• Fimbriae of coprinus cinereus, schizophyllum commune and ustilago violacea = structural aspects and a role in conjugation

      Boulianne, Robert P.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1990-07-09)
      Surface fibrils (fimbriae) have been observed on fungi from every major group. Fimbriae are thought to be involved in the following cell to cell interactions: conjugation, flocculation and adhesion. Several higher fungi exibit two other types of interactions: hyphal fusion (anastomosis) and clamp connection formation. As a prelude to examining the role of fimbriae in these processes, the fimbriae of two fungi that undergo these fusion events were examined. Electron microscopy studies revealed that Coprinus cinereus and Schizophyllum commune are fimbriated. C. cinereus fimbriae were 5 nm in diameter and 0.5 to 20 11m in length. Fimbriae of C. cinereus oidia were more numerous and longer than those of the hyphal stage. S. commune fimbriae were also 5 nm in diameter, but were only 0.5 to 2 11m in length. There was an unequal distribution of fimbriae on the hyphal surfaces of S. commune . Fimbriae were sparsely distributed over the entire hyphal surface, with higher densities of fibrils present on the side growths of the hyphae found in the older sections of the mycelium. Antiserum raised against Ustilago violacea fimbrial protein (AU) crossreacted strongly with 37 and 39 kd C. cinereus mycelial proteins. In contrast, AU bound very weakly to 89 and 92 kd S. commune mycelial proteins. Since AU cross-reacted poorly with S. commune fimbrial proteins, it was impossible to further characterize the fimbriae of this specIes. The 37 and 39 kd C. cinereus proteins, were isolated by electroelution and were shown to be able to form fibrils the same diameter as oidial fimbriae. The 37 kd protein was shown to be composed of several proteins with isoelectric points ranging from pH 6.1 to 7.63. Furthermore, the 37 kd protein was found to be multimeric, while the 39 kd protein was not. These results strongly suggested that the 37 kd protein is the structural fimbrial protein of C. cine reus . Finally, a series of experiments were designed to determine whether fimbriae are required for conjugation in U. violacea Conjugation was inhibited significantly with AU, but not with pre-immune serum or AU preincubated with purified fimbrial protein. Thus, it was concluded that fimbriae play a central role in mating in this organism.
    • Isolation and analysis of a corprinus cinereus DNA fragment showing homology to a fimbrial cDNA from ustilago violacea

      McKay, Bruce C.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1993-10-02)
      Surface proteinaceous fibrils, termed fimbriae, were first identified on gram negative bacteria in the 1940s. Fungal fimbriae, discovered some 25 years later, are found on members of all fungal classes. In the present study, polyclonal antiserum raised against the fimbrial proteins of U. vio/acea were used in order to identify antigenically related proteins from Coprinus cinereus and Schizophy//um commune. Two polypeptides with molecular masses of 37 and 39 kDa from C. cinereus were observed and confirm earlier results. A single previously unidentified 50 kDa polypeptide in S. commune crossreacted with the antiserum. The 50 kDa protein was found to consist of 3 isoforms with isoelectric points ranging from 5.6 to 5.8. A fimbrial cDNA derived from U. vio/acea was used to identify DNA restriction fragments from C. cinereus and S. commune showing homology to the fimbrial transcript of U. vio/acea. Heterologous hybridization with this cDNA was used in order to screen a C. cinereus genomic DNA library. A single clone, A2-3A, with a 14 kbp insert showed strong homology to the pfim3-1 cDNA. The region of homology, a 700 bp Xba I fragment, was subcloned into pUG19. This plasmid was refered to as pXX8. DNA sequence determinations of pXX8 and adjacent fragments from A2-3A suggested that the cloned DNA was a portion of the rONA repeat encoding the small subunit rRNA. DNA sequence analysis of pfim3-1 yielded an incomplete open reading frame. The predicted amino acid sequence codes for a 206 amino acid, 22 kDa polypeptide which contains a domain similar to a transmembrane domain from rat leukocyte antigen, GDS3. As well, an untranslated 576 nucleotide domain showed 81 % homology to pXX8 and 830/0 homology to the 188 rRNA sequence of Ustilago maydis. This sequence was found adjacent to a region of adenine-thymine base pairs presumed to represent the polyadenylation sequence of the fimbrial transcript. The size and extent of homology is sufficient to account for the hybridization of pfim3-1 to rDNA. It is suggested that this domain represents a completely novel regulatory domain within eukaryotes that may enable the observed rapid regeneration of fimbriae in U. violacea.