Catalytic subunit 1 of protein phosphatase 2A is a subunit of the STRIPAK complex and governs fungal sexual development

Anna Beier, Ines Teichert, Christoph Krisp, Dirk A. Wolters, Ulrich Kück*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


The generation of complex three-dimensional structures is a key developmental step for most eukaryotic organisms. The details of the molecular machinery controlling this step remain to be determined. An excellent model system to study this general process is the generation of three-dimensional fruiting bodies in filamentous fungi like Sordaria macrospora. Fruiting body development is controlled by subunits of the highly conserved striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complex, which has been described in organisms ranging from yeasts to humans. The highly conserved heterotrimeric protein phosphatase PP2A is a subunit of STRIPAK. Here, catalytic subunit 1 of PP2A was functionally characterized. The Δpp2Ac1 strain is sterile, unable to undergo hyphal fusion, and devoid of ascogonial septation. Further, PP2Ac1, together with STRIPAK subunit PRO22, governs vegetative and stress-related growth. We revealed in vitro catalytic activity of wild-type PP2Ac1, and our in vivo analysis showed that inactive PP2Ac1 blocks the complementation of the sterile deletion strain. Tandem affinity purification, followed by mass spectrometry and yeast two-hybrid analysis, verified that PP2Ac1 is a subunit of STRIPAK. Further, these data indicate links between the STRIPAK complex and other developmental signaling pathways, implying the presence of a large interconnected signaling network that controls eukaryotic developmental processes. The insights gained in our study can be transferred to higher eukaryotes and will be important for understanding eukaryotic cellular development in general. IMPORTANCE: The striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complex is highly conserved from yeasts to humans and is an important regulator of numerous eukaryotic developmental processes, such as cellular signaling and cell development. Although functional insights into the STRIPAK complex are accumulating, the detailed molecular mechanisms of single subunits are only partially understood. The first fungal STRIPAK was described in Sordaria macrospora, which is a well-established model organism used to study the formation of fungal fruiting bodies, three-dimensional organ-like structures. We analyzed STRIPAK subunit PP2Ac1, catalytic subunit 1 of protein phosphatase PP2A, to study the importance of the catalytic activity of this protein during sexual development. The results of our yeast two-hybrid analysis and tandem affinity purification, followed by mass spectrometry, indicate that PP2Ac1 activity connects STRIPAK with other signaling pathways and thus forms a large interconnected signaling network.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00870-16
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

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