Characterization of Ctr family genes and the elucidation of their role in the life cycle of Neurospora crassa

Fungal Genet Biol. 2010 Mar;47(3):237-45. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2009.12.006. Epub 2009 Dec 23.


Transcriptional analysis using qRT-PCR of 62 metal ion transporters during conidial germination of Neurospora crassa showed a significant up regulation of a hypothetical copper transporter gene, tcu-1, that belongs to the Ctr family. Herein we characterised the Ctr family genes (tcu-1, tcu-2 and tcu-3) and deciphered their role in various developmental phases of the N. crassa life cycle. Cross complementation assays in copper uptake mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae revealed that tcu-1, tcu-2 and tcu-3 are functional homologs of S. cerevisiae copper transporters. Expression studies of Ctr family members in various developmental phases of N. crassa showed differential expression pattern for high-affinity copper transporter, TCU1. Functional analysis of their gene knockout mutants showed that tcu-1 is essential for saprophytic conidial germination, vegetative growth and perithecia development under copper limited conditions while conidiation remained unaffected.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cation Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Cation Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Cation Transport Proteins / physiology*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Fungal / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Genome, Fungal
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurospora crassa / genetics
  • Neurospora crassa / growth & development*
  • Neurospora crassa / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Spores, Fungal / genetics
  • Spores, Fungal / metabolism


  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • DNA, Fungal
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Protein Kinases