The importance of subclasses of chitin synthase enzymes with myosin-like domains for the fitness of fungi

Chantal Fernandes, Neil A. R. Gow, Teresa Gonçalves

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25 Citations (Scopus)
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Chitin represents one of themost important components of the fungal cellwall. Themultiplicity of chitin synthase (Chs) enzymes found in filamentous fungi underlines the importance of chitin in these organisms. Among this group of fungal enzymes, two classes, V and VII, are armed with myosin motors, constituting the MMD-Chs (Myosin Motor Domain e Chitin synthases) that are
found in filamentous fungi and are absent in most yeast species. These enzymes play a critical role in promoting the synthesis of chitin at the hyphal tip, thus influencing fungal growth and the architecture of fungal infection structures. Other processes in which these enzymes are important are in osmo- and H2O2-tolerance, the ability to grow at 37 C and in conidiogenesis.
This review is focussed on the classification, structure and function of these enzymesdescribing the fundamental role of these enzymes in the ability of filamentous fungi to infect plants and their possible involvement in infections of animals. Moreover, data obtained with deletant mutants of this family of proteins indicates that they have potential as targets for novel antifungals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalFungal Biology Reviews
Issue number1
Early online date26 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

TG and CF are funded by FEDER funds through the Operational Programme Competitiveness Factors – COMPETE and national funds by FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology under the strategic project UID/NEU/04539/2013. C.F. is a recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (SFRH/BPD/63733/2009). NG is funded by The Wellcome Trust (080088, 086827, 075470, 099215 & 097377), the FungiBrain Marie Curie Network and the Medical Research Council (UK).


  • chitin synthase
  • class V
  • class VII
  • filamentous fungi
  • myosin-like domain


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