PLoS Genet 13(5) , e1006737 (May 3 2017)
In Neurospora crassa, the transcription factor COL-26 functions as a regulator of glucose signaling and metabolism. Its loss leads to resistance to carbon catabolite repression. Here, we report that COL-26 is necessary for the expression of amylolytic genes in N. crassa and is required for the utilization of maltose and starch. Additionally, the Deltacol-26 mutant shows growth defects on preferred carbon sources, such as glucose, an effect that was alleviated if glutamine replaced ammonium as the primary nitrogen source. This rescue did not occur when maltose was used as a sole carbon source. Transcriptome and metabolic analyses of the Deltacol-26 mutant relative to its wild type parental strain revealed that amino acid and nitrogen metabolism, the TCA cycle and GABA shunt were adversely affected. Phylogenetic analysis showed a single col-26 homolog in Sordariales, Ophilostomatales, and the Magnaporthales, but an expanded number of col-26 homologs in other filamentous fungal species. Deletion of the closest homolog of col-26 in Trichoderma reesei, bglR, resulted in a mutant with similar preferred carbon source growth deficiency, and which was alleviated if glutamine was the sole nitrogen source, suggesting conservation of COL-26 and BglR function. Our finding provides novel insight into the role of COL-26 for utilization of starch and in integrating carbon and nitrogen metabolism for balanced metabolic activities for optimal carbon and nitrogen distribution.