Heterotrimeric G proteins represent one of the most important components of eukaryotic cell signaling. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) sense many extracellular stimuli and activate heterotrimeric G proteins, which further propagate the signals through signaling cascades to nuclear transcription factors regulating gene expression. During the last years the knowledge of receptor-mediated signaling in fungi has been increasing due to its essentiality for cellular functions and survival, and to its expansion to pathogenic fungi, making GPCRs proteins relevant as antifungal drug targets. We will continue the characterization of a putative GPCR, GprH, mediating sexual development in the model organism A. nidulans, and we will begin the characterization of GprI and GprM G protein-coupled receptors. Using a model based on previous data, we will investigate at different levels whether these receptors respond to nutrients and how they propagate the signals to transcription factors mediating sexual development. The potential of GprH is large. We hypothesize that it is a glucose receptor and mediates fruiting-body development, in addition to its role in the signaling of transcription factors involved in the expression of gprI and gprM genes. These topics will be addressed through the following three main objectives: 1) Characterize GprH, GprI and GprM as nutrient sensors. 2) Establish the role of GprH, GprI and GprM in sexual development. 3) Define downstream signaling cascades of GprH, GprI and GprM.
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