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Chapter 10 : Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Cell Fusion and Heterokaryon Formation in Filamentous Fungi

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Abstract:

Cell-cell fusion is an essential biological process that occurs in organisms throughout the tree of life. It is involved in both sexual and asexual developmental processes in most species and has been shown to occur in multicellular and in unicellular organisms. Somatic cell fusion events are widespread in eukaryotic organisms, including animals, where they are important for muscle differentiation, placental development, and formation of multinucleate giant cells in the immune system ( ).

Citation: Daskalov A, Heller J, Herzog S, Fleißner A, Glass N. 2017. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Cell Fusion and Heterokaryon Formation in Filamentous Fungi, p 215-229. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0015-2016
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Figures

Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

Germling and hyphal fusion in . Germinating spores undergo mutual attraction and fusion (A: 0 min; B: 40 min; C: 80 min). Consecutive fusion events result in network formation. Hyphal branches fuse and form cross connections. (E: DIC; F: cell walls stained with calcofluor white). Asterisks in all images indicate fusion points. Adapted from reference .

Citation: Daskalov A, Heller J, Herzog S, Fleißner A, Glass N. 2017. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Cell Fusion and Heterokaryon Formation in Filamentous Fungi, p 215-229. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0015-2016
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Working model of the molecular events governing germling and hyphal fusion. The signal-emitting cell releases the ligand in a pulse-like manner, probably by exocytosis. Binding of the signal molecules to their cognate receptors results in assembly and activation of the MAK-2 module at the plasma membrane. MAK-2 phosphorylates MOB-3 of the STRIPAK complex, thereby promoting nuclear entry of MAK-1. In the nucleus MAK-2 activates the transcription factor PP-1, which controls cell fusion factor-encoding genes. Activation of MAK-2 involves reactive oxygen species production by the NADPH oxidase (NOX) complex either upstream or downstream of the MAP kinase cascade. Adapted from reference .

Citation: Daskalov A, Heller J, Herzog S, Fleißner A, Glass N. 2017. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Cell Fusion and Heterokaryon Formation in Filamentous Fungi, p 215-229. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0015-2016
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Figure 3

Heterokaryosis and its possible outcomes. Genetically distinct individuals can undergo hyphal anastomosis. If there are no allelic specificity differences at loci, a viable heterokaryon is established and nuclei (blue and brown dots) are exchanged. If allelic specificity is different between the two strains for any of the loci, septal plugging isolates the heterokaryotic compartments and cell death occurs.

Citation: Daskalov A, Heller J, Herzog S, Fleißner A, Glass N. 2017. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Cell Fusion and Heterokaryon Formation in Filamentous Fungi, p 215-229. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0015-2016
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Figure 4

Macroscopic visualization of vegetative incompatibility. The heterokaryon (vegetative) incompatibility reaction is visualized by the occurrence of a demarcation line called “barrage” that separates the incompatible strains. Evidence of barrage on wood (spalted wood) occurring in the wild. Barrage reaction (black arrows) between genetically incompatible strains. Identical individuals fuse without inducing allorecognition PCD and do not form the barrage (white arrows).

Citation: Daskalov A, Heller J, Herzog S, Fleißner A, Glass N. 2017. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Cell Fusion and Heterokaryon Formation in Filamentous Fungi, p 215-229. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0015-2016
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Figure 5

Microscopic visualization of programmed cell death during vegetative incompatibility. A time course of compatible and incompatible hyphal fusion in . The programmed cell death reaction is followed by the fluorescent vital dye (membrane staining) FM4-64. Fusion between two strains that have identical specificities at all loci. Arrow shows the fusion pore (p). Nuclei or large vacuoles (v) are transported through the pore with the cytoplasmic flow. Fusion between two strains that differ in specificity. Heterokaryotic cells are compartmentalized by septal plugs (solid arrow and insert). Permeabilization of the plasma membrane leads to increased cytoplasmic staining and vacuolization. Open arrows show large vacuoles within incompatible fusion cells, while the asterisk shows a nearby healthy cell. Bar = 10 μM. Adapted from reference .

Citation: Daskalov A, Heller J, Herzog S, Fleißner A, Glass N. 2017. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Cell Fusion and Heterokaryon Formation in Filamentous Fungi, p 215-229. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0015-2016
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Figure 6

Incompatibility systems and genetically identified () loci in model filamentous ascomycete species. Round-headed arrows connecting the genes indicate nonallelic HI systems, and square-headed arrows indicate allelic HI systems. Blue arrows indicate that the incompatibility reaction influences the distribution of mycoviruses that result in hypovirulence in . Genes in red encode for proteins with a HET domain, and boxed genes (loci) are still not identified molecularly.

Citation: Daskalov A, Heller J, Herzog S, Fleißner A, Glass N. 2017. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Cell Fusion and Heterokaryon Formation in Filamentous Fungi, p 215-229. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0015-2016
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Figure 7

Domain organization of fungal and metazoan NLRs (NOD-like receptors) and NLR-like proteins. The heterokaryon determinants HET-E (also HET-D and HET-R as paralogues of HET-E) and VIC4 present a typical NLR-like domain organization. NLRs have a tripartite domain organization with a central nucleotide-binding and oligomerization (NOD) domain, an N-terminal effector domain, and a C-terminal sensor domain. The sensor domain can be composed of various repeated motifs (LRR or WD40, in the examples presented here) that trigger the activation of the receptors upon recognition of defined molecular cues. The recognition of the signal activates the formation by the receptors of multimeric protein platforms. The oligomerization of the receptors is mediated by the NOD domain (NACHT or NB-ARC type) in characterized cases, such as APAF-1 (the human apoptosis-controlling factor) and NLRC4 (an innate immunity receptor). Abbreviations: CARD, caspase recruitment domain; LRR, leucine rich repeats.

Citation: Daskalov A, Heller J, Herzog S, Fleißner A, Glass N. 2017. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Cell Fusion and Heterokaryon Formation in Filamentous Fungi, p 215-229. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0015-2016
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