Transcriptional regulation of plant cell wall degradation by filamentous fungi

Nina Aro, Tiina Pakula, Merja Penttilä

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    422 Citations (Scopus)


    Plant cell wall consists mainly of the large biopolymers cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and pectin. These biopolymers are degraded by many microorganisms, in particular filamentous fungi, with the aid of extracellular enzymes. Filamentous fungi have a key role in degradation of the most abundant biopolymers found in nature, cellulose and hemicelluloses, and therefore are essential for the maintenance of the global carbon cycle. The production of plant cell wall degrading enzymes, cellulases, hemicellulases, ligninases and pectinases, is regulated mainly at the transcriptional level in filamentous fungi. The genes are induced in the presence of the polymers or molecules derived from the polymers and repressed under growth conditions where the production of these enzymes is not necessary, such as on glucose. The expression of the genes encoding the enzymes is regulated by various environmental and cellular factors, some of which are common while others are more unique to either a certain fungus or a class of enzymes. This review summarises our current knowledge on the transcriptional regulation, focusing on the recently characterized transcription factors that regulate genes coding for enzymes involved in the breakdown of plant cell wall biopolymers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)719-739
    JournalFEMS Microbiology Reviews
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2005
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • ACEI
    • ACEII
    • Cellulase
    • Cre
    • Hap complex
    • Hemicellulase
    • Ligninolytic enzyme
    • PacC
    • Transcriptional regulation


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