A signal transduction pathway called the unfolded protein response is activated when increased levels of misfolded proteins or incorrectly assembled subunits accumulate in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The expression of several genes for ER-resident foldases and chaperones, as well as genes encoding proteins that are involved in functions associated with the secretory process, are induced by this pathway. This paper describes the cloning and characterisation of genes for two components of the pathway, ire1 and ptc2, from the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei (Hypocrea jecorina). The data presented demonstrates that the T. reesei genes can complement Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants that are deficient in the corresponding homologues. The T. reesei IREI protein has intrinsic kinase activity, as revealed by an in vitro autophosphorylation assay. Overexpression of ire1 in a T. reesei strain that expresses a foreign protein (laccase 1 from Phlebia radiata), results in up-regulation of the UPR pathway, as indicated by the increased expression levels of the known UPR target genes bip1 and pdi1. Splicing of the mRNA encoding the transcription factor HAC1 is also observed. Other genes encoding proteins from different parts of the secretory pathway also respond to ire1 overexpression.
- Trichoderma reesei
- Unfolded protein response