Involvement of an SRF-MADS protein McmA in regulation of extracellular enzyme production and asexual/sexual development in <i>Aspergillus nidulans</i>

<p>SRF-MADS proteins are transcription factors conserved among eukaryotes that regulate a variety of cellular functions; however, their physiological roles are still not well understood in filamentous fungi. Effects of a mutation in <i>mcmA</i> gene that encodes the sole SRF-MADS protein in the fungus <i>Aspergillus nidulans</i> were examined by RNA sequencing. Sequencing data revealed that expression levels of cellulase genes were significantly decreased by the mutation as reported previously. However, expression levels of various hemicellulolytic enzyme genes, several extracellular protease genes, the <i>nosA</i> and <i>rosA</i> genes involved in sexual development, and AN4394 encoding an ortholog of EcdR involved in <i>Aspergillus oryzae</i> conidiation<i>,</i> were also significantly decreased by the mutation. As expected from the RNA sequencing data, the <i>mcmA</i> mutant had reduced protease production, cleistothecial development, and conidiation. This is the first report describing the involvement of SRF-MADS proteins in protease production in fungi, and asexual and sexual development in <i>Aspergillus</i>.</p> <p>McmA regulated cellulase/protease production and asexual/sexual development. The figure shows impaired development of fruiting bodies (cleistothecia) in the <i>mcmA</i> mutant.</p>