Rce1, a Novel Transcriptional Repressor, Regulates Cellulase Gene Expression by Antagonizing the Transactivator Xyr1 in Trichoderma Reesei

Mol Microbiol. 2017 Jul;105(1):65-83. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13685. Epub 2017 May 3.


Cellulase gene expression in the model cellulolytic fungus Trichoderma reesei is supposed to be controlled by an intricate regulatory network involving multiple transcription factors. Here, we identified a novel transcriptional repressor of cellulase gene expression, Rce1. Disruption of the rce1 gene not only facilitated the induced expression of cellulase genes but also led to a significant delay in terminating the induction process. However, Rce1 did not participate in Cre1-mediated catabolite repression. Electrophoretic mobility shift (EMSA) and DNase I footprinting assays in combination with chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) demonstrated that Rce1 could bind directly to a cbh1 (cellobiohydrolase 1-encoding) gene promoter region containing a cluster of Xyr1 binding sites. Furthermore, competitive binding assays revealed that Rce1 antagonized Xyr1 from binding to the cbh1 promoter. These results indicate that intricate interactions exist between a variety of transcription factors to ensure tight and energy-efficient regulation of cellulase gene expression in T. reesei. This study also provides important clues regarding increased cellulase production in T. reesei.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Cellulase / genetics*
  • Cellulase / metabolism
  • Cellulose 1,4-beta-Cellobiosidase / genetics
  • Cellulose 1,4-beta-Cellobiosidase / metabolism
  • DNA Footprinting / methods
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Protein Binding / genetics
  • Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Trichoderma / genetics*
  • Trichoderma / metabolism


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Cellulase
  • Cellulose 1,4-beta-Cellobiosidase