Canadian journal of microbiology

Melanin biosynthesis in the fungus Curvularia lunata (teleomorph: Cochliobolus lunatus).

PMID 12718399


Curvularia lunata (teleomorph: Cochliobolus lunatus) is a known plant and human pathogen. Tricyclazole, a specific inhibitor of pentaketide melanin biosynthesis, blocked the biosynthesis of melanin in Curvularia lunata and caused the accumulation of the melanin metabolites flaviolin and 2-hydroxyjuglone. This showed that melanin in Curvularia lunata is produced by a pentaketide pathway from 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene. The 1,3,8-trihydroxynaphthalene reductase (3HNR) gene, associated with the melanin pathway of Curvularia lunata, was identified and characterized. An alignment of 3HNR sequences enabled the design of primers covering conserved regions. A PCR-amplified fragment of Curvularia lunata genomic DNA was used for screening the cDNA library. Three independent cDNA clones revealed an 801-bp open reading frame encoding a 267 amino acid protein. The protein was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. The predicted amino acid sequence of the 28.6-kDa protein demonstrated homology to other fungal 3HNR and other members of the short-chain dehydrogenase super family. Northern analyses revealed that 3HNR from Curvularia lunata is expressed synchronously with melanization after 3 days of Curvularia lunata growth in malt extract medium. No 3HNR reductase gene expression nor melanization was observed when Curvularia lunata was grown in yeast nitrogen base medium.

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Tricyclazole, PESTANAL®, analytical standard