Comparative genomics of MAP kinase and calcium-calcineurin signalling components in plant and human pathogenic fungi

Nicolas Rispail, Darren M Soanes, Cemile Ant, Robert Czajkowski, Anke Grünler, Romain Huguet, Elena Perez-Nadales, Anna Poli, Elodie Sartorel, Vito Valiante, Meng Yang, Roland Beffa, Axel A Brakhage, Neil A R Gow, Regine Kahmann, Marc-Henri Lebrun, Helena Lenasi, José Perez-Martin, Nicholas J Talbot, Jürgen WendlandAntonio Di Pietro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Citations (Scopus)


Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades and the calcium-calcineurin pathway control fundamental aspects of fungal growth, development and reproduction. Core elements of these signalling pathways are required for virulence in a wide array of fungal pathogens of plants and mammals. In this review, we have used the available genome databases to explore the structural conservation of three MAPK cascades and the calcium-calcineurin pathway in ten different fungal species, including model organisms, plant pathogens and human pathogens. While most known pathway components from the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae appear to be widely conserved among taxonomically and biologically diverse fungi, some of them were found to be restricted to the Saccharomycotina. The presence of multiple paralogues in certain species such as the zygomycete Rhizopus oryzae and the incorporation of new functional domains that are lacking in S. cerevisiae signalling proteins, most likely reflect functional diversification or adaptation as filamentous fungi have evolved to occupy distinct ecological niches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-298
Number of pages12
JournalFungal Genetics and Biology
Issue number4
Early online date28 Jan 2009
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • calcineurin
  • calcium
  • fungal proteins
  • fungi
  • genomics
  • humans
  • MAP kinase signaling system
  • mycoses
  • plant diseases
  • plants
  • protein kinases
  • signal transduction
  • MAPK signalling
  • stress
  • virulence


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