A catalytic subunit of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase, PKAC-1, regulates asexual differentiation in Neurospora crassa

Genes Genet Syst. 2005 Feb;80(1):25-34. doi: 10.1266/ggs.80.25.


A cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase pathway has been shown to regulate growth, morphogenesis and virulence in filamentous fungi. However, the precise mechanisms of regulation through the pathway remain poorly understood. In Neurospora crassa, the cr-1 adenylate cyclase mutant exhibits colonial growth with short aerial hyphae bearing conidia, and the mcb mutant, a mutant of the regulatory subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), shows the loss of growth polarity at the restrictive temperature. In the present study, we isolated mutants of the catalytic subunit of the PKA gene pkac-1 through the process of repeat-induced point mutation (RIP). PKA activity of the mutants obtained through RIP was undetectable. The genome sequence predicts two distinct catalytic subunit genes of PKA, named pkac-1 (NCU06240.1, AAF75276) and pkac-2 (NCU00682.1), as is the case in most filamentous fungi. The results suggest that PKAC-1 works as the major PKA in N. crassa. The phenotype of the pkac-1 mutants included colonial growth, short aerial hyphae, premature conidiation on solid medium, inappropriate conidiation in submerged culture, and increased thermotolerance. This phenotype of pkac-1 mutants resembled to that of cr-1 mutants, except that the addition of cAMP did not rescue the abnormal morphology of pkac-1 mutants. The loss of growth polarity at the restrictive temperature in the mcb mutant was suppressed by pkac-1 mutation. These results suggest that the signal transduction pathway mediated by PKAC-1 plays an important role in regulation of aerial hyphae formation, conidiation, and hyphal growth with polarity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catalytic Domain / genetics
  • Catalytic Domain / physiology*
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Morphogenesis / genetics
  • Morphogenesis / physiology*
  • Mutation
  • Neurospora crassa / genetics
  • Neurospora crassa / growth & development*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases