Nucleic acids research

Multilayer regulatory mechanisms control cleavage factor I proteins in filamentous fungi.

PMID 25514925


Cleavage factor I (CFI) proteins are core components of the polyadenylation machinery that can regulate several steps of mRNA life cycle, including alternative polyadenylation, splicing, export and decay. Here, we describe the regulatory mechanisms that control two fungal CFI protein classes in Magnaporthe oryzae: Rbp35/CfI25 complex and Hrp1. Using mutational, genetic and biochemical studies we demonstrate that cellular concentration of CFI mRNAs is a limited indicator of their protein abundance. Our results suggest that several post-transcriptional mechanisms regulate Rbp35/CfI25 complex and Hrp1 in the rice blast fungus, some of which are also conserved in other ascomycetes. With respect to Rbp35, these include C-terminal processing, RGG-dependent localization and cleavage, C-terminal autoregulatory domain and regulation by an upstream open reading frame of Rbp35-dependent TOR signalling pathway. Our proteomic analyses suggest that Rbp35 regulates the levels of proteins involved in melanin and phenylpropanoids synthesis, among others. The drastic reduction of fungal CFI proteins in carbon-starved cells suggests that the pre-mRNA processing pathway is altered. Our findings uncover broad and multilayer regulatory mechanisms controlling fungal polyadenylation factors, which have profound implications in pre-mRNA maturation. This area of research offers new avenues for fungicide design by targeting fungal-specific proteins that globally affect thousands of mRNAs.