3 years ago

Spatial heterogeneity of glycogen and its metabolizing enzymes in Aspergillus nidulans hyphal tip cells

Glycogen is a homopolymer of glucose and a ubiquitous cellular-storage carbon. This study investigated which Aspergillus nidulans genes are involved in glycogen metabolism. Gene disruptants of predicted glycogen synthase (gsyA) and glycogenin (glgA) genes accumulated less cellular glycogen than the wild type strain, indicating that GsyA and GlgA synthesize glycogen similarly to other eukaryotes. Meanwhile, gene disruption of gphA encoding glycogen phosphorylase increased the amount of glycogen to a higher degree than wild type during the stationary phase that accompanies carbon-source limitation. GFP-tagged GsyA and GphA were distributed in the cytosol and formed punctate and filamentous structures, respectively. Carbon starvation resulted in elongated GphA-GFP filaments and increased numbers of filaments. These structures were more frequently located in the basal regions of tip cells and adjacent cells than in the apical regions of tip cells. Cellular glycogen visualized by incorporation of a fluorescent glucose analog accumulated in cytoplasmic puncta that were more prevalent in the basal regions, a pattern similar to that seen for GsyA. The colocalization of glycogen and GsyA at punctate structures in tip and sub-apical cells likely represents the cellular machinery for synthesizing glycogen. More frequent colocalization in the basal, rather than tip cell apical regions indicated that tip cells have differentiated subcellular regions for glycogen synthesis. Our findings regarding glycogen, GsyA and GphA distribution evoke the spatial heterogeneity of glycogen metabolism in fungal hyphae.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1087184517301743

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