Septal pore cap protein SPC18, isolated from the basidiomycetous fungus rhizoctonia solani, also resides in pore plugs

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The hyphae of filamentous fungi are compartmentalized by septa that have a central pore. The fungal septa and septum-associated structures play an important role in maintaining cellular and intrahyphal homeostasis. The dolipore septa in the higher Basidiomycota (i.e., Agaricomycotina) are associated with septal pore caps. Although the ultrastructure of the septal pore caps has been studied extensively, neither the biochemical composition nor the function of these organelles is known. Here, we report the identification of the glycoprotein SPC18 that was found in the septal pore cap-enriched fraction of the basidiomycetous fungus Rhizoctonia solani. Based on its N-terminal sequence, the SPC18 gene was isolated. SPC18 encodes a protein of 158 amino acid residues, which contains a hydrophobic signal peptide for targeting to the endoplasmic reticulum and has an N-glycosylation motif. Immunolocalization showed that SPC18 is present in the septal pore caps. Surprisingly, we also observed SPC18 being localized in some plugs. The data reported here strongly support the hypothesis that septal pore caps are derived from endoplasmic reticulum and are involved in dolipore plugging and, thus, contribute to hyphal homeostasis in basidiomycetous fungi.

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