GTP-binding protein (G-protein) and regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) mediated signal transduction are critical in the growth and virulence of the rice blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. We have previously reported that there are eight RGS and RGS-like proteins named MoRgs1 to MoRgs8 playing distinct and shared regulatory functions in M. oryzae and that MoRgs1 has a more prominent role compared to others in the fungus. To further explore the unique regulatory mechanism of MoRgs1, we screened a M. oryzae cDNA library for genes encoding MoRgs1-interacting proteins and identified MoCkb2, one of the two regulatory subunits of the casein kinase (CK) 2 MoCk2. We found that MoCkb2 and the sole catalytic subunit MoCka1 are required for the phosphorylation of MoRgs1 at the plasma membrane (PM) and late endosome (LE). We further found that an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane protein complex (EMC) subunit, MoEmc2, modulates the phosphorylation of MoRgs1 by MoCk2. Interestingly, this phosphorylation is also essential for the GTPase-activating protein (GAP) function of MoRgs1. The balance among MoRgs1, MoCk2, and MoEmc2 ensures normal operation of the G-protein MoMagA-cAMP signaling required for appressorium formation and pathogenicity of the fungus. This has been the first report that an EMC subunit is directly linked to G-protein signaling through modulation of an RGS-casein kinase interaction.
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Yu, Rui; Shen, Xuetong; Liu, Muxing; Liu, Xinyu; Yin, Ziyi; Li, Xiao; Feng, Wanzhen; Hu, Jiexiong; Zhang, Haifeng; Zheng, Xiaobo; Wang, Ping; and Zhang, Zhengguang, "The Rice Blast Fungus MoRgs1 Functioning in cAMP Signaling and Pathogenicity Is Regulated by Casein Kinase MoCk2 Phosphorylation and Modulated by Membrane Protein MoEmc2" (2021). School of Graduate Studies Faculty Publications. 30.