Regulators of G-protein signaling (RGS proteins) negatively regulate heterotrimeric G-protein cascades that enable eukaryotic cells to perceive and respond to external stimuli. The rice-blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea forms specialized infection structures called appressoria in response to inductive surface cues. We isolated Magnaporthe RGS1 in a screen for mutants that form precocious appressoria on non-inductive surfaces. We report that a thigmotropic cue is necessary for initiating appressoria and for accumulating cAMP. Similar to an RGS1-deletion strain, magAG187S (RGS-insensitive Gαs) and magAQ208L (GTPase-dead) mutants accumulated excessive cAMP and elaborated appressoria on non-inductive surfaces, suggesting that Rgs1 regulates MagA during pathogenesis. Rgs1 was also found to negatively regulate the Gαi subunit MagB during asexual development. Deficiency of MAGB suppressed the hyper-conidiation defect in RGS1-deletion strain, whereas magBG183S and magBQ204L mutants produced more conidia, similar to the RGS1-deletion strain. Rgs1 physically interacted with GDP-AlF4--activated forms of MagA, MagB and MagC (a GαII subunit). Thus, Rgs1 serves as a negative regulator of all Gα subunits in Magnaporthe and controls important developmental events during asexual and pathogenic development.
- Fungal pathogenesis
- RGS proteins