Quantitative proteomics analysis reveals important roles of N-glycosylation on ER quality control system for development and pathogenesis in Magnaporthe oryzae

Xiao-Lin Chen, Caiyun Liu, Bozeng Tang, Zhiyong Ren, Guo-Liang Wang, Wende Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


The fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae can cause rice blast and wheat blast diseases, which threatens worldwide food production. During infection, M. oryzae follows a sequence of distinct developmental stages adapted to survival and invasion of the host environment. M. oryzae attaches onto the host by the conidium, and then develops an appressorium to breach the host cuticle. After penetrating, it forms invasive hyphae to quickly spread in the host cells. Numerous genetic studies have focused on the mechanisms underlying each step in the infection process, but systemic approaches are needed for a broader, integrated understanding of regulatory events during M. oryzae pathogenesis. Many infection-related signaling events are regulated through post-translational protein modifications within the pathogen. N-linked glycosylation, in which a glycan moiety is added to the amide group of an asparagine residue, is an abundant modification known to be essential for M. oryzae infection. In this study, we employed a quantitative proteomics analysis to unravel the overall regulatory mechanisms of N-glycosylation at different developmental stages of M. oryzae. We detected changes in N-glycosylation levels at 559 glycosylated residues (N-glycosites) in 355 proteins during different stages, and determined that the ER quality control system is elaborately regulated by N-glycosylation. The insights gained will help us to better understand the regulatory mechanisms of infection in pathogenic fungi. These findings may be also important for developing novel strategies for fungal disease control.

Genetic studies have shown essential functions of N-glycosylation during infection of the plant pathogenic fungi, however, systematic roles of N-glycosylation in fungi is still largely unknown. Biological analysis demonstrated N-glycosylated proteins were widely present at different development stages of Magnaporthe oryzae and especially increased in the appressorium and invasive hyphae. A large-scale quantitative proteomics analysis was then performed to explore the roles of N-glycosylation in M. oryzae. A total of 559 N-glycosites from 355 proteins were identified and quantified at different developmental stages. Functional classification to the N-glycosylated proteins revealed N-glycosylation can coordinate different cellular processes for mycelial growth, conidium formation, and appressorium formation. N-glycosylation can also modify key components in N-glycosylation, O-glycosylation and GPI anchor pathways, indicating intimate crosstalk between these pathways. Interestingly, we found nearly all key components of the endoplasmic reticulum quality control (ERQC) system were highly N-glycosylated in conidium and appressorium. Phenotypic analyses to the gene deletion mutants revealed four ERQC components, Gls1, Gls2, GTB1 and Cnx1, are important for mycelial growth, conidiation, and invasive hyphal growth in host cells. Subsequently, we identified the Gls1 N-glycosite N497 was important for invasive hyphal growth and partially required for conidiation, but didn't affect colony growth. Mutation of N497 resulted in reduction of Gls1 in protein level, and localization from ER into the vacuole, suggesting N497 is important for protein stability of Gls1. Our study showed a snapshot of the N-glycosylation landscape in plant pathogenic fungi, indicating functions of this modification in cellular processes, developments and pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1008355
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2020



Cite this