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GprC of the nematode-trapping fungus Arthrobotrys flagrans activates mitochondria and reprograms fungal cells for nematode hunting

Published date

June 14, 2024


"Initiation of development requires differential gene expression and metabolic adaptations. Here we show in the nematode-trapping fungus, Arthrobotrys flagrans, that both are achieved through a dual-function G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). A. flagrans develops adhesive traps and recognizes its prey, Caenorhabditis elegans, through nematode-specific pheromones (ascarosides). Gene-expression analyses revealed that ascarosides activate the fungal GPCR, GprC, at the plasma membrane and together with the G-protein alpha subunit GasA, reprograms the cell. However, GprC and GasA also reside in mitochondria and boost respiration. This dual localization of GprC in A. flagrans resembles the localization of the cannabinoid receptor CB1 in humans. The C. elegans ascaroside-sensing GPCR, SRBC66 and GPCRs of many fungi are also predicted for dual localization, suggesting broad evolutionary conservation. An SRBC64/66-GprC chimaeric protein was functional in A. flagrans, and C. elegans SRBC64/66 and DAF38 share ascaroside-binding sites with the fungal GprC receptor, suggesting 400-million-year convergent evolution."


Xiaodi Hu, David S Hoffmann, Mai Wang, Lars Schuhmacher, Maria C Stroe, Birgit Schreckenberger, Marcus Elstner, Reinhard Fischer 

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