Aflatoxins - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology by R. Guevara-Gonzalez

By R. Guevara-Gonzalez

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Nidulans was also shown to be negatively regulated by protein kinase A and RasA, two signal transduction proteins shown to be involved in regulation of secondary metabolite gene activity and conidial development (see below). laeA null mutants showed little difference in spore production compared to the wild type, suggesting that the primary role of LaeA is to regulate expression of secondary metabolite gene clusters. It was proposed that LaeA may function as a unique, fungal secondary metabolite-specific regulator of chromatin organization necessary for activation of the genes in such clusters, including aflR.

A number of other protein kinases have been implicated in transduction of the environmental signals including the TOR kinase and MAP kinases. , 2006). Nutrient regulation of AF and ST biosynthesis may be mediated by cAMP levels. , 2004). Glucose and simple sugars in the growth medium act as inducers of AF biosynthesis, possibly by regulating levels of cAMP, and possibly by induction of the global transcription factor, CreA. Hormone-like signaling molecules, known as oxylipins, also contribute to regulation of secondary metabolites (Tsitsigiannis & Keller, 2006).

Trimethylation of lysine 4 in histone 3 is associated with active chromatin as is histone lysine acetylation. Generally histone deacetylases (HDAC’s) are involved in the formation of heterochromatin whereas histone methyltransferases are associated with either formation of euchromatin (active) or heterochromatin depending on the position of methylation (Jenuwein & Allis, 2001). The proposed function of LaeA is to loosen the chromatin specifically at certain gene clusters, such as the AF cluster, to make it accessible to global and pathway specific DNA binding transcription factors (Strauss & ReyesDominguez, 2010).

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