Two structurally similar fungal prions efficiently cross-seed in vivo but form distinct polymers when coexpressed

Laura Benkemoun, Frédérique Ness, Raimon Sabaté, Johanna Ceschin, Annick Breton, Corinne Clavé, Sven J. Saupe

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12 Citations (Scopus)


HET-s is a prion protein of the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina. An orthologue of this protein, called FgHET-s has been identified in Fusarium graminearum. The region of the FgHET-s protein corresponding to the prion forming domain of HET-s, forms amyloid fibrils in vitro. These fibrils seed HET-s(218-289) fibril formation in vitro and vice versa. The amyloid fold of HET-s(218-289) and FgHET-s(218-289) are remarkably similar although they share only 38% identity. The present work corresponds to the functional characterization of the FgHET-s(218-289) region as a prion forming domain in vivo. We show that FgHET-s(218-289) is capable of prion propagation in P. anserina and is able to substitute for the HET-s PFD in the full-length HET-s protein. In accordance with the in vitro cross-seeding experiments, we detect no species barrier between P. anserina and F. graminearum PFDs. We use the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a host to compare the prion performances of the two orthologous PFDs. We find that FgHET-s(218-289) leads to higher spontaneous prion formation rates and mitotic prion stability than HET-s(218-289). Then we analysed the outcome of HET-s(218-289)/FgHET-s(218-289) coexpression. In spite of the cross-seeding ability of HET-s(218-289) and FgHET-s(218-289), in vivo, homotypic polymerization is favoured over mixed fibril formation. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1392-1405
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011


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