Mitochondrial Citrate Transport System in the Fungus Mucor circinelloides: Identification, Phylogenetic Analysis, and Expression Profiling During Growth and Lipid Accumulation.


Departmento de Genética Y Microbiología (Unidad Asociada Al Instituto de Química Física Rocasolano, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, 30100, Murcia, Spain. [Email]


The mitochondrial citrate transport system, composed of citrate and malate transporters (MTs), can regulate the citrate efflux from mitochondria to cytosol, and then citrate is cleaved into OAA and acetyl-CoA which can be used for fatty acid (FA) biosynthesis. However, in the fungus Mucor circinelloides the molecular mechanism of citrate efflux from the mitochondria by this system and its role in FA synthesis is unclear. In the present study, we have analyzed the genome of high lipid-producing strain WJ11 and the low lipid-producing strain CBS 277.49 to find the potential genes involving in this system. Five potential genes are present in the genome of WJ11. These genes encode one citrate transport protein (CT), one tricarboxylate carrier (TCT), one MT, and two 2-oxoglutarate:malate antiporters (SoDIT-a and SoDIT-b). However, the genome of CBS 277.49 contains the same set of genes, except for the presence of just one SoDIT. The proteins from WJ11 had similar properties as their counterparts in CBS 277.49. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses revealed the evolutionary relationship of these proteins and illuminated their typical motifs related to potential functions. Additionally, the expression of these genes was analyzed to predict the possible functions in lipid metabolism in M. circinelloides. This is the first study to report the in silico analysis of structures and functions of the mitochondrial citrate transport system in M. circinelloides. This work showed a new strategy for research for the selection of candidate genes for further detailed functional investigation of the mitochondrial citrate transport system in lipid accumulation.

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