1887

Abstract

C9-methylated glucosylceramide is a fungus-specific sphingolipid. This lipid is a major membrane component in the cell and is thought to play important roles in the growth and virulence of several fungal species. To investigate the importance of the methyl branch of the long-chain base in glucosylceramides in pathogenic fungi, we identified and characterized a sphingolipid C9-methyltransferase gene (, C9-ethylransferase for phingolipid ) in the pathogenic yeast . The disruptant lacked ()-9-methylsphinga-4,8-dienine in its glucosylceramides and contained ()-sphing-4-enine and ()-sphinga-4,8-dienine. Reintroducing the gene into the disruptant restored the synthesis of ()-9-methylsphinga-4,8-dienine in the glucosylceramides. We also created a disruptant of the gene, encoding glucosylceramide synthase, which catalyses the final step of glucosylceramide synthesis, in and compared this mutant with the disruptant. The and disruptants both had a decreased hyphal growth rate compared to the wild-type strain. The disruptant showed increased susceptibility to SDS and fluconazole, similar to a previously reported disruptant that contained only ()-sphing-4-enine in its glucosylceramides, suggesting that these strains have defects in their cell membrane structures. In contrast, the disruptant grew similarly to wild-type in medium containing SDS or fluconazole. These results suggest that the C9-methyl group of a long-chain base in glucosylceramides plays an important role in the hyphal elongation of independent of lipid membrane disruption.

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2010-04-01
2019-12-10
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