The sulfur controller-2 negative regulatory gene of Neurospora crassa encodes a protein with beta-transducin repeats

Kumar, A.; Paietta, J.V.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 92(8): 3343-3347


ISSN/ISBN: 0027-8424
PMID: 7724564
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.92.8.3343
Accession: 009629740

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The sulfur regulatory system of Neurospora crassa is composed of a set of structural genes involved in sulfur catabolism controlled by a genetically defined set of trans-acting regulatory genes. These sulfur regulatory genes include cys-3+, which encodes a basic region-leucine zipper transcriptional activator, and the negative regulatory gene scon-2+. We report here that the scon-2+ gene encodes a polypeptide of 650 amino acids belonging to the expanding beta-transducin family of eukaryotic regulatory proteins. Specifically, SCON2 protein contains six repeated G beta-homologous domains spanning the C-terminal half of the protein. SCON2 represents the initial filamentous fungal protein identified in the beta-transducin group. Additionally, SCON2 exhibits a specific amino-terminal domain that potentially defines another subfamily of beta-transducin homologs. Expression of the scon-2+ gene has been examined using RNA hybridization and gel mobility-shift analysis. The dependence of scon-2+ expression on CYS3 function and the binding of CYS3 to the scon-2+ promoter indicate the presence of an important control loop within the N. crassa sulfur regulatory circuit involving CYS3 activation of scon-2+ expression. On the basis of the presence of beta-transducin repeats, the crucial role of SCON2 in the signal-response pathway triggered by sulfur limitation may be mediated by protein-protein interactions.