Because of its high capacity to produce useful enzymes, the industrially essential filamentous fungus Aspergillus oryzae has been studied for understanding the intracellular membrane trafficking mechanism. The underlying molecular principles of the secretory system define the principal secretion route from the hyphal tip via the vesicle cluster Spitzenkörper, however there is accumulating evidence that septum-directed and unconventional secretion occurs in A. oryzae hyphal cells. In A. oryzae and similar filamentous fungi, the molecular and physiological processes of membrane traffic, i.e. secretory and endocytic routes, are summarised, as well as the potential for industrial applications. The aforementioned condensed research in contemporary enzymology have a long and rich history in Japan, contributing to biotechnology and biochemistry knowledge, proving that “necessity is the mother of innovation.”
Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan and Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan and Noda Institute for Scientific Research, Noda, Chiba, Japan.
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