Tps1 regulates the pentose phosphate pathway, nitrogen metabolism and fungal virulence

Richard A. Wilson, Joanna M. Jenkinson, Robert P. Gibson, Jennifer A. Littlechild, Zheng Yi Wang, Nicholas J. Talbot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


Trehalose fulfils a wide variety of functions in cells, acting as a stress protectant, storage carbohydrate and compatible solute. Recent evidence, however, indicates that trehalose metabolism may exert important regulatory roles in the development of multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we show that in the plant pathogenic fungus Magnaporthe grisea trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P) synthase (Tps1) is responsible for regulating the pentose phosphate pathway, intracellular levels of NADPH and fungal virulence. Tps1 integrates glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) metabolism with nitrogen source utilisation, and thereby regulates the activity of nitrate reductase. Activity of Tps1 requires an associated regulator protein Tps3, which is also necessary for pathogenicity. Tps1 controls expression of the nitrogen metabolite repressor gene, NMR1, and is required for expression of virulence-associated genes. Functional analysis of Tps1 indicates that its regulatory functions are associated with binding of G6P, but independent of Tps1 catalytic activity. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Tps1 is a central regulator for integration of carbon and nitrogen metabolism, and plays a pivotal role in the establishment of plant disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3673-3685
Number of pages13
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 8 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Glucose-6-phosphate
  • Nitrate utilisation
  • Phytopathogen
  • Pyricularia oryzae
  • Rice blast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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