The protein kinase C (PKC) family participates in maintaining integrity and growth of fungal cell walls. However, the precise molecular role of these proteins in the filamentous fungi remains unknown. In this work, pkcA, the gene encoding the PKC homolog in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, was cloned and its function analyzed using a conditional alcA-PKC mutant strain. Repression of pkcA expression resulted in increased conidial swelling, decreased rates of hyphal growth, changes in the ultrastructure of the cell wall and increased sensitivity to antifungal agents. These results suggest that the protein encoded by pkcA is involved in key aspects of cell morphogenesis and cell wall integrity.
- Aspergillus nidulans
- Fungal cell wall