Aspergillus myosin-V supports polarized growth in the absence of microtubule-based transport

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Abstract

In the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, both microtubules and actin filaments are important for polarized growth at the hyphal tip. Less clear is how different microtubule-based and actin-based motors work together to support this growth. Here we examined the role of myosin-V (MYOV) in hyphal growth. MYOV-depleted cells form elongated hyphae, but the rate of hyphal elongation is significantly reduced. In addition, although wild type cells without microtubules still undergo polarized growth, microtubule disassembly abolishes polarized growth in MYOV-depleted cells. Thus, MYOV is essential for polarized growth in the absence of microtubules. Moreover, while a triple kinesin null mutant lacking kinesin-1 (KINA) and two kinesin-3s (UNCA and UNCB) undergoes hyphal elongation and forms a colony, depleting MYOV in this triple mutant results in lethality due to a severe defect in polarized growth. These results argue that MYOV, through its ability to transport secretory cargo, can support a significant amount of polarized hyphal tip growth in the absence of any microtubule-based transport. Finally, our genetic analyses also indicate that KINA (kinesin-1) rather than UNCA (kinesin-3) is the major kinesin motor that supports polarized growth in the absence of MYOV.

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Zhang, J., Tan, K., Wu, X., Chen, G., Sun, J., Reck-Peterson, S. L., … Xiang, X. (2011). Aspergillus myosin-V supports polarized growth in the absence of microtubule-based transport. PLoS ONE, 6(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0028575

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