ABSTRACT

Septins colocalize with membrane sterol-rich regions and facilitate recruitment of cell wall synthases during wall remodeling. We show that null mutants missing an Aspergillus nidulans core septin present in hexamers and octamers (ΔaspAcdc11, ΔaspBcdc3 or ΔaspCcdc12) are sensitive to multiple cell wall-disturbing agents that activate the cell wall integrity MAPK pathway. The null mutant missing the octamer-exclusive core septin (ΔaspDcdc10) showed similar sensitivity, but only to a single cell wall-disturbing agent and the null mutant missing the noncore septin (ΔaspE) showed only very mild sensitivity to a different single agent. Core septin mutants showed changes in wall polysaccharide composition and chitin synthase localization. Mutants missing any of the five septins resisted ergosterol-disrupting agents. Hexamer mutants showed increased sensitivity to sphingolipid-disrupting agents. Core septins mislocalized after treatment with sphingolipid-disrupting agents, but not after ergosterol-disrupting agents. Our data suggest that the core septins are involved in cell wall integrity signaling, that all five septins are involved in monitoring ergosterol metabolism, that the hexamer septins are required for sphingolipid metabolism and that septins require sphingolipids to coordinate the cell wall integrity response.

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