The CreB deubiquitinating enzyme does not directly target the CreA repressor protein in Aspergillus nidulans
The creA gene of A. nidulans encodes a wide-domain regulatory protein mediating carbon catabolite repression. Northern blot analysis of creA mRNA revealed a complex expression profile: the addition of monosaccharides to a carbon-starved culture of A. nidulans provoked a strong transient stimulation of creA transcript formation within a few minutes. In the case of repressing carbon sources, creA mRNA levels were subsequently downregulated, whereas the high creA mRNA levels were maintained in a creA mutant strain and in the presence of derepressing monosaccharides. A high creA transcript level is essential to achieve carbon catabolite repression and is dependent on glucose transport and, at least partially, on the creB gene product. Subsequent downregulation of creA mRNA levels, on the other hand, is typical of carbon catabolite repression and requires a functional CreA recognition site in the creA promoter (and thus involves autoregulation) and formation of glucose-6-phosphate. Despite the presence of continuing high transcript levels of creA in the presence of derepressing carbohydrates, EMSA demonstrated the presence of only low levels of a CreA-DNA complex in respective cell-free extracts. Upon transfer of carbon catabolite derepressed mycelia to catabolite-repressing conditions, a CreA-DNA complex is formed, and this process is dependent on de novo protein synthesis.