Aspergillus nidulans translationally controlled tumor protein has a role in the balance between asexual and sexual differentiation and normal hyphal branching


Correspondence: Jae Won Kim, Division of Life Sciences/Research, Department of Microbiology, Institute of Life Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 600-701, Korea. Tel.: +82 55 7721322; fax: +82 55 7721320; e-mail:


Translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is a highly conserved and ubiquitously expressed protein present in all eukaryotes. Cellular functions of TCTP include growth promoting, allergic response and responses to various cellular stresses, but the functions in filamentous fungi have not been reported. In this report, we characterized an Aspergillus nidulans TCTP (TcpA) with high similarity to TCTP. The level of tcpa mRNA was relatively high, both during vegetative growth stage and at early phases of development. TcpA was found predominantly in the nucleus during germination and mycelial growth, and was localized in cytoplasm and nuclei of vesicles on stipes during conidia development. Deletion of tcpA resulted in abnormal hyphal branch formation during vegetative growth. The tcpA deletion inhibited sexual development, but enhanced asexual development via induction of brlA expression. These results imply that TcpA is involved in normal hyphal branch establishment during vegetative growth and also has a role in the balance between asexual and sexual differentiation.