Aspergillus nidulans is a genetic model for studying polarised cell growth and long-distance transport. Hyphal tip cells grow exclusively by apical extension, leading to tubular multinucleated cells where intracellular traffic is tailored to the large distances that exist between apical and distal regions of the cytosol, or between the different nuclei of the cell. We use a combination of formal Genetics with Molecular and Cellular Biology to understand intracellular traffic, including the mechanisms by which environmental signals are transduced to the different nuclei of the cell to ensure coordinated transcriptional responses. The research unit includes two groups, led by Dr. Eduardo A. Espeso and Dr. Miguel A. Peñalva (acting as coordinator), respectively.
Time-lapse movie showing a mitosis, with chromatin stained in red and the ER in green
. Penalva M.A., Moscoso-Romero E. and Hernández-González M. Tracking exocytosis of a GPI-anchored protein in Aspergillus nidulans. Traffic, Sep 9. doi: 10.1111/tra.12761
Pinar, Mario, Peñalva, Miguel A. . En bloc TGN recruitment of Aspergillus TRAPPII reveals TRAPP maturation as unlikely to drive RAB1-to-RAB11 transition. Journal of Cell Science 133: jcs241141.
. Pinar M, Arias-Palomo E, de los Ríos V, Arst HN Jr, Peñalva MA. Characterization of Aspergillus nidulans TRAPPs uncovers unprecedented similarities between fungi and metazoans and reveals the modular assembly of TRAPPII. PLOS Genetics 15(12):e1008557.
Hernández-Gonzalez, M., Bravo-Plaza, I., Pinar, M., de los Ríos, V., Arst, H. N., Jr., and Peñalva, . Endocytic recycling via the TGN underlies the polarized hyphal mode of life. M. A. PLoS Genetics 14: e1007291.
Peñalva, M.A., Zhang, J., Xiang, X., and Pantazopoulou, A. . Transport of fungal RAB11 secretory vesicles involves myosin-5, dynein/dynactin/p25 and kinesin-1 and is independent of kinesin-3. Mol Biol Cell 28, 947-961.
Markina-Iñarrairaegui, A., Spielvogel, A., Etxebeste, O., Ugalde, U., Espeso, E.A. . Tolerance to alkaline ambient pH in Aspergillus nidulans depends on the activity of ENA proteins. Scientific Reports. 10:-.
Picazo, I., Etxebeste, O., Requena, E., Garzia, A., Espeso, E.A. . Defining the transcriptional responses of Aspergillus nidulans to cation/alkaline pH stress and the role of the transcription factor SltA. Microbial Genomics. 6:1-18.
Manoli, M.-T., Espeso, E.A. . Modulation of calcineurin activity in Aspergillus nidulans: the roles of high magnesium concentrations and of transcriptional factor CrzA. Molecular Microbiology. 111:1283-1301.
Etxebeste, O., Otamendi, A., Garzia, A., Espeso, E.A., Cortese, M.S. . Rewiring of transcriptional networks as a major event leading to the diversity of asexual multicellularity in fungi. Critical Reviews in Microbiology. 45:548-563.
Otamendi, A., Perez-de-Nanclares-Arregi, E., Oiartzabal-Arano, E., Cortese, M.S., Espeso, E.A., Etxebeste, O. . Developmental regulators FlbE/D orchestrate the polarity site-to-nucleus dynamics of the fungal bZIP transcription factor FlbB. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 76:4369-4390.
Intracellular Membrane Trafficking Group, PI: Miguel A. Peñalva
Funding body: Agencia Española de Investigación, FEDER Funds
Investigating the integration between exocytosis and endocytosis using a model fungal cell factory (2019-2022).
Filamentous fungi display a remarkable capacity to secrete proteins, a capacity exploited for the production of industrial enzymes, which represents a major activity of the biotechnology sector in Europe. Yet detailed understanding of the organization and regulation of exocitosis in these organisms is wanting, including, for example, how does continuous growth by apical extension, highly demanding for exocitosis, compete with high-level secretion of enzymes. Our work on Aspergillus intracellular traffic has placed us in a privileged situation to address fundamental issues that may guide tailored improvements of productivity.