of septum formation and its regulation in filamentous fungi, which represent the vast majority of the fungal kingdom, is highly fragmentary. We determined that a tripartite kinase cascade, consisting of CDC-7, SID-1 and DBF-2, together with their regulatory subunits CDC-14 and MOB-1, is important for septum formation in the model mold Neurospora crassa. DBF-2 activity and septum formation requires auto-phosphorylation at Ser499 within the activation segment and phosphorylation of Thr671 in the hydrophobic motif by SID-1. Moreover, SID-1-stimulated DBF-2 activity is further enhanced by CDC-7, supporting a stepwise activation mechanism of the tripartite SIN kinase cascade in fungi. However, in contrast to the situation described for unicellular yeasts, the localization of the entire SIN cascade to spindle pole bodies is constitutive and cell cycle independent. Moreover, all SIN proteins except CDC-7 form cortical rings prior to septum initiation and localize to constricting septa. Thus, SIN localization and activity regulation significantly differs in unicellular versus syncytial ascomycete fungi. © 2013 Heilig et al.
Heilig, Y., Schmitt, K., & Seiler, S. (2013). Phospho-Regulation of the Neurospora crassa Septation Initiation Network. PLoS ONE, 8(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0079464