A novel transcriptional regulator RXE1 modulates the essential transactivator XYR1 and cellulase gene expression in Trichoderma reesei

  • Lei Wang
  • Xinxing Lv
  • Yanli Cao
  • Fanglin Zheng
  • Xiangfeng Meng
  • Yu Shen
  • Guanjun Chen
  • Weifeng LiuEmail author
  • Weixin ZhangEmail author
Applied microbial and cell physiology


XYR1 is the key transcription activator for cellulase gene expression in the model filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei, which is widely applied in the industry due to its excellent capability of secreting a large quantity of cellulases. Despite the essential role of XYR1, the regulation of its expression in T. reesei cellulolytic response is poorly understood. In this study, we identified a transcription factor RXE1 exhibiting strong binding activity to the xyr1 promoter using yeast one-hybrid screen. RXE1 homologs exist in quite a few filamentous fungi but none of them have been assessed regarding their functional involvement in plant cell wall degradation. Knockdown of rxe1 in T. reesei using a copper-mediated RNAi system not only abrogated conidiation, but also remarkably compromised xyr1 and cellulase gene expression. The defective cellulase but not conidia production in the rxe1-knockdown strain was fully rescued by the constitutive expression of XYR1. Our study thus identified a novel transcriptional regulator controlling xyr1 and cellulase gene expression, which will contribute to elaborating the intricate network of cellulase gene regulation in T. reesei.


Trichoderma reesei Cellulase XYR1 Transcriptional regulator RXE1 


Funding information

This work is supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31770047 and 31670040), Shandong Technology Innovation Center of Synthetic Biology (sdsynbio-2018PY-01), and State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology Open Projects Fund (Project NO. M2017-10).

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

253_2019_9739_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (166 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 165 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lei Wang
    • 1
  • Xinxing Lv
    • 1
  • Yanli Cao
    • 1
  • Fanglin Zheng
    • 1
  • Xiangfeng Meng
    • 1
  • Yu Shen
    • 1
  • Guanjun Chen
    • 1
  • Weifeng Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Weixin Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Microbial TechnologyShandong UniversityQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China

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