Polymers of the HEX1 protein produce Woronin bodies in filamentous fungi. We have isolated and sequenced the hex1 gene and flanking regions from the industrially exploited fungus Trichoderma reesei. Multiple transcription start sites (TSS) and the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) were identified by 5′RACE PCR. There are three hex1 transcript types, two of which originate from two TSSs at approximately -320 and -1335 from the start codon, which are separated by a 500-bp intron within the 5′UTR. The third transcript type results from alternative splicing of the intron within the coding sequence at the 3′ end, which results in the inclusion or exclusion of an unconserved histidine-rich coding region. The three transcripts code for two forms of HEX1 protein. N-terminal sequencing of HEX1 separated by 2D gel electrophoresis confirms that there are two forms of HEX1 protein which are modified further by alternative cleavage of the N-terminus. The dominant form of HEX1 is coded by a cDNA with TSS at position -1335. Expression of hex1 on cellulase-inducing medium peaks strongly within 24 h of growth but the protein is expressed at a lower and more consistent level in medium containing glucose. This is the first investigation of expression of the hex1 gene encoding a protein unique to filamentous fungi.
- woronin body
- multiple transcription start sites
- alternative splicing