We have investigated the functions of three endocytosis-related proteins in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus oryzae. Yeast two-hybrid screening using the endocytic marker protein AoAbp1 (. A. oryzae homolog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Abp1p) as a bait identified four interacting proteins named Aip (Ao. Abp1 interacting proteins). In mature hyphae, EGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) fused to Aips colocalized with AoAbp1 at the hyphal tip region and the plasma membrane, suggesting that Aips function in endocytosis. aipA is a putative AAA ATPase and its function has been dissected (. Higuchi et al., 2011). aipB, the homolog of A. nidulans myoA, encodes an essential class I myosin and its conditional mutant showed a germination defect. aipC and aipD do not contain any recognizable domains except some proline-rich regions which may interact with two SH3 (Src homology 3) domains of AoAbp1. Neither aipC nor aipD disruptants showed any defects in their growth, but the aipC disruptant formed less conidia compared with the control strain. In addition, the aipC disruptant was resistant to the triazole antifungal drugs that inhibit ergosterol biosynthesis. Although no aip disruptants showed any defects in the uptake of the fluorescent dye FM4-64, the endocytosis of the arginine permease AoCan1, one of the MCC (. membrane compartment of Can1p) components, was delayed in both aipC and aipD disruptants. In A. oryzae, AoCan1 localized mainly at the plasma membrane in the basal region of hyphae, suggesting that different endocytic mechanisms exist in apical and basal regions of highly polarized cells.
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