Regulation of genes involved in cell wall synthesis and structure during Ustilago maydis dimorphism

FEMS Yeast Res. 2013 Feb;13(1):74-84. doi: 10.1111/1567-1364.12011. Epub 2012 Nov 21.


The cell wall is the structure that provides the shape to fungal cells and protects them from the difference in osmotic pressure existing between the cytosol and the external medium. Accordingly, changes in structure and composition of the fungal wall must occur during cell differentiation, including the dimorphic transition of fungi. We analyzed, by use of microarrays, the transcriptional regulation of the 639 genes identified to be involved in cell wall synthesis and structure plus the secretome of the Basidiomycota species Ustilago maydis during its dimorphic transition induced by a change in pH. Of these, 189 were differentially expressed during the process, and using as control two monomorphic mutants, one yeast like and the other mycelium constitutive, 66 genes specific of dimorphism were identified. Most of these genes were up-regulated in the mycelial phase. These included CHS genes, genes involved in β-1,6-glucan synthesis, N-glycosylation, and proteins containing a residue of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, and a number of genes from the secretome. The possible significance of these data on cell wall plasticity is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Chitin Synthase / genetics
  • Chitin Synthase / metabolism
  • Down-Regulation
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Glycosylation
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Mutation
  • Mycelium
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Up-Regulation
  • Ustilago / cytology
  • Ustilago / genetics*
  • Ustilago / growth & development
  • Ustilago / metabolism
  • beta-Glucans / metabolism*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • RNA, Fungal
  • beta-Glucans
  • beta-1,6-glucan
  • Chitin Synthase