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Sample records for fungus aspergillus fumigatus

  1. Genomic Islands in Pathogenic Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We present the genome sequences of a new clinical isolate, CEA10, of an important human pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, and two closely related, but rarely pathogenic species, Neosartorya fischeri NRRL181 and Aspergillus clavatus NRRL1. Comparative genomic analysis of CEA10 with the recently sequen...

  2. Genomic islands in the pathogenic filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Fedorova, Natalie D; Khaldi, Nora; Joardar, Vinita S; Maiti, Rama; Amedeo, Paolo; Anderson, Michael J; Crabtree, Jonathan; Silva, Joana C; Badger, Jonathan H; Albarraq, Ahmed; Angiuoli, Sam; Bussey, Howard; Bowyer, Paul; Cotty, Peter J; Dyer, Paul S; Egan, Amy; Galens, Kevin; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M; Haas, Brian J; Inman, Jason M; Kent, Richard; Lemieux, Sebastien; Malavazi, Iran; Orvis, Joshua; Roemer, Terry; Ronning, Catherine M; Sundaram, Jaideep P; Sutton, Granger; Turner, Geoff; Venter, J Craig; White, Owen R; Whitty, Brett R; Youngman, Phil; Wolfe, Kenneth H; Goldman, Gustavo H; Wortman, Jennifer R; Jiang, Bo; Denning, David W; Nierman, William C

    2008-04-11

    We present the genome sequences of a new clinical isolate of the important human pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, A1163, and two closely related but rarely pathogenic species, Neosartorya fischeri NRRL181 and Aspergillus clavatus NRRL1. Comparative genomic analysis of A1163 with the recently sequenced A. fumigatus isolate Af293 has identified core, variable and up to 2% unique genes in each genome. While the core genes are 99.8% identical at the nucleotide level, identity for variable genes can be as low 40%. The most divergent loci appear to contain heterokaryon incompatibility (het) genes associated with fungal programmed cell death such as developmental regulator rosA. Cross-species comparison has revealed that 8.5%, 13.5% and 12.6%, respectively, of A. fumigatus, N. fischeri and A. clavatus genes are species-specific. These genes are significantly smaller in size than core genes, contain fewer exons and exhibit a subtelomeric bias. Most of them cluster together in 13 chromosomal islands, which are enriched for pseudogenes, transposons and other repetitive elements. At least 20% of A. fumigatus-specific genes appear to be functional and involved in carbohydrate and chitin catabolism, transport, detoxification, secondary metabolism and other functions that may facilitate the adaptation to heterogeneous environments such as soil or a mammalian host. Contrary to what was suggested previously, their origin cannot be attributed to horizontal gene transfer (HGT), but instead is likely to involve duplication, diversification and differential gene loss (DDL). The role of duplication in the origin of lineage-specific genes is further underlined by the discovery of genomic islands that seem to function as designated "gene dumps" and, perhaps, simultaneously, as "gene factories".

  3. Abundant respirable ergot alkaloids from the common airborne fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Panaccione, Daniel G; Coyle, Christine M

    2005-06-01

    Ergot alkaloids are mycotoxins that interact with several monoamine receptors, negatively affecting cardiovascular, nervous, reproductive, and immune systems of exposed humans and animals. Aspergillus fumigatus, a common airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen, can produce ergot alkaloids in broth culture. The objectives of this study were to determine if A. fumigatus accumulates ergot alkaloids in a respirable form in or on its conidia, to quantify ergot alkaloids associated with conidia produced on several different substrates, and to measure relevant physical properties of the conidia. We found at least four ergot alkaloids, fumigaclavine C, festuclavine, fumigaclavine A, and fumigaclavine B (in order of abundance), associated with conidia of A. fumigatus. Under environmentally relevant conditions, the total mass of ergot alkaloids often constituted >1% of the mass of the conidium. Ergot alkaloids were extracted from conidia produced on all media tested, and the greatest quantities were observed when the fungus was cultured on latex paint or cultured maize seedlings. The values for physical properties of conidia likely to affect their respirability (i.e., diameter, mass, and specific gravity) were significantly lower for A. fumigatus than for Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus niger, and Stachybotrys chartarum. The demonstration of relatively high concentrations of ergot alkaloids associated with conidia of A. fumigatus presents opportunities for investigations of potential contributions of the toxins to adverse health effects associated with the fungus and to aspects of the biology of the fungus that contribute to its success.

  4. Azole drug import into the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Esquivel, Brooke D; Smith, Adam R; Zavrel, Martin; White, Theodore C

    2015-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus causes serious illness and often death when it invades tissues, especially in immunocompromised individuals. The azole class of drugs is the most commonly prescribed treatment for many fungal infections and acts on the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway. One common mechanism of acquired azole drug resistance in fungi is the prevention of drug accumulation to toxic levels in the cell. While drug efflux is a well-known resistance strategy, reduced azole import would be another strategy to maintain low intracellular azole levels. Recently, azole uptake in Candida albicans and other yeasts was analyzed using [(3)H]fluconazole. Defective drug import was suggested to be a potential mechanism of drug resistance in several pathogenic fungi, including Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida krusei, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have adapted and developed an assay to measure azole accumulation in A. fumigatus using radioactively labeled azole drugs, based on previous work done with C. albicans. We used this assay to study the differences in azole uptake in A. fumigatus isolates under a variety of drug treatment conditions, with different morphologies and with a select mutant strain with deficiencies in the sterol uptake and biosynthesis pathway. We conclude that azole drugs are specifically selected and imported into the fungal cell by a pH- and ATP-independent facilitated diffusion mechanism, not by passive diffusion. This method of drug transport is likely to be conserved across most fungal species.

  5. Bacterium induces cryptic meroterpenoid pathway in the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    König, Claudia C; Scherlach, Kirstin; Schroeckh, Volker; Horn, Fabian; Nietzsche, Sandor; Brakhage, Axel A; Hertweck, Christian

    2013-05-27

    Stimulating encounter: The intimate, physical interaction between the soil-derived bacterium Streptomyces rapamycinicus and the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus led to the activation of an otherwise silent polyketide synthase (PKS) gene cluster coding for an unusual prenylated polyphenol (fumicycline A). The meroterpenoid pathway is regulated by a pathway-specific activator gene as well as by epigenetic factors. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Terpenoids from the Marine-Derived Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus YK-7.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu; Li, Da-Hong; Li, Zhan-Lin; Sun, Yan-Jun; Hua, Hui-Ming; Liu, Tao; Bai, Jiao

    2015-12-28

    Two new β-bergamotane sesquiterpenoids, E-β-trans-5,8,11-trihydroxybergamot-9-ene (1) and β-trans-2β,5,15-trihydroxybergamot-10-ene (2), were isolated from the marine-derived fungus Aspergillus fumigatus YK-7, along with three known terpenoids 3-5. Their structures were determined by spectroscopic methods (1D and 2D NMR, HR-ESI-MS). Antiproliferative effects on human leukemic monocyte lymphoma U937 and human prostate cancer PC-3 cell lines were measured in vitro. Compound 4 exhibited potent activity against the U937 cell line with an IC50 value of 4.2 μM.

  7. Mutually facilitated dispersal between the nonmotile fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and the swarming bacterium Paenibacillus vortex

    PubMed Central

    Ingham, Colin J.; Kalisman, Oren; Finkelshtein, Alin; Ben-Jacob, Eshel

    2011-01-01

    In the heterogeneous environment surrounding plant roots (the rhizosphere), microorganisms both compete and cooperate. Here, we show that two very different inhabitants of the rhizosphere, the nonmotile fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and the swarming bacterium Paenibacillus vortex, can facilitate each other's dispersal. A. fumigatus conidia (nonmotile asexual fungal spores) can be transported by P. vortex swarms over distances of at least 30 cm and at rates of up to 10.8 mm h−1. Moreover, conidia can be rescued and transported by P. vortex from niches of adverse growth conditions. Potential benefit to the bacteria may be in crossing otherwise impenetrable barriers in the soil: fungal mycelia seem to act as bridges to allow P. vortex to cross air gaps in agar plates. Transport of conidia was inhibited by proteolytic treatment of conidia or the addition of purified P. vortex flagella, suggesting specific contacts between flagella and proteins on the conidial surface. Conidia were transported by P. vortex into locations where antibiotics inhibited bacteria growth, and therefore, growth and sporulation of A. fumigatus were not limited by bacterial competition. Conidia from other fungi, similar in size to those fungi from A. fumigatus, were not transported as efficiently by P. vortex. Conidia from a range of fungi were not transported by another closely related rhizosphere bacterium, Paenibacillus polymyxa, or the more distantly related Proteus mirabilis, despite both being efficient swarmers. PMID:22106274

  8. Metabolomics of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Frisvad, Jens C; Rank, Christian; Nielsen, Kristian F; Larsen, Thomas O

    2009-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important species in Aspergillus causing infective lung diseases. This species has been reported to produce a large number of extrolites, including secondary metabolites, acids, and proteins such as hydrophobins and extracellular enzymes. At least 226 potentially bioactive secondary metabolites have been reported from A. fumigatus that can be ordered into 24 biosynthetic families. Of these families we have detected representatives from the following families of secondary metabolites: fumigatins, fumigaclavines, fumiquinazolines, trypacidin and monomethylsulochrin, fumagillins, gliotoxins, pseurotins, chloroanthraquinones, fumitremorgins, verruculogen, helvolic acids, and pyripyropenes by HPLC with diode array detection and mass spectrometric detection. There is still doubt whether A. fumigatus can produce tryptoquivalins, but all isolates produce the related fumiquinazolines. We also tentatively detected sphingofungins in A. fumigatus Af293 and in an isolate of A. lentulus. The sphingofungins may have a similar role as the toxic fumonisins, found in A. niger. A further number of mycotoxins, including ochratoxin A, and other secondary metabolites have been reported from A. fumigatus, but in those cases either the fungus or its metabolite appear to be misidentified.

  9. Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Latgé, Jean-Paul

    1999-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most ubiquitous of the airborne saprophytic fungi. Humans and animals constantly inhale numerous conidia of this fungus. The conidia are normally eliminated in the immunocompetent host by innate immune mechanisms, and aspergilloma and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, uncommon clinical syndromes, are the only infections observed in such hosts. Thus, A. fumigatus was considered for years to be a weak pathogen. With increases in the number of immunosuppressed patients, however, there has been a dramatic increase in severe and usually fatal invasive aspergillosis, now the most common mold infection worldwide. In this review, the focus is on the biology of A. fumigatus and the diseases it causes. Included are discussions of (i) genomic and molecular characterization of the organism, (ii) clinical and laboratory methods available for the diagnosis of aspergillosis in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts, (iii) identification of host and fungal factors that play a role in the establishment of the fungus in vivo, and (iv) problems associated with antifungal therapy. PMID:10194462

  10. Microbial release of potassium from K-bearing minerals by thermophilic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lian, Bin; Wang, Bin; Pan, Mu; Liu, Congqiang; Teng, H. Henry

    2008-01-01

    A strain of thermophilic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus was cultured with K-bearing minerals to determine if microbe-mineral interactions enhance the release of mineralic potassium. Experiments were carried out in two settings, one with the mineral grains and the fungal cells in direct contact, and the other employing a membrane (pore size 0.22 μm) to separate the two. Measurements over a period of 30 days showed that, irrespective of the experimental setup, the concentration of free K in the culture was drastically higher than those in any of the control experiments where no living organism was present. Moreover, the occurrence of mineral-cell physical contact enhanced potassium release by an additional factor of 3 to 4 in comparison to the separation experiments. For contact experiments, Electron Probe Microanalysis revealed the formation of mycelium-mineral aggregates, and Atomic Force Microscopy imaging further indicated the possible ingestion of mineral particles by the fungus cells. Contrasting to what was observed and expected in control experiments, the potassium solubilization rate showed a positive dependence upon pH when fungi and minerals were mixed directly, and exhibited no correlations with solution acidity if cell-rock contact was restrained. These results appear to suggest that A. fumigatus promoted potassium release by means of at least three likely routes, one through the complexation of soluble organic ligands, another appealing to the immobile biopolymers such as the insoluble components of secretion, and the third related to the mechanical forces in association with the direct physical contact between cells and mineral particles.

  11. Interaction of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia with Acanthamoeba castellanii parallels macrophage-fungus interactions.

    PubMed

    Van Waeyenberghe, Lieven; Baré, Julie; Pasmans, Frank; Claeys, Myriam; Bert, Wim; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Houf, Kurt; Martel, An

    2013-12-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus and free-living amoebae are common inhabitants of soil. Mechanisms of A. fumigatus to circumvent the amoeba's digestion may facilitate overcoming the vertebrate macrophage defence mechanisms. We performed co-culture experiments using A. fumigatus conidia and the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. Approximately 25% of the amoebae ingested A. fumigatus conidia after 1 h of contact. During intra-amoebal passage, part of the ingested conidia was able to escape the food vacuole and to germinate inside the cytoplasm of A. castellanii. Fungal release into the extra-protozoan environment by exocytosis of conidia or by germination was observed with light and transmission electron microscopy. These processes resulted in structural changes in A. castellanii, leading to amoebal permeabilization without cell lysis. In conclusion, A. castellanii internalizes A. fumigatus conidia, resulting in fungal intracellular germination and subsequent amoebal death. As such, this interaction highly resembles that of A. fumigatus with mammalian and avian macrophages. This suggests that A. fumigatus virulence mechanisms to evade macrophage killing may be acquired by co-evolutionary interactions among A. fumigatus and environmental amoebae.

  12. Virulence determinants of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus protect against soil amoeba predation.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Novohradská, Silvia; Mattern, Derek J; Forberger, Tilmann; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Westermann, Martin; Winckler, Thomas; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi represent classical examples for environmentally acquired human pathogens whose major virulence mechanisms are likely to have emerged long before the appearance of innate immune systems. In natural habitats, amoeba predation could impose a major selection pressure towards the acquisition of virulence attributes. To test this hypothesis, we exploited the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to study its interaction with Aspergillus fumigatus, two abundant soil inhabitants for which we found co-occurrence in various sites. Fungal conidia were efficiently taken up by D. discoideum, but ingestion was higher when conidia were devoid of the green fungal spore pigment dihydroxynaphtalene melanin, in line with earlier results obtained for immune cells. Conidia were able to survive phagocytic processing, and intracellular germination was initiated only after several hours of co-incubation which eventually led to a lethal disruption of the host cell. Besides phagocytic interactions, both amoeba and fungus secreted cross inhibitory factors which suppressed fungal growth or induced amoeba aggregation with subsequent cell lysis, respectively. On the fungal side, we identified gliotoxin as the major fungal factor killing Dictyostelium, supporting the idea that major virulence attributes, such as escape from phagocytosis and the secretion of mycotoxins are beneficial to escape from environmental predators.

  13. Conidial Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Interferes with the Host Endocytosis Pathway.

    PubMed

    Thywißen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Schmaler-Ripcke, Jeannette; Nietzsche, Sandor; Zipfel, Peter F; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen of humans. The interaction of the pathogen with the host's immune system represents a key process to understand pathogenicity. For elimination of invading microorganisms, they need to be efficiently phagocytosed and located in acidified phagolysosomes. However, as shown previously, A. fumigatus is able to manipulate the formation of functional phagolysosomes. Here, we demonstrate that in contrast to pigmentless pksP mutant conidia of A. fumigatus, the gray-green wild-type conidia inhibit the acidification of phagolysosomes of alveolar macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophil granulocytes. Therefore, this inhibition is independent of the cell type and applies to the major immune effector cells required for defense against A. fumigatus. Studies with melanin ghosts indicate that the inhibitory effect of wild-type conidia is due to their dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin covering the conidia, whereas the hydrophobin RodA rodlet layer plays no role in this process. This is also supported by the observation that pksP conidia still exhibit the RodA hydrophobin layer, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Mutants defective in different steps of the DHN-melanin biosynthesis showed stronger inhibition than pksP mutant conidia but lower inhibition than wild-type conidia. Moreover, A. fumigatus and A. flavus led to a stronger inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification than A. nidulans and A. terreus. These data indicate that a certain type of DHN-melanin that is different in the various Aspergillus species, is required for maximal inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification. Finally, we identified the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) as potential target for A. fumigatus based on the finding that addition of bafilomycin which inhibits vATPase, led to complete inhibition of the acidification whereas the fusion of phagosomes containing wild-type conidia and lysosomes was not affected.

  14. Conidial Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Interferes with the Host Endocytosis Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Thywißen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Schmaler-Ripcke, Jeannette; Nietzsche, Sandor; Zipfel, Peter F.; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen of humans. The interaction of the pathogen with the host's immune system represents a key process to understand pathogenicity. For elimination of invading microorganisms, they need to be efficiently phagocytosed and located in acidified phagolysosomes. However, as shown previously, A. fumigatus is able to manipulate the formation of functional phagolysosomes. Here, we demonstrate that in contrast to pigmentless pksP mutant conidia of A. fumigatus, the gray-green wild-type conidia inhibit the acidification of phagolysosomes of alveolar macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophil granulocytes. Therefore, this inhibition is independent of the cell type and applies to the major immune effector cells required for defense against A. fumigatus. Studies with melanin ghosts indicate that the inhibitory effect of wild-type conidia is due to their dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin covering the conidia, whereas the hydrophobin RodA rodlet layer plays no role in this process. This is also supported by the observation that pksP conidia still exhibit the RodA hydrophobin layer, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Mutants defective in different steps of the DHN-melanin biosynthesis showed stronger inhibition than pksP mutant conidia but lower inhibition than wild-type conidia. Moreover, A. fumigatus and A. flavus led to a stronger inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification than A. nidulans and A. terreus. These data indicate that a certain type of DHN-melanin that is different in the various Aspergillus species, is required for maximal inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification. Finally, we identified the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) as potential target for A. fumigatus based on the finding that addition of bafilomycin which inhibits vATPase, led to complete inhibition of the acidification whereas the fusion of phagosomes containing wild-type conidia and lysosomes was not affected. PMID

  15. Optimisation of a 2-D gel electrophoresis protocol for the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Kniemeyer, Olaf; Lessing, Franziska; Scheibner, Olaf; Hertweck, Christian; Brakhage, Axel A

    2006-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen causing life-threatening infections in immunosuppressed patients. One of the important questions concerning A. fumigatus is the identification of pathogenicity determinants. To obtain a comprehensive overview about the proteins produced at different physiological conditions that are related to the infectious process a proteomic approach has been applied. Here, 2-D gel electrophoresis for filamentous fungi was optimised concerning removal of interfering compounds, protein extraction and separation methods. A trichloroacetic acid-based precipitation method of proteins with their subsequent solubilisation by the use of a combination of CHAPS with a second sulfobetaine detergent gave the best results. The optimised protocol was evaluated by the analysis of the proteomes of A. fumigatus grown on two different carbon sources, i.e., glucose and ethanol. Carbon catabolite repression has not been studied in detail at the protein level in A. fumigatus yet. In addition, growth on ethanol leads to activation of the glyoxylate cycle which was shown to be essential for pathogenesis in bacteria and fungi. In A. fumigatus, differential patterns of enzymes of the gluconeogenesis, glyoxylate cycle and ethanol degradation pathway during growth on glucose and ethanol were observed.

  16. Developmental regulators in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Park, Hee-Soo; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2016-03-01

    The filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent airborne fungal pathogen causing severe and usually fatal invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. This fungus produces a large number of small hydrophobic asexual spores called conidia as the primary means of reproduction, cell survival, propagation, and infectivity. The initiation, progression, and completion of asexual development (conidiation) is controlled by various regulators that govern expression of thousands of genes associated with formation of the asexual developmental structure conidiophore, and biogenesis of conidia. In this review, we summarize key regulators that directly or indirectly govern conidiation in this important pathogenic fungus. Better understanding these developmental regulators may provide insights into the improvement in controlling both beneficial and detrimental aspects of various Aspergillus species.

  17. Aspergillus fumigatus scleritis.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Ares, M T; De Rojas Silva, M V; Pereiro, M; Fente Sampayo, B; Gallegos Chamas, G; S-Salorio, M

    1995-10-01

    We report a case of scleritis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus. The infection was successfully treated with antifungal drugs, cryotherapy and dura mater grafting. A 67-year-old man developed a scleral ulcer 2 months after suffering a trauma in his right eye caused by the branch of a tree. Diagnosis was made after biopsy of a scleral nodule. Scrapings showed hyphal fragments and cultures were positive for Aspergillus fumigatus. Although therapy with oral fluconazol and topical amphotericin B was begun, the scleritis continued to worsen, so cryotherapy and dura mater grafting were performed. The patient showed no signs of infection for 8 months after discontinuation of antifungal drugs.

  18. A Fungus-Specific Protein Domain Is Essential for RasA-Mediated Morphogenetic Signaling in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Al Abdallah, Qusai; Norton, Tiffany S.; Hill, Amy M.; LeClaire, Lawrence L.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Ras proteins function as conserved regulators of eukaryotic growth and differentiation and are essential signaling proteins orchestrating virulence in pathogenic fungi. Here, we report the identification of a novel N-terminal domain of the RasA protein in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Whereas this domain is absent in Ras homologs of higher eukaryotes, the N-terminal extension is conserved among fungi and is characterized by a short string of two to eight amino acids terminating in an invariant arginine. For this reason, we have termed the RasA N-terminal domain the invariant arginine domain (IRD). Through mutational analyses, the IRD was found to be essential for polarized morphogenesis and asexual development, with the invariant arginine residue being most essential. Although IRD truncation resulted in a nonfunctional Ras phenotype, IRD mutation was not associated with mislocalization of the RasA protein or significant changes in steady-state RasA activity levels. Mutation of the RasA IRD diminished protein kinase A (PKA) activation and resulted in decreased interaction with the Rho-type GTPase, Cdc42. Taken together, our findings reveal novel, fungus-specific mechanisms for Ras protein function and signal transduction. IMPORTANCE Aspergillus fumigatus is an important fungal pathogen against which limited treatments exist. During invasive disease, A. fumigatus hyphae grow in a highly polarized fashion, forming filaments that invade blood vessels and disseminate to distant sites. Once invasion and dissemination occur, mortality rates are high. We have previously shown that the Ras signaling pathway is an important regulator of the hyphal growth machinery supporting virulence in A. fumigatus. Here, we show that functional Ras signaling in A. fumigatus requires a novel, fungus-specific domain within the Ras protein. This domain is highly conserved among fungi, yet absent in higher eukaryotes, suggesting a potentially crucial difference in

  19. Aspergillus fumigatus in Poultry

    PubMed Central

    Arné, Pascal; Thierry, Simon; Wang, Dongying; Deville, Manjula; Le Loc'h, Guillaume; Desoutter, Anaïs; Féménia, Françoise; Nieguitsila, Adélaïde; Huang, Weiyi; Chermette, René; Guillot, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus remains a major respiratory pathogen in birds. In poultry, infection by A. fumigatus may induce significant economic losses particularly in turkey production. A. fumigatus develops and sporulates easily in poor quality bedding or contaminated feedstuffs in indoor farm environments. Inadequate ventilation and dusty conditions increase the risk of bird exposure to aerosolized spores. Acute cases are seen in young animals following inhalation of spores, causing high morbidity and mortality. The chronic form affects older birds and looks more sporadic. The respiratory tract is the primary site of A. fumigatus development leading to severe respiratory distress and associated granulomatous airsacculitis and pneumonia. Treatments for infected poultry are nonexistent; therefore, prevention is the only way to protect poultry. Development of avian models of aspergillosis may improve our understanding of its pathogenesis, which remains poorly understood. PMID:21826144

  20. Extrinsic extracellular DNA leads to biofilm formation and colocalizes with matrix polysaccharides in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Shopova, Iordana; Bruns, Sandra; Thywissen, Andreas; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Brakhage, Axel A.; Hillmann, Falk

    2013-01-01

    The environmentally acquired fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus causes a variety of severe diseases. Furthermore, it is often found colonizing the respiratory tract of patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. Conidia of this filamentous fungus adhere to substrate surfaces and germinate to form biofilms comprised of dense hyphal networks embedded in an adhesive extracellular matrix (ECM), built predominantly of polysaccharides. These fungal microconsortia are likely to be of clinical relevance, as they have also been observed during growth in the host and they confer drastically reduced susceptibility to antifungals. Little is known about environmental factors or signals contributing to the formation and structural organization of this polysaccharide matrix. Extracellular DNA (eDNA) is an abundant molecule in the mucus-rich surfaces in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. Here, we studied its influence on the biofilm establishment and progression of A. fumigatus. Using an in vitro biofilm model eDNA was identified as an efficient biofilm inducer promoting conidial surface adhesion and polysaccharide ECM production. Confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed entirely different ECM architectures depending on the substrates used for biofilm induction. In the presence of serum, adhesive polysaccharides were mainly localized to the hyphal tips appearing as cohesive threads or “halo” areas agglutinating the hyphae. Exogenous DNA altered the structural organization of the biofilm specifically by colocalizing to a grid-like bottom layer of ECM. These results indicate that biofilm formation in A. fumigatus is shaped by certain substrates and in response to host environmental signals. PMID:23760756

  1. The Volatome of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Calvo, A. M.; Latgé, J. P.

    2014-01-01

    Early detection of invasive aspergillosis is absolutely required for efficient therapy of this fungal infection. The identification of fungal volatiles in patient breath can be an alternative for the detection of Aspergillus fumigatus that still remains problematic. In this work, we investigated the production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by A. fumigatus in vitro, and we show that volatile production depends on the nutritional environment. A. fumigatus produces a multiplicity of VOCs, predominantly terpenes and related compounds. The production of sesquiterpenoid compounds was found to be strongly induced by increased iron concentrations and certain drugs, i.e., pravastatin. Terpenes that were always detectable in large amounts were α-pinene, camphene, and limonene, as well as sesquiterpenes, identified as α-bergamotene and β-trans-bergamotene. Other substance classes that were found to be present in the volatome, such as 1-octen-3-ol, 3-octanone, and pyrazines, were found only under specific growth conditions. Drugs that interfere with the terpene biosynthesis pathway influenced the composition of the fungal volatome, and most notably, a block of sesquiterpene biosynthesis by the bisphosphonate alendronate fundamentally changed the VOC composition. Using deletion mutants, we also show that a terpene cyclase and a putative kaurene synthase are essential for the synthesis of volatile terpenes by A. fumigatus. The present analysis of in vitro volatile production by A. fumigatus suggests that VOCs may be used in the diagnosis of infections caused by this fungus. PMID:24906414

  2. Apoptotic effect of demethoxyfumitremorgin C from marine fungus Aspergillus fumigatus on PC3 human prostate cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Sang; Kim, Se-Kwon; Park, Sun Joo

    2017-03-28

    Demethoxyfumitremorgin C, a secondary metabolite of the marine fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus, had been reported to demonstrate cytotoxic effect on mouse tsFT210 cells. However, no information is available regarding its functional mechanism and the chemo-sensitization effects on different kinds of human cancer cells. We found that treatment of demethoxyfumitremorgin C inhibited the cell viability of PC3 human advanced prostate cancer cells, induced apoptosis as determined by Annexin V/propidium iodide double staining, and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. Demethoxyfumitremorgin C induced apoptosis was associated with downregulation of anti-apoptotic proteins: Ras, PI3K, Akt, Bcl-xL, and Bcl-2, and upregulation of pro-apoptotic Bax. Demethoxyfumitremorgin C activated caspase-3, -8, and -9, leading to PARP cleavage. Additionally, caspase inhibitors blocked demethoxyfumitremorgin C-induced apoptosis of PC3 cells. These results suggest that demethoxyfumitremorgin C from Aspergillus fumigatus inhibits the proliferation of PC3 human prostate cancer cells via the intrinsic (mitochondrial) and extrinsic pathway, followed by downstream events leading to apoptotic cell death. Demethoxyfumitremorgin C could therefore, serve as a useful agent to treat human advanced prostate cancer.

  3. A Fungus-Specific Protein Domain Is Essential for RasA-Mediated Morphogenetic Signaling in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Al Abdallah, Qusai; Norton, Tiffany S; Hill, Amy M; LeClaire, Lawrence L; Fortwendel, Jarrod R

    2016-01-01

    Ras proteins function as conserved regulators of eukaryotic growth and differentiation and are essential signaling proteins orchestrating virulence in pathogenic fungi. Here, we report the identification of a novel N-terminal domain of the RasA protein in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Whereas this domain is absent in Ras homologs of higher eukaryotes, the N-terminal extension is conserved among fungi and is characterized by a short string of two to eight amino acids terminating in an invariant arginine. For this reason, we have termed the RasA N-terminal domain the invariant arginine domain (IRD). Through mutational analyses, the IRD was found to be essential for polarized morphogenesis and asexual development, with the invariant arginine residue being most essential. Although IRD truncation resulted in a nonfunctional Ras phenotype, IRD mutation was not associated with mislocalization of the RasA protein or significant changes in steady-state RasA activity levels. Mutation of the RasA IRD diminished protein kinase A (PKA) activation and resulted in decreased interaction with the Rho-type GTPase, Cdc42. Taken together, our findings reveal novel, fungus-specific mechanisms for Ras protein function and signal transduction. IMPORTANCEAspergillus fumigatus is an important fungal pathogen against which limited treatments exist. During invasive disease, A. fumigatus hyphae grow in a highly polarized fashion, forming filaments that invade blood vessels and disseminate to distant sites. Once invasion and dissemination occur, mortality rates are high. We have previously shown that the Ras signaling pathway is an important regulator of the hyphal growth machinery supporting virulence in A. fumigatus. Here, we show that functional Ras signaling in A. fumigatus requires a novel, fungus-specific domain within the Ras protein. This domain is highly conserved among fungi, yet absent in higher eukaryotes, suggesting a potentially crucial difference in the

  4. A functional and structural study of the major metalloprotease secreted by the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Daniel; Russi, Silvia; Vendrell, Josep; Monod, Michel; Pallarès, Irantzu

    2013-10-01

    Fungalysins are secreted fungal peptidases with the ability to degrade the extracellular matrix proteins elastin and collagen and are thought to act as virulence factors in diseases caused by fungi. Fungalysins constitute a unique family among zinc-dependent peptidases that bears low sequence similarity to known bacterial peptidases of the thermolysin family. The crystal structure of the archetype of the fungalysin family, Aspergillus fumigatus metalloprotease (AfuMep), has been obtained for the first time. The 1.8 Å resolution structure of AfuMep corresponds to that of an autoproteolyzed proenzyme with separate polypeptide chains corresponding to the N-terminal prodomain in a binary complex with the C-terminal zinc-bound catalytic domain. The prodomain consists of a tandem of cystatin-like folds whose C-terminal end is buried into the active-site cleft of the catalytic domain. The catalytic domain harbouring the key catalytic zinc ion and its ligands, two histidines and one glutamic acid, undergoes a conspicuous rearrangement of its N-terminal end during maturation. One key positively charged amino-acid residue and the C-terminal disulfide bridge appear to contribute to its structural-functional properties. Thus, structural, biophysical and biochemical analysis were combined to provide a deeper comprehension of the underlying properties of A. fumigatus fungalysin, serving as a framework for the as yet poorly known metallopeptidases from pathogenic fungi.

  5. Cloning and characterization of a sialidase from the filamentous fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Warwas, Mark L; Yeung, Juliana H F; Indurugalla, Deepani; Mooers, Arne O; Bennet, Andrew J; Moore, Margo M

    2010-07-01

    A gene encoding a putative sialidase was identified in the genome of the opportunistic fungal pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus. Computational analysis showed that this protein has Asp box and FRIP domains, it was predicted to have an extracellular localization, and a mass of 42 kDa, all of which are characteristics of sialidases. Structural modeling predicted a canonical 6-bladed beta-propeller structure with the model's highly conserved catalytic residues aligning well with those of an experimentally determined sialidase structure. The gene encoding the putative Af sialidase was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Enzymatic characterization found that the enzyme was able to cleave the synthetic sialic acid substrate, 4-methylumbelliferyl alpha-D-N-acetylneuraminic acid (MUN), and had a pH optimum of 3.5. Further kinetic characterization using 4-methylumbelliferyl alpha-D-N-acetylneuraminylgalactopyranoside revealed that Af sialidase preferred alpha2-3-linked sialic acids over the alpha2-6 isomers. No trans-sialidase activity was detected. qPCR studies showed that exposure to MEM plus human serum induced expression. Purified Af sialidase released sialic acid from diverse substrates such as mucin, fetuin, epithelial cell glycans and colominic acid, though A. fumigatus was unable to use either sialic acid or colominic acid as a sole source of carbon. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the fungal sialidases were more closely related to those of bacteria than to sialidases from other eukaryotes.

  6. Aspergillus fumigatus fungus ball in hospitalized patients with chronic pulmonary disease. Usefulness of double immunodiffusion test as a screening procedure.

    PubMed

    Ferreira-Da-Cruz, M F; Wanke, B; Pirmez, C; Galvão-Castro, B

    1988-01-01

    Double immunodiffusion (DID) was used as a screening test for the diagnosis of aspergillosis. Three hundred and fifty patients were tested, all of them referred from a specialized chest disease hospital and without a definitive etiological diagnosis. When DID was positive additional information such as clinical history and radiographic findings were requested and also surgical specimens were obtained whenever possible. Specific precipitin bands for Aspergillus fumigatus antigen were found in 29 (8.3%) of 350 patients sera. Nineteen (65.5%) of the 29 patients with positive serology were recognized as having a fungus ball by X-rays signs in 17 or by pathological examination in 2 or by both in 8 patients. This two-year prospective study has shown that pulmonary aspergillosis is a considerable problem among patients admitted to a Chest Diseases Hospital, especially in those with pulmonary cavities or bronchiectasis.

  7. Short Interspersed Nuclear Element (SINE) Sequences in the Genome of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Af293

    PubMed Central

    Kanhayuwa, Lakkhana; Coutts, Robert H. A.

    2016-01-01

    Novel families of short interspersed nuclear element (SINE) sequences in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, clinical isolate Af293, were identified and categorised into tRNA-related and 5S rRNA-related SINEs. Eight predicted tRNA-related SINE families originating from different tRNAs, and nominated as AfuSINE2 sequences, contained target site duplications of short direct repeat sequences (4–14 bp) flanking the elements, an extended tRNA-unrelated region and typical features of RNA polymerase III promoter sequences. The elements ranged in size from 140–493 bp and were present in low copy number in the genome and five out of eight were actively transcribed. One putative tRNAArg-derived sequence, AfuSINE2-1a possessed a unique feature of repeated trinucleotide ACT residues at its 3’-terminus. This element was similar in sequence to the I-4_AO element found in A. oryzae and an I-1_AF long nuclear interspersed element-like sequence identified in A. fumigatus Af293. Families of 5S rRNA-related SINE sequences, nominated as AfuSINE3, were also identified and their 5'-5S rRNA-related regions show 50–65% and 60–75% similarity to respectively A. fumigatus 5S rRNAs and SINE3-1_AO found in A. oryzae. A. fumigatus Af293 contains five copies of AfuSINE3 sequences ranging in size from 259–343 bp and two out of five AfuSINE3 sequences were actively transcribed. Investigations on AfuSINE distribution in the fungal genome revealed that the elements are enriched in pericentromeric and subtelomeric regions and inserted within gene-rich regions. We also demonstrated that some, but not all, AfuSINE sequences are targeted by host RNA silencing mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrated that infection of the fungus with mycoviruses had no apparent effects on SINE activity. PMID:27736869

  8. Short Interspersed Nuclear Element (SINE) Sequences in the Genome of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Af293.

    PubMed

    Kanhayuwa, Lakkhana; Coutts, Robert H A

    2016-01-01

    Novel families of short interspersed nuclear element (SINE) sequences in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, clinical isolate Af293, were identified and categorised into tRNA-related and 5S rRNA-related SINEs. Eight predicted tRNA-related SINE families originating from different tRNAs, and nominated as AfuSINE2 sequences, contained target site duplications of short direct repeat sequences (4-14 bp) flanking the elements, an extended tRNA-unrelated region and typical features of RNA polymerase III promoter sequences. The elements ranged in size from 140-493 bp and were present in low copy number in the genome and five out of eight were actively transcribed. One putative tRNAArg-derived sequence, AfuSINE2-1a possessed a unique feature of repeated trinucleotide ACT residues at its 3'-terminus. This element was similar in sequence to the I-4_AO element found in A. oryzae and an I-1_AF long nuclear interspersed element-like sequence identified in A. fumigatus Af293. Families of 5S rRNA-related SINE sequences, nominated as AfuSINE3, were also identified and their 5'-5S rRNA-related regions show 50-65% and 60-75% similarity to respectively A. fumigatus 5S rRNAs and SINE3-1_AO found in A. oryzae. A. fumigatus Af293 contains five copies of AfuSINE3 sequences ranging in size from 259-343 bp and two out of five AfuSINE3 sequences were actively transcribed. Investigations on AfuSINE distribution in the fungal genome revealed that the elements are enriched in pericentromeric and subtelomeric regions and inserted within gene-rich regions. We also demonstrated that some, but not all, AfuSINE sequences are targeted by host RNA silencing mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrated that infection of the fungus with mycoviruses had no apparent effects on SINE activity.

  9. Metabolites from Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus associated with Melia azedarach, and their antifungal, antifeedant, and toxic activities.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Qiang; Zhang, An-Ling; Gao, Jin-Ming

    2012-04-04

    Thirty-nine fungal metabolites 1-39, including two new alkaloids, 12β-hydroxy-13α-methoxyverruculogen TR-2 (6) and 3-hydroxyfumiquinazoline A (16), were isolated from the fermentation broth of Aspergillus fumigatus LN-4, an endophytic fungus isolated from the stem bark of Melia azedarach. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of detailed spectroscopic analysis (mass spectrometry and one- and two-dimensional NMR experiments) and by comparison of their NMR data with those reported in the literature. These isolated compounds were evaluated for in vitro antifungal activities against some phytopathogenic fungi, toxicity against brine shrimps, and antifeedant activities against armyworm larvae (Mythimna separata Walker). Among them, sixteen compounds showed potent antifungal activities against phytopathogenic fungi (Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria solani, Alternaria alternata, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Fusarium solani, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum, and Gibberella saubinettii), and four of them, 12β-hydroxy-13α-methoxyverruculogen TR-2 (6), fumitremorgin B (7), verruculogen (8), and helvolic acid (39), exhibited antifungal activities with MIC values of 6.25-50 μg/mL, which were comparable to the two positive controls carbendazim and hymexazol. In addition, of eighteen that exerted moderate lethality toward brine shrimps, compounds 7 and 8 both showed significant toxicities with median lethal concentration (LC(50)) values of 13.6 and 15.8 μg/mL, respectively. Furthermore, among nine metabolites that were found to possess antifeedant activity against armyworm larvae, compounds 7 and 8 gave the best activity with antifeedant indexes (AFI) of 50.0% and 55.0%, respectively. Structure-activity relationships of the metabolites were also discussed.

  10. Glycosylinositolphosphoceramides in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Simenel, Catherine; Coddeville, Bernadette; Delepierre, Muriel; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Fontaine, Thierry

    2008-01-01

    Fungal glycosylinositolphosphoceramides (GIPCs) are involved in cell growth and fungal-host interactions. In this study, six GIPCs from the mycelium of the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus were purified and characterized using Q-TOF mass spectrometry and 1H, 13C, and 31P NMR. All structures have the same inositolphosphoceramide moiety with the presence of a C(18:0)-phytosphingosine conjugated to a 2-hydroxylated saturated fatty acid (2-hydroxy-lignoceric acid). The carbohydrate moiety defines two types of GIPC. The first, a mannosylated zwitterionic glycosphingolipid contains a glucosamine residue linked in alpha1-2 to an inositol ring that has been described in only two other fungal pathogens. The second type of GIPC presents an alpha-Manp-(1-->3)-alpha-Manp-(1-->2)-IPC common core. A galactofuranose residue is found in four GIPC structures, mainly at the terminal position via a beta1-2 linkage. Interestingly, this galactofuranose residue could be substituted by a choline-phosphate group, as observed only in the GIPC of Acremonium sp., a plant pathogen.

  11. A guide to the recent literature on aspergillosis as caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus frequently found in self-heating organic matter.

    PubMed

    Marsh, P B; Millner, P D; Kla, J M

    1979-11-30

    Spores of Aspergillus fumigatus have been found to be abundantly present in the outdoor air at a site where large scale experimental composting of sewage sludge is in progress at Beltsville, Maryland. The health significance of this finding, for that site and for others in the future, is still only incompletely understood. Further studies are in progress to characterize absolute concentrations of the spores of the fungus in air at the site, spore dispersal by air from composting operations, and background environmental spore levels in air. The present paper contains a list of references to papers on health effects of A. fumigatus, many published in the past ten years, along with a review of the same designed to assist the reader in finding information on particular aspects of the subject in the literature. It is intended primarily as an aid to individuals interested in sludge composting and wishing to attain an insight into the A. fumigatus-composting situation, but it may also interest others concerned with other substrates which become moldy at 40--50 C. A. fumigatus has been found in great numbers in naturally and artificially heated environments such as decaying leaves, compost heaps, solar heated sloughs, cooling canals for nuclear power generators, silos, grain storage bins, boiler rooms, detritus around steam turbines and sauna baths. The evident practical merits of sludge composting have been described elsewhere; the information presented here has its main significance in respect to requirements for choice of locations for composting sites and to process and design criteria.

  12. Epigenetic modifier induced enhancement of fumiquinazoline C production in Aspergillus fumigatus (GA-L7): an endophytic fungus from Grewia asiatica L.

    PubMed

    Magotra, Ankita; Kumar, Manjeet; Kushwaha, Manoj; Awasthi, Praveen; Raina, Chand; Gupta, Ajai Prakash; Shah, Bhahwal A; Gandhi, Sumit G; Chaubey, Asha

    2017-12-01

    Present study relates to the effect of valproic acid, an epigenetic modifier on the metabolic profile of Aspergillus fumigatus (GA-L7), an endophytic fungus isolated from Grewia asiatica L. Seven secondary metabolites were isolated from A. fumigatus (GA-L7) which were identified as: pseurotin A, pseurotin D, pseurotin F2, fumagillin, tryprostatin C, gliotoxin and bis(methylthio)gliotoxin. Addition of valproic acid in the growth medium resulted in the alteration of secondary metabolic profile with an enhanced production of a metabolite, fumiquinazoline C by tenfolds. In order to assess the effect of valproic acid on the biosynthetic pathway of fumiquinazoline C, we studied the expression of the genes involved in its biosynthesis, both in the valproic acid treated and untreated control culture. The results revealed that all the genes i.e. Afua_6g 12040, Afua_6g 12050, Afua_6g 12060, Afua_6g 12070 and Afua_6g 12080, involved in the biosynthesis of fumiquinazoline C were overexpressed significantly by 7.5, 8.8, 3.4, 5.6 and 2.1 folds respectively, resulting in overall enhancement of fumiquinazoline C production by about tenfolds.

  13. Hyperspectral Imaging Using Intracellular Spies: Quantitative Real-Time Measurement of Intracellular Parameters In Vivo during Interaction of the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus with Human Monocytes

    PubMed Central

    Mohebbi, Sara; Erfurth, Florian; Hennersdorf, Philipp; Brakhage, Axel A.; Saluz, Hans Peter

    2016-01-01

    Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a technique based on the combination of classical spectroscopy and conventional digital image processing. It is also well suited for the biological assays and quantitative real-time analysis since it provides spectral and spatial data of samples. The method grants detailed information about a sample by recording the entire spectrum in each pixel of the whole image. We applied HSI to quantify the constituent pH variation in a single infected apoptotic monocyte as a model system. Previously, we showed that the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus conidia interfere with the acidification of phagolysosomes. Here, we extended this finding to monocytes and gained a more detailed analysis of this process. Our data indicate that melanised A. fumigatus conidia have the ability to interfere with apoptosis in human monocytes as they enable the apoptotic cell to recover from mitochondrial acidification and to continue with the cell cycle. We also showed that this ability of A. fumigatus is dependent on the presence of melanin, since a non-pigmented mutant did not stop the progression of apoptosis and consequently, the cell did not recover from the acidic pH. By conducting the current research based on the HSI, we could measure the intracellular pH in an apoptotic infected human monocyte and show the pattern of pH variation during 35 h of measurements. As a conclusion, we showed the importance of melanin for determining the fate of intracellular pH in a single apoptotic cell. PMID:27727286

  14. Crystal Structures and Small-angle X-ray Scattering Analysis of UDP-galactopyranose Mutase from the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Dhatwalia, Richa; Singh, Harkewal; Oppenheimer, Michelle; Karr, Dale B.; Nix, Jay C.; Sobrado, Pablo; Tanner, John J.

    2015-10-15

    UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM) is a flavoenzyme that catalyzes the conversion of UDP-galactopyranose to UDP-galactofuranose, which is a central reaction in galactofuranose biosynthesis. Galactofuranose has never been found in humans but is an essential building block of the cell wall and extracellular matrix of many bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. The importance of UGM for the viability of many pathogens and its absence in humans make UGM a potential drug target. Here we report the first crystal structures and small-angle x-ray scattering data for UGM from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, the causative agent of aspergillosis. The structures reveal that Aspergillus UGM has several extra secondary and tertiary structural elements that are not found in bacterial UGMs yet are important for substrate recognition and oligomerization. Small-angle x-ray scattering data show that Aspergillus UGM forms a tetramer in solution, which is unprecedented for UGMs. The binding of UDP or the substrate induces profound conformational changes in the enzyme. Two loops on opposite sides of the active site move toward each other by over 10 {angstrom} to cover the substrate and create a closed active site. The degree of substrate-induced conformational change exceeds that of bacterial UGMs and is a direct consequence of the unique quaternary structure of Aspergillus UGM. Galactopyranose binds at the re face of the FAD isoalloxazine with the anomeric carbon atom poised for nucleophilic attack by the FAD N5 atom. The structural data provide new insight into substrate recognition and the catalytic mechanism and thus will aid inhibitor design.

  15. Comparison of transcriptome technologies in the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus reveals novel insights into the genome and MpkA dependent gene expression

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus has become the most important airborne fungal pathogen causing life-threatening infections in immuno-compromised patients. Recently developed high-throughput transcriptome and proteome technologies, such as microarrays, RNA deep-sequencing, and LC-MS/MS of peptide mixtures, are of enormous value for systematically investigating pathogenic organisms. In the field of infection biology, one of the priorities is to collect and standardise data, in order to generate datasets that can be used to investigate and compare pathways and gene responses involved in pathogenicity. The “omics” era provides a multitude of inputs that need to be integrated and assessed. We therefore evaluated the potential of paired-end mRNA-Seq for investigating the regulatory role of the central mitogen activated protein kinase (MpkA). This kinase is involved in the cell wall integrity signalling pathway of A. fumigatus and essential for maintaining an intact cell wall in response to stress. Results The comparison of the transcriptome and proteome of an A. fumigatus wild-type strain with an mpkA null mutant strain revealed that 70.4% of the genome was found to be expressed and that MpkA plays a significant role in the regulation of many genes involved in cell wall remodelling, oxidative stress and iron starvation response, and secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Moreover, absence of the mpkA gene also strongly affects the expression of genes involved in primary metabolism. The data were further processed to evaluate the potential of the mRNA-Seq technique. We comprehensively matched up our data to published transcriptome studies and were able to show an improved data comparability of mRNA-Seq experiments independently of the technique used. Analysis of transcriptome and proteome data revealed only a weak correlation between mRNA and protein abundance. Conclusions High-throughput analysis of MpkA-dependent gene expression confirmed many

  16. [Aspergillus fumigatus in nasopharyngeal cavity of horses].

    PubMed

    Guida, Nora; Mesplet, María; Di Gennaro, Esteban; Digilio, Patricio; Moras, Eduardo Vicente

    2005-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a cosmopolitan opportunistic fungal associated to rhinopharyngitis, sinusitis and guttural pouches infection with nasal discharges. All them are similar with Strangle's sign, the infectious disease produced by Streptococcus equi spp. The aim of this work was to detect A. fumigatus in healthy horses living in boxes and field. 226 nasopharyngeal swabbing samples were obtained by mycological routine. A. fumigatus was isolated in 26 (11.5%) horses.

  17. Natural occurrence of Aspergillus fumigatus in cane sugar mills.

    PubMed

    Sandhu, R S; Khan, Z U; Randhawa, H S

    1977-11-01

    The environmental distribution of Aspergillus fumigatus in 2 cane-sugar mills and one paper factory in northern India is compared with 2 localities in Delhi. The preponderance of the species at the U.D. Sugar Mills, Shamli, was contrary to its low prevalence in the University of Delhi campus and at Subzimandi, the vegetable and fruit market of Delhi. Aspergillus fumigatus accounted for 42.5% of the total aerial fungal colony counts recorded in the Shamli Mills as against 2% in Delhi. The predominant aerial fungus at Subzimandi was A. niger whereas aspergilli were overshelmingly outnumbered by other fungi in the University of Delhi campus. Within the Shamli Mills, the bagasse-containing sites had a significantly higher aerial prevalence (50.3%) of A. fumigatus than the bagasse-free sites (13.5%). Furthermore, A. fumigatus was more prevalent in the operational (57.2%) than in the non-operational period (23.8%) of the mills. The high frequency of isolations of A. fumigatus from and its dense population in sugar-cane bagasse seemed to suggest a special association of the fungus with this substrate.

  18. Conidial Hydrophobins of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Paris, Sophie; Debeaupuis, Jean-Paul; Crameri, Reto; Carey, Marilyn; Charlès, Franck; Prévost, Marie Christine; Schmitt, Christine; Philippe, Bruno; Latgé, Jean Paul

    2003-01-01

    The surface of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia, the first structure recognized by the host immune system, is covered by rodlets. We report that this outer cell wall layer contains two hydrophobins, RodAp and RodBp, which are found as highly insoluble complexes. The RODA gene was previously characterized, and ΔrodA conidia do not display a rodlet layer (N. Thau, M. Monod, B. Crestani, C. Rolland, G. Tronchin, J. P. Latgé, and S. Paris, Infect. Immun. 62:4380-4388, 1994). The RODB gene was cloned and disrupted. RodBp was highly homologous to RodAp and different from DewAp of A. nidulans. ΔrodB conidia had a rodlet layer similar to that of the wild-type conidia. Therefore, unlike RodAp, RodBp is not required for rodlet formation. The surface of ΔrodA conidia is granular; in contrast, an amorphous layer is present at the surface of the conidia of the ΔrodA ΔrodB double mutant. These data show that RodBp plays a role in the structure of the conidial cell wall. Moreover, rodletless mutants are more sensitive to killing by alveolar macrophages, suggesting that RodAp or the rodlet structure is involved in the resistance to host cells. PMID:12620846

  19. Antioxidant Activity of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Arora, Daljit Singh; Chandra, Priyanka

    2011-01-01

    The antioxidant activity of Aspergillus fumigatus was assayed by different procedures and correlated with its extracellular total phenolic contents. Different physio-chemical parameters were optimized to enhance the activity. The culture grown under stationary conditions for 10 days at 25°C at pH 7 gave the best antioxidant activity. Statistical approaches demonstrated sucrose and NaNO3 to be the most suitable carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively. Response surface analysis showed 5% sucrose, 0.05% NaNO3, and incubation temperature of 35°C to be the optimal conditions for best expression of antioxidant activity. Under these conditions, the antioxidant potential assayed through different procedures was 89.8%, 70.1%, and 70.2% scavenging effect for DPPH radical, ferrous ion and nitric oxide ion, respectively. The reducing power showed an absorbance of 1.0 and FRAP assay revealed the activity of 60.5%. Extracellular total phenolic content and antioxidant activity as assayed by different procedures positively correlated. PMID:22084718

  20. Fumitoxins, new mycotoxins from Aspergillus fumigatus Fres.

    PubMed Central

    Debeaupuis, J P; Lafont, P

    1978-01-01

    Extracts of cultures of Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from silage were lethal to chicken embryos. Using this test and thin-layer chromatography, four UV-absorbing toxins, designated as fumitoxins A, B, C and D, were isolated. Analysis and mass spectrometry of crystallized fumitoxin A, the most abundant in the extract, established its molecular formula to be C31H42O8. Infrared, UV spectroscopy, and chemical reactions suggested that fumitoxin A is a steroid. Fumitoxins appear to be clearly different from the previously described toxins recognized in A. fumigatus. PMID:358921

  1. [Aspergillus fumigatus endocarditis in a patient with a biventricular pacemaker].

    PubMed

    Cuesta, José M; Fariñas, María C; Rodilla, Irene G; Salesa, Ricardo; de Berrazueta, José R

    2005-05-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus endocarditis is one of the rarest and severest complications in cardiological patients. We describe a patient with an intracardial pacemaker who was diagnosed as having Aspergillus fumigatus endocarditis. Postmortem examination showed a large, Aspergillus-infected thrombus encased in the right ventricle, pulmonary trunk and main pulmonary branches.

  2. Sphingolipids from the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Thierry

    2017-10-01

    Sphingolipids (SPLs) are key components of the plasma membrane in yeast and filamentous fungi. These molecules are involved in a number of cellular processes, and particularly, SGLs are essential components of the highly polarized fungal growth where they are required for the formation of the polarisome organization at the hyphal apex. Aspergillus fumigatus, a human fungal pathogen, produce SGLs that are discriminated into neutral cerebrosides, glycosylinositolphosphoceramides (GIPCs) and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors. In addition to complex hydrophilic head groups of GIPCs, A. fumigatus is, to date, the sole fungus that produces a GPI-anchored polysaccharide. These SPLs follow three different biosynthetic pathways. Genetics blockage leading to the inhibition of any SPL biosynthesis or to the alteration of the structure of SPL induces growth and virulence defects. The complete lipid moiety of SPLs is essential for the lipid microdomain organization and their biosynthetic pathways are potential antifungal targets but remains understudied. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Aspergillus fumigatus: virulence genes in a street-smart mold.

    PubMed

    Askew, David S

    2008-08-01

    Infections with the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus are among the most devastating of the systemic mycoses. Unlike most primary pathogens, which possess virulence traits that developed in association with a host organism, evidence suggests that the virulence of A. fumigatus entails a collection of 'street-smart' attributes that have evolved to resist the adverse selection pressures encountered in decaying vegetation. These features enhance the overall competitiveness of the organism in its environmental niche but are also thought to promote growth and survival in a human host. Although many of the genes that are responsible for these characteristics do not fit into the classical definition of a virulence factor, they are nonetheless important to the pathogenesis of aspergillosis and may therefore provide novel opportunities for antifungal development.

  4. Isolation of azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus from the environment in the south-eastern USA.

    PubMed

    Hurst, Steven F; Berkow, Elizabeth L; Stevenson, Katherine L; Litvintseva, Anastasia P; Lockhart, Shawn R

    2017-09-01

    Azole resistance in isolates of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus has been associated with agricultural use of azole fungicides. Environmental isolation of resistant isolates has been reported in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. To determine whether A. fumigatus isolates containing TR34/L98H or TR46/Y121F/T289A can be found in fields in the USA treated with agricultural azoles. Crop debris was collected and screened for A. fumigatus. All A. fumigatus isolates were screened for azole resistance. The CYP51A gene of azole-resistant isolates was sequenced. The population structure of a subset of isolates was determined using microsatellite typing. This article identifies azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates containing the TR34/L98H mutation in an experimental peanut field that had been treated with azole fungicides. These findings suggest the development of resistance to azole antifungals in A. fumigatus may be present where agricultural azoles are used in the USA.

  5. In vitro biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Thierry; Smith, Terry K; Crossman, Arthur; Brimacombe, John S; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Ferguson, Michael A J

    2004-12-07

    Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) represents a mechanism for the attachment of proteins to the plasma membrane found in all eukaryotic cells. GPI biosynthesis has been mainly studied in parasites, yeast, and mammalian cells. Aspergillus fumigatus, a filamentous fungus, produces GPI-anchored molecules, some of them being essential in the construction of the cell wall. An in vitro assay was used to study the GPI biosynthesis in the mycelium form of this organism. In the presence of UDP-GlcNAc and coenzyme A, the cell-free system produces the initial intermediates of the GPI biosynthesis: GlcNAc-PI, GlcN-PI, and GlcN-(acyl)PI. Using GDP-Man, two types of mannosylation are observed. First, one or two mannose residues are added to GlcN-PI. This mannosylation, never described in fungi, does not require dolichol phosphomannoside (Dol-P-Man) as the monosaccharide donor. Second, one to five mannose residues are added to GlcN-(acyl)PI using Dol-P-Man as the mannose donor. The addition of ethanolamine phosphate groups to the first, second, and third mannose residue is also observed. This latter series of GPI intermediates identified in the A. fumigatus cell-free system indicates that GPI biosynthesis in this filamentous fungus is similar to the mammalian or yeast systems. Thus, these biochemical data are in agreement with a comparative genome analysis that shows that all but 3 of the 21 genes described in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae GPI pathways are found in A. fumigatus.

  6. Fatal coinfection with Legionella pneumophila serogroup 8 and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Guillouzouic, Aurélie; Bemer, Pascale; Gay-Andrieu, Françoise; Bretonnière, Cédric; Lepelletier, Didier; Mahé, Pierre-Joachim; Villers, Daniel; Jarraud, Sophie; Reynaud, Alain; Corvec, Stéphane

    2008-02-01

    Legionella pneumophila is an important cause of community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonia. We report on a patient who simultaneously developed L. pneumophila serogroup 8 pneumonia and Aspergillus fumigatus lung abscesses. Despite appropriate treatments, Aspergillus disease progressed with metastasis. Coinfections caused by L. pneumophila and A. fumigatus remain exceptional. In apparently immunocompetent patients, corticosteroid therapy is a key risk factor for aspergillosis.

  7. Global Population Genetic Analysis of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Ashu, Eta Ebasi; Hagen, Ferry; Chowdhary, Anuradha

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitous opportunistic fungal pathogen capable of causing invasive aspergillosis, a globally distributed disease with a mortality rate of up to 90% in high-risk populations. Effective control and prevention of this disease require a thorough understanding of its epidemiology. However, despite significant efforts, the global molecular epidemiology of A. fumigatus remains poorly understood. In this study, we analyzed 2,026 A. fumigatus isolates from 13 countries in four continents using nine highly polymorphic microsatellite markers. Genetic cluster analyses suggest that our global sample of A. fumigatus isolates belonged to eight genetic clusters, with seven of the eight clusters showing broad geographic distributions. We found common signatures of sexual recombination within individual genetic clusters and clear evidence of hybridization between several clusters. Limited but statistically significant genetic differentiations were found among geographic and ecological populations. However, there was abundant evidence for gene flow at the local, regional, and global scales. Interestingly, the triazole-susceptible and triazole-resistant populations showed different population structures, consistent with antifungal drug pressure playing a significant role in local adaptation. Our results suggest that global populations of A. fumigatus are shaped by historical differentiation, contemporary gene flow, sexual reproduction, and the localized antifungal drug selection that is driving clonal expansion of genotypes resistant to multiple triazole drugs. IMPORTANCE The genetic diversity and geographic structure of the human fungal pathogen A. fumigatus have been the subject of many studies. However, most previous studies had relatively limited sample ranges and sizes and/or used genetic markers with low-level polymorphisms. In this paper, we characterize a global collection of strains of A. fumigatus using a panel of 9 highly

  8. A novel method used to delete a new Aspergillus fumigatus ABC transporter-encoding gene.

    PubMed

    Langfelder, Kim; Gattung, Stephanie; Brakhage, Axel A

    2002-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an important opportunistic human pathogenic fungus. In severely immunocompromised patients, the fungus causes life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia and invasive aspergillosis. In order to obtain a better understanding of the key elements involved in A. fumigatus virulence and for identifying possible drug targets, it is essential to be able to generate gene-deletion strains. Until recently, the molecular techniques available did not provide a rapid method for gene deletion. A novel method described for A. nidulans was adapted for A. fumigatus. This method is quick and produces an increased homologous recombination efficiency. By using an Escherichia coli strain expressing the lambda red operon, it is possible to induce an in vivo recombination of a PCR fragment flanked by >50-bp regions with a cosmid containing the gene of interest. This produces cosmids in which the gene of interest has been replaced by a bi-functional marker. Such cosmids have large flanking regions surrounding the selectable marker pyrG of A. fumigatus used here, which result in high recombination efficiencies in A. fumigatus. Here, we identified a new ABC transporter-encoding gene in A. fumigatus, designated abcA. By using this method, an A. fumigatus knock-out mutant was generated, providing evidence that this method of generating gene deletions can also be used in A. fumigatus and significantly broadens our repertoire of molecular techniques to study A. fumigatus.

  9. Receptor-mediated signaling in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Grice, C. M.; Bertuzzi, M.; Bignell, E. M.

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most pathogenic species among the Aspergilli, and the major fungal agent of human pulmonary infection. To prosper in diverse ecological niches, Aspergilli have evolved numerous mechanisms for adaptive gene regulation, some of which are also crucial for mammalian infection. Among the molecules which govern such responses, integral membrane receptors are thought to be the most amenable to therapeutic modulation. This is due to the localization of these molecular sensors at the periphery of the fungal cell, and to the prevalence of small molecules and licensed drugs which target receptor-mediated signaling in higher eukaryotic cells. In this review we highlight the progress made in characterizing receptor-mediated environmental adaptation in A. fumigatus and its relevance for pathogenicity in mammals. By presenting a first genomic survey of integral membrane proteins in this organism, we highlight an abundance of putative seven transmembrane domain (7TMD) receptors, the majority of which remain uncharacterized. Given the dependency of A. fumigatus upon stress adaptation for colonization and infection of mammalian hosts, and the merits of targeting receptor-mediated signaling as an antifungal strategy, a closer scrutiny of sensory perception and signal transduction in this organism is warranted. PMID:23430083

  10. Genetic control of asexual development in aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Alkhayyat, Fahad; Chang Kim, Sun; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common fungi found in the environment. It is an opportunistic human pathogen causing invasive pulmonary aspergillosis with a high mortality rate in immunocompromised patients. Conidia, the asexual spores, serve as the main dispersal and infection agent allowing entrance of the fungus into the host through the respiratory tract. Therefore, understanding the asexual developmental process that gives rise to the conidia is of great interest to the scientific community and is currently the focus of an immense load of research being conducted. We have been studying the genetic basis that controls asexual development and gliotoxin biosynthesis in A. fumigatus. In this review, we discuss the genetic regulatory system that dictates conidiation in this important fungus by covering the roles of crucial genetic factors from the upstream heterotrimeric G-protein signaling components to the more specific downstream central activators of the conidiation pathway. In addition, other key asexual regulators including the velvet regulators, the Flb proteins and their associated regulatory factors are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Integrative analysis of the heat shock response in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus is a thermotolerant human-pathogenic mold and the most common cause of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised patients. Its predominance is based on several factors most of which are still unknown. The thermotolerance of A. fumigatus is one of the traits which have been assigned to pathogenicity. It allows the fungus to grow at temperatures up to and above that of a fevered human host. To elucidate the mechanisms of heat resistance, we analyzed the change of the A. fumigatus proteome during a temperature shift from 30°C to 48°C by 2D-fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE). To improve 2D gel image analysis results, protein spot quantitation was optimized by missing value imputation and normalization. Differentially regulated proteins were compared to previously published transcriptome data of A. fumigatus. The study was augmented by bioinformatical analysis of transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) in the promoter region of genes whose corresponding proteins were differentially regulated upon heat shock. Results 91 differentially regulated protein spots, representing 64 different proteins, were identified by mass spectrometry (MS). They showed a continuous up-, down- or an oscillating regulation. Many of the identified proteins were involved in protein folding (chaperones), oxidative stress response, signal transduction, transcription, translation, carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism. A correlation between alteration of transcript levels and corresponding proteins was detected for half of the differentially regulated proteins. Interestingly, some previously undescribed putative targets for the heat shock regulator Hsf1 were identified. This provides evidence for Hsf1-dependent regulation of mannitol biosynthesis, translation, cytoskeletal dynamics and cell division in A. fumigatus. Furthermore, computational analysis of promoters revealed putative binding sites for an AP-2alpha-like transcription factor

  12. Dynamic Immune Cell Recruitment After Murine Pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus Infection under Different Immunosuppressive Regimens

    PubMed Central

    Kalleda, Natarajaswamy; Amich, Jorge; Arslan, Berkan; Poreddy, Spoorthi; Mattenheimer, Katharina; Mokhtari, Zeinab; Einsele, Hermann; Brock, Matthias; Heinze, Katrin Gertrud; Beilhack, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Humans are continuously exposed to airborne spores of the saprophytic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. However, in healthy individuals pulmonary host defense mechanisms efficiently eliminate the fungus. In contrast, A. fumigatus causes devastating infections in immunocompromised patients. Host immune responses against A. fumigatus lung infections in immunocompromised conditions have remained largely elusive. Given the dynamic changes in immune cell subsets within tissues upon immunosuppressive therapy, we dissected the spatiotemporal pulmonary immune response after A. fumigatus infection to reveal basic immunological events that fail to effectively control invasive fungal disease. In different immunocompromised murine models, myeloid, notably neutrophils, and macrophages, but not lymphoid cells were strongly recruited to the lungs upon infection. Other myeloid cells, particularly dendritic cells and monocytes, were only recruited to lungs of corticosteroid treated mice, which developed a strong pulmonary inflammation after infection. Lymphoid cells, particularly CD4+ or CD8+ T-cells and NK cells were highly reduced upon immunosuppression and not recruited after A. fumigatus infection. Moreover, adoptive CD11b+ myeloid cell transfer rescued cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed mice from lethal A. fumigatus infection but not cortisone and cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed mice. Our findings illustrate that CD11b+ myeloid cells are critical for anti-A. fumigatus defense under cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed conditions. PMID:27468286

  13. A Developmentally Regulated Gene Cluster Involved in Conidial Pigment Biosynthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Huei-Fung; Wheeler, Michael H.; Chang, Yun C.; Kwon-Chung, K. J.

    1999-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, a filamentous fungus producing bluish-green conidia, is an important opportunistic pathogen that primarily affects immunocompromised patients. Conidial pigmentation of A. fumigatus significantly influences its virulence in a murine model. In the present study, six genes, forming a gene cluster spanning 19 kb, were identified as involved in conidial pigment biosynthesis in A. fumigatus. Northern blot analyses showed the six genes to be developmentally regulated and expressed during conidiation. The gene products of alb1 (for “albino 1”), arp1 (for “aspergillus reddish-pink 1”), and arp2 have high similarity to polyketide synthases, scytalone dehydratases, and hydroxynaphthalene reductases, respectively, found in the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin pathway of brown and black fungi. The abr1 gene (for “aspergillus brown 1”) encodes a putative protein possessing two signatures of multicopper oxidases. The abr2 gene product has homology to the laccase encoded by the yA gene of Aspergillus nidulans. The function of ayg1 (for “aspergillus yellowish-green 1”) remains unknown. Involvement of the six genes in conidial pigmentation was confirmed by the altered conidial color phenotypes that resulted from disruption of each gene in A. fumigatus. The presence of a DHN-melanin pathway in A. fumigatus was supported by the accumulation of scytalone and flaviolin in the arp1 deletant, whereas only flaviolin was accumulated in the arp2 deletants. Scytalone and flaviolin are well-known signature metabolites of the DHN-melanin pathway. Based on DNA sequence similarity, gene disruption results, and biochemical analyses, we conclude that the 19-kb DNA fragment contains a six-gene cluster which is required for conidial pigment biosynthesis in A. fumigatus. However, the presence of abr1, abr2, and ayg1 in addition to alb1, arp1, and arp2 suggests that conidial pigment biosynthesis in A. fumigatus is more complex than the known DHN-melanin pathway

  14. Dispersal of Aspergillus fumigatus from Sewage Sludge Compost Piles Subjected to Mechanical Agitation in Open Air

    PubMed Central

    Millner, Patricia D.; Bassett, David A.; Marsh, Paul B.

    1980-01-01

    Aerosolization of the thermophilous fungal opportunist Aspergillus fumigatus from mechanically agitated compost piles was examined at a pilot-scale sewage sludge composting facility and two other selected test sites. Aerosols of A. fumigatus downwind from stationary compost piles were insignificant in comparison with those downwind from agitated piles. These aerosols were generated by a front-end loader moving and dropping compost. Aerial concentrations of the fungus at distances downwind from the point of emission were used to determine an emission rate for A. fumigatus associated with the moving operations. The maximum emission rate, 4.6 × 106A. fumigatus particles per s, was used to calculate predicted concentrations in an unobstructed plume with restrictive, neutral, and dispersive atmospheric mixing conditions up to 1 km downwind from the emission source. PMID:16345563

  15. Aspergillus fumigatus biofilm on primary human sinonasal epithelial culture.

    PubMed

    Singhal, Deepti; Baker, Leonie; Wormald, Peter-John; Tan, Lorwai

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial biofilms have been implicated in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). However, direct evidence in support of fungal biofilms in sinus disease is lacking in the literature. This study was designed to develop and characterize an in vitro Aspergillus fumigatus biofilm model on primary human sinonasal epithelial cell culture. Sinonasal biopsy specimens harvested during endoscopic sinus surgery of six CRS patients and three pituitary tumor (control) patients were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle media (DMEM; Invitrogen)/Hams F12 airway media to encourage epithelial cell proliferation. Epithelial cells separated by immunomagnetic beads were seeded in tissue culture-treated Y-shaped microslides. At confluence the primary cultures were inoculated with A. fumigatus spores. Fungus was allowed to germinate and form biofilms under two in vitro conditions: (1) static (no flow through of media) and (2) continuous flow coculture (continuous flow movement of media). At regular intervals cocultures were stained with FUN-1, concanavalin A-alexa fluor 488, and examined by confocal scanning laser microscopy. Comstat software was used to assess biomass and thickness. A. fumigatus formed three-dimensional biofilm structures with parallel-packed, cross-linked hyphae and channels/passages. Metabolically active hyphae showed orange-red fluorescing intravacuolar structures. Extracellular matrix (ECM) between/around the hyphae fluoresced intense green. A. fumigatus biofilms development occurred in five stages: (1) conidial attachment to epithelial cells, (2) hyphal proliferation, (3) ECM production, (4) hyphal parallel packing and cross-linking, and (5) channel/pores formation. Mature biofilms showed basal conidial, middle hyphal, and superficial ECM layers. Biofilms formed under flow conditions displayed more robust and faster growth kinetics when compared with that under static conditions, with a thick, stocky, wrinkly/undulating hyphal growth and extensive ECM production. The

  16. Prospective Multicenter International Surveillance of Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Arendrup, M.C.; Warris, A.; Lagrou, K.; Pelloux, H.; Hauser, P.M.; Chryssanthou, E.; Mellado, E.; Kidd, S.E.; Tortorano, A.M.; Dannaoui, E.; Gaustad, P.; Baddley, J.W.; Uekötter, A.; Lass-Flörl, C.; Klimko, N.; Moore, C.B.; Denning, D.W.; Pasqualotto, A.C.; Kibbler, C.; Arikan-Akdagli, S.; Andes, D.; Meletiadis, J.; Naumiuk, L.; Nucci, M.; Melchers, W.J.G.; Verweij, P.E.

    2015-01-01

    To investigate azole resistance in clinical Aspergillus isolates, we conducted prospective multicenter international surveillance. A total of 3,788 Aspergillus isolates were screened in 22 centers from 19 countries. Azole-resistant A. fumigatus was more frequently found (3.2% prevalence) than previously acknowledged, causing resistant invasive and noninvasive aspergillosis and severely compromising clinical use of azoles. PMID:25988348

  17. Immune response to Aspergillus fumigatus in compromised hosts: from bedside to bench.

    PubMed

    Chai, Louis Y A; Vonk, Alieke G; Kullberg, Bart-Jan; Netea, Mihai G

    2011-01-01

    The relevance of studies aimed at understanding host immune response against Aspergillus fumigatus takes on much significance given that all patients with invasive aspergillosis are invariably immunocompromised. This article attempts to correlate relevant findings from recent experimental studies to clinical observations made by the physician at the bedside. It is hoped that the increased understanding of host-fungus immune interaction may pave the way for the development of new management strategies against this difficult-to-treat fungal disease.

  18. Confocal microscopy of Aspergillus fumigatus keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Avunduk, A M; Beuerman, R W; Varnell, E D; Kaufman, H E

    2003-01-01

    Aim: To use a confocal microscope to characterise the treated and untreated courses of fungal keratitis. Methods: In the first experiment, Aspergillus fumigatus stromal keratitis was produced in both eyes of seven New Zealand white rabbits. In the second experiment, keratitis was induced in right eyes of 20 rabbits. Group 1 rabbits were treated with topical fluconazole, group 2 rabbits received oral fluconazole, and group 3 rabbits were used as controls. The rabbits were examined with a slit lamp and confocal microscope 2, 6, 10, 14, and 20 days after inoculation. The corneal cultures were taken on days 2, 14, and 20 and biopsies were taken on days 2 and 22. Results: On days 14 and 22 confocal microscopy was more sensitive than culture technique in both treated and untreated animals, since not all cases of fungal keratitis can be cultured. Conclusion: This study indicates that confocal microscopy is a rapid and sensitive diagnostic tool for both the early diagnosis and non-invasive follow up of fungal keratitis PMID:12642300

  19. Aspergillus fumigatus: contours of an opportunistic human pathogen.

    PubMed

    McCormick, Allison; Loeffler, Jürgen; Ebel, Frank

    2010-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is currently the major air-borne fungal pathogen. It is able to cause several forms of disease in humans of which invasive aspergillosis is the most severe. The high mortality rate of this disease prompts increased efforts to disclose the basic principles of A. fumigatus pathogenicity. According to our current knowledge, A. fumigatus lacks sophisticated virulence traits; it is nevertheless able to establish infection due to its robustness and ability to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions. This review focuses on two crucial aspects of invasive aspergillosis: (i) properties of A. fumigatus that are relevant during infection and may distinguish it from non-pathogenic Aspergillus species and (ii) interactions of the pathogen with the innate and adaptive immune systems.

  20. Fitness Studies of Azole-Resistant Strains of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Valsecchi, Isabel; Mellado, Emilia; Beau, Rémi; Raj, Shriya

    2015-01-01

    Isogenic bar-coded strains of Aspergillus fumigatus carrying the G54W or M220K mutation in Cyp51A were constructed. In vitro, the growth and conidiation capacities of the mutants were similar to those of the parental strain. Competition studies in the absence of azoles showed that there was no adverse fitness cost for the azole-resistant A. fumigatus strains in vitro or in vivo compared to the parental strain. PMID:26416854

  1. Aspergillus fumigatus-Related Species in Clinical Practice

    PubMed Central

    Lamoth, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main etiologic agent of invasive aspergillosis (IA). Other Aspergillus species belonging to the section Fumigati (A. fumigatus complex) may occasionally be the cause of IA. These strains are often misidentified, as they cannot be distinguished from A. fumigatus by conventional morphological analysis and sequencing methods. This lack of recognition may have important consequences as these A. fumigatus-related species often display some level of intrinsic resistance to azoles and other antifungal drugs. A. lentulus, A. udagawae, A. viridinutans, and A. thermomutatus (Neosartorya pseudofischeri) have been associated with refractory cases of IA. Microbiologists should be able to suspect the presence of these cryptic species behind a putative A. fumigatus isolate on the basis of some simple characteristics, such as defect in sporulation and/or unusual antifungal susceptibility profile. However, definitive species identification requires specific sequencing analyses of the beta-tubulin or calmodulin genes, which are not available in most laboratories. Multiplex PCR assays or matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization – time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) gave promising results for rapid and accurate distinction between A. fumigatus and other Aspergillus spp. of the section Fumigati in clinical practice. Improved diagnostic procedures and antifungal susceptibility testing may be helpful for the early detection and management of these particular IA cases. PMID:27242710

  2. Gliotoxin production by clinical and environmental Aspergillus fumigatus strains.

    PubMed

    Kupfahl, Claudio; Michalka, Anna; Lass-Flörl, Cornelia; Fischer, Guido; Haase, Gerhard; Ruppert, Thomas; Geginat, Gernot; Hof, Herbert

    2008-04-01

    The mycotoxin gliotoxin is produced by fungi of the genus Aspergillus, including the important human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Gliotoxin exerts a broad spectrum of immunosuppressive effects in vitro and is detectable in the sera of patients suffering from invasive aspergillosis. In order to correlate the pathogenic potential of A. fumigatus with the ability to produce gliotoxin and to investigate the taxonomic distribution of gliotoxin-producing Aspergillus strains among clinical isolates, a total of 158 Aspergillus isolates comprising four different species (A. fumigatus, n=100; A. terreus, n=27; A. niger, n=16; A. flavus, n=15) were collected from different medical centers (some originating from probable cases of aspergillosis) and from environmental samples in Germany and Austria. Remarkably, gliotoxin was detected in most culture filtrates of A. fumigatus of both clinical (98%) and environmental (96%) origin. The toxin was also detected, with decreasing frequency, in culture filtrates of A. niger (56%), A. terreus (37%), and A. flavus (13%). The highest gliotoxin concentrations were detected in A. fumigatus strains of clinical (max. 21.35 microg/ml, mean 5.75 microg/ml) and environmental (max. 26.25 microg/ml, mean 5.27 microg/ml) origin. Gliotoxin productivity of other Aspergillus species was significantly lower. Culture supernatants of A. fumigatus strains lacking gliotoxin production showed a significantly lower cytotoxicity on macrophage-like cells and T-cells in vitro. In contrast, lack of gliotoxin production in the other Aspergillus species tested had no significant influence on the cytotoxic effect of culture supernatant on these immune cells.

  3. The Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Regulates Growth, Metabolism, and Stress Resistance in Response to Light

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Kevin K.; Ringelberg, Carol S.; Loros, Jennifer J.; Dunlap, Jay C.

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Light is a pervasive environmental factor that regulates development, stress resistance, and even virulence in numerous fungal species. Though much research has focused on signaling pathways in Aspergillus fumigatus, an understanding of how this pathogen responds to light is lacking. In this report, we demonstrate that the fungus does indeed respond to both blue and red portions of the visible spectrum. Included in the A. fumigatus light response is a reduction in conidial germination rates, increased hyphal pigmentation, enhanced resistance to acute ultraviolet and oxidative stresses, and an increased susceptibility to cell wall perturbation. By performing gene deletion analyses, we have found that the predicted blue light receptor LreA and red light receptor FphA play unique and overlapping roles in regulating the described photoresponsive behaviors of A. fumigatus. However, our data also indicate that the photobiology of this fungus is complex and likely involves input from additional photosensory pathways beyond those analyzed here. Finally, whole-genome microarray analysis has revealed that A. fumigatus broadly regulates a variety of metabolic genes in response to light, including those involved in respiration, amino acid metabolism, and metal homeostasis. Together, these data demonstrate the importance of the photic environment on the physiology of A. fumigatus and provide a basis for future studies into this unexplored area of its biology. PMID:23532976

  4. Volatile Compounds Emitted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Stimulate Growth of the Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Briard, Benoit; Heddergott, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Chronic lung infections with opportunistic bacterial and fungal pathogens are a major cause of morbidity and mortality especially in patients with cystic fibrosis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most frequently colonizing bacterium in these patients, and it is often found in association with the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. P. aeruginosa is known to inhibit the growth of A. fumigatus in situations of direct contact, suggesting the existence of interspecies communication that may influence disease outcome. Our study shows that the lung pathogens P. aeruginosa and A. fumigatus can interact at a distance via volatile-mediated communication and expands our understanding of interspecific signaling in microbial communities. PMID:26980832

  5. Transcription factor PrtT controls expression of multiple secreted proteases in the human pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Sharon, Haim; Hagag, Shelly; Osherov, Nir

    2009-09-01

    The role of secreted proteases in the virulence of the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus remains controversial. Recently, the Aspergillus niger transcription factor PrtT was shown to control the expression of multiple secreted proteases. In this work, the gene which encodes the PrtT homolog in A. fumigatus was cloned and its function analyzed using a deletion mutant strain. Deletion of A. fumigatus prtT resulted in the loss of secreted protease activity. The expression of six secreted proteases (ALP, MEP, Dpp4, CpdS, AFUA_2G17330, and AFUA_7G06220) was markedly reduced. Culture filtrates from the prtT deletion strain exhibited reduced killing of lung epithelial cells and lysis of erythrocytes. However, the prtT deletion strain did not exhibit altered virulence in lung-infected mice. These results suggest that PrtT is not a significant virulence factor in A. fumigatus.

  6. The Proteomic Signature of Aspergillus fumigatus During Early Development*

    PubMed Central

    Cagas, Steven E.; Jain, Mohit Raja; Li, Hong; Perlin, David S.

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprophytic fungus that causes a range of diseases in humans including invasive aspergillosis. All forms of disease begin with the inhalation of conidia, which germinate and develop. Four stages of early development were evaluated using the gel free system of isobaric tagging for relative and absolute quantitation to determine the full proteomic profile of the pathogen. A total of 461 proteins were identified at 0, 4, 8, and 16 h and fold changes for each were established. Ten proteins including the hydrophobin rodlet protein RodA and a protein involved in melanin synthesis Abr2 were found to decrease relative to conidia. To generate a more comprehensive view of early development, a whole genome microarray analysis was performed comparing conidia to 8 and 16 h of growth. A total of 1871 genes were found to change significantly at 8 h with 1001 genes up-regulated and 870 down-regulated. At 16 h, 1235 genes changed significantly with 855 up-regulated and 380 down-regulated. When a comparison between the proteomics and microarray data was performed at 8 h, a total of 22 proteins with significant changes also had corresponding genes that changed significantly. When the same comparison was performed at 16 h, 12 protein and gene combinations were found. This study, the most comprehensive to date, provides insights into early pathways activated during growth and development of A. fumigatus. It reveals a pathogen that is gearing up for rapid growth by building translation machinery, generating ATP, and is very much committed to aerobic metabolism. PMID:21825280

  7. Resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus to Micafungin is Increased by Exogenous β-glucan.

    PubMed

    Toyoshima, Takashi; Ishibashi, Ken-Ichi; Yamanaka, Daisuke; Adachi, Yoshiyuki; Ohno, Naohito

    2017-01-01

    Aspergillus species are ubiquitous in the environment and Aspergillus fumigatus can cause life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. β-1,3-/1,6-glucan is a major fungal cell wall polysaccharide that has various biological effects on the infected host, but little is known about the influence of β-glucan on the fungus itself. In a previous study, we demonstrated that the cell wall β-glucan content could be increased in Aspergillus spp. by addition of β-glucan to the culture medium. In this study, we investigated the influence of β-glucan on the susceptibility of A. fumigatus to antifungal agents. A. fumigatus was cultured in the presence or absence of β-glucan for antifungal susceptibility testing based on changes of the growth rate and morphology. Susceptibility to micafungin, a β-glucan synthase inhibitor, was about 10-fold lower when β-glucan was added to the culture medium. On the other hand, susceptibility to amphotericin B and voriconazole was similar in either the presence or absence of β-glucan. These results strongly suggest that β-glucan has an important physiological role in Aspergillus spp.

  8. Physiological behaviour of gliotoxigenic Aspergillus fumigatus sensu stricto isolated from maize silage under simulated environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Alonso, V; Vergara, L Díaz; Aminahuel, C; Pereyra, C; Pena, G; Torres, A; Dalcero, A; Cavaglieri, L

    2015-01-01

    Environmental conditions play a key role in fungal development. During the silage production process, humidity, oxygen availability and pH vary among lactic-fermentation phases and among different silage sections. The aim of this work was to study the physiological behaviour of gliotoxicogenic Aspergillus fumigatus strains isolated from maize silage under simulated natural physicochemical conditions - different water activities (a(W)), temperatures (Tº), pH and oxygen pressure - on the growth parameters (growth rate and lag phase) and gliotoxin production. The silage was made with the harvested whole maize plant that was chopped and used for trench-type silo fabrication. Water activity and pH of the silage samples were determined. Total fungal counts were performed on Dichloran Rose Bengal Chloramphenicol agar and Dichloran 18% Glycerol agar. The morphological identification of A. fumigatus was performed with different culture media and at different growth temperature to observe microscopic and macroscopic characteristics. Gliotoxin production by A. fumigatus was determined by HPLC. All strains isolated were morphologically identified as A. fumigatus. Two A. fumigatus strains isolated from the silage samples were selected for the ecophysiological study (A. fumigatus sensu stricto RC031 and RC032). The results of this investigation showed that the fungus grows in the simulated natural physicochemical conditions of corn silage and produces gliotoxin. The study of the physiological behaviour of gliotoxigenic A. fumigatus under simulated environmental conditions allowed its behaviour to be predicted in silage and this will in future enable appropriate control strategies to be developed to prevent the spread of this fungus and toxin production that leads to impairment and reduced quality of silage.

  9. Chemosensitization prevents tolerance of Aspergillus fumigatus to antimycotic drugs

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Tolerance of human pathogenic fungi to antifungal drugs is an emerging medical problem. We show how strains of the causative agent of human aspergillosis, Aspergillus fumigatus, tolerant to cell wall-interfering antimycotic drugs become susceptible through chemosensitization by natural compounds. To...

  10. Lipoxygenase activity accelerates programmed spore germination in Aspergillus fumigatus

    Treesearch

    Gregory J. Fischer; William Bacon; Jun Yang; Jonathan M. Palmer; Taylor Dagenais; Bruce D. Hammock; Nancy P. Keller

    2017-01-01

    The opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus initiates invasive growth through a programmed germination process that progresses from dormant spore to swollen spore (SS) to germling (GL) and ultimately invasive hyphal growth. We find a lipoxygenase with considerable homology to human Alox5 and Alox15, LoxB, that impacts the transitions of...

  11. Environmental Monitoring for Aspergillus fumigatus in Association with an Immunosuppressed Rabbit Model of Pulmonary Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Such, Kimberly A; Petraitis, Vidmantas; Petraitiene, Ruta; Strauss, Gittel E; Moradi, Patriss-Wais; Walsh, Thomas J

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus causes life-threatening pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. Conidia, the infectious form of the organism, are handled in a biologic safety cabinet under BSL2 conditions. However because germinated conidia form noninfectious hyphae in tissue, we hypothesized that rabbits inoculated intratracheally would grow A. fumigatus in their lungs but that the environment would remain free of this fungus, potentially permitting maintenance of infected animals under ABSL1 conditions. We performed a surveillance study for the presence of A. fumigatus in the environment before proceeding with antifungal therapy studies of experimental pulmonary aspergillosis. The expected outcome included absence of A. fumigatus in the environment, stool, and blood and presence in rabbit lungs. Female SPF New Zealand white rabbits were immunosuppressed and inoculated intratracheally (n = 4) or intraesophageally (n = 2) with 1.25 × 108 conidia of A. fumigatus. Feces, pan liners, and walls were sampled daily during the 11-d experiment, and blood was sampled on days 2, 6, and 8 after inoculation. Samples were cultured on 5% Sabouraud glucose agar plates. Lungs were weighed and scored for hemorrhagic infarcts and homogenized for culture on 5% Sabouraud glucose agar and trypticase soy agar plates. Blood cultures, rabbit stool, and environmental swabs were all negative for A. fumigatus whereas the lungs inoculated intratracheally demonstrated 4.5 × 102 ± 0.8 × 102 CFU/g of A. fumigatus. Therefore, neutropenic rabbits with experimental invasive pulmonary aspergillosis do not shed conidia of A. fumigatus and can be safely housed under ABSL1 conditions after inoculation. PMID:24041208

  12. Chitin enhances serum IgE in Aspergillus fumigatus induced allergy in mice.

    PubMed

    Dubey, Lalit Kumar; Moeller, Jesper Bonnet; Schlosser, Anders; Sorensen, Grith Lykke; Holmskov, Uffe

    2015-06-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is a ubiquitous fungus that activates, suppresses or modulates the immune response by changing its cell wall structure and by secreting proteases. In this study, we show that chitin acts as an adjuvant in a murine model of A. fumigatus protease induced allergy. The mice were immunised intraperitoneally with A. fumigatus culture filtrate antigen either with or without chitin and were subsequently challenged with the culture filtrate antigen intranasally. Alum was used as an adjuvant control. Compared to alum, chitin induced a weaker inflammatory response in the lungs, measured as the total cell efflux in BAL, EPO and chitinase production. However, chitin enhanced the total IgE, specific IgE and specific IgG1 production as efficiently as alum. Pre-treatment with chitin but not with alum depressed the concentration of the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 in BAL fluid. These results shows that chitin, in spite of a reduction of the Th2 cytokine levels in the lungs, enhanced the total and specific IgE production in A. fumigatus culture filtrate induced allergy.

  13. Exposure of Aspergillus fumigatus to caspofungin results in the release, and de novo biosynthesis, of gliotoxin.

    PubMed

    Eshwika, Ahmed; Kelly, Judy; Fallon, John P; Kavanagh, Kevin

    2013-02-01

    Caspofungin is a member of the echinocandin class of antifungal agents that inhibit the synthesis of β 1,3 glucan thus disrupting fungal cell wall structure and function. Exposure of the Aspergillus fumigatus cultures to caspofungin (0.01, 0.1 or 1.0 μg/ml) resulted in a reduction in cell growth, but the production of the epipolythiodioxopiperazine toxin, gliotoxin, was comparable, or greater, in cultures exposed to caspofungin than untreated controls. Exposure of A. fumigatus hyphae to 1.0 μg/ml caspofungin for 4 h resulted in the release of amino acids (P = 0.01), protein (P = 0.002) and gliotoxin (P = 0.02). Cultures of A. fumigatus incubated in the presence of caspofungin for 4 or 24 h demonstrated enhanced gliotoxin release (P = 0.04 and 0.03, respectively) and biosynthesis (P = 0.04 and 0.03, respectively) compared to that by control cultures. The results presented here indicate that exposure of A. fumigatus to caspofungin results in increased cell permeability and an increase in the synthesis and release of gliotoxin. Since gliotoxin has well established immunosuppressive properties it is possible that exposure of A. fumigatus to caspofungin may potentiate the production of this toxin at the site of infection. Elevated gliotoxin biosynthesis may be an attempt by the fungus to restore the redox balance of the cell following exposure to the antifungal agent but the overall effect appears to be enhanced synthesis and release.

  14. Aspergillus fumigatus in the cystic fibrosis lung: pros and cons of azole therapy.

    PubMed

    Burgel, Pierre-Régis; Paugam, André; Hubert, Dominique; Martin, Clémence

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main fungus cultured in the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis occurs in ~10% of CF patients and is clearly associated with airway damage and lung function decline. The effects of A. fumigatus colonization in the absence of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis are less well established. Retrospective clinical studies found associations of A. fumigatus-positive cultures with computed tomography scan abnormalities, greater risk of CF exacerbations and hospitalizations, and/or lung function decline. These findings were somewhat variable among studies and provided only circumstantial evidence for a role of A. fumigatus colonization in CF lung disease progression. The availability of a growing number of oral antifungal triazole drugs, together with the results of nonrandomized case series suggesting positive effects of azole therapies, makes it tempting to treat CF patients with these antifungal drugs. However, the only randomized controlled trial that has used itraconazole in CF patients showed no significant benefit. Because triazoles may have significant adverse effects and drug interactions, and because their prolonged use has been associated with the emergence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates, it remains unclear whether or not CF patients benefit from azole therapy.

  15. Vermamoeba vermiformis-Aspergillus fumigatus relationships and comparison with other phagocytic cells.

    PubMed

    Maisonneuve, Elodie; Cateau, Estelle; Kaaki, Sihem; Rodier, Marie-Hélène

    2016-11-01

    Free living amoebae (FLA) are protists ubiquitously present in the environment. Aspergillus fumigatus is a mould responsible for severe deep-seated infections, and that can be recovered in the same habitats as the FLA. By conducting coculture experiments and fungal incubation with amoebal supernatants, we report herein that Vermamoeba vermiformis, a FLA present in hospital water systems, promotes filamentation and growth of A. fumigatus. This finding is of particular importance to institutions whose water systems might harbor FLA and could potentially be used by immunocompromised patients. Also, the relationships between V. vermiformis and A. fumigatus were compared to those between this fungus and two other phagocytic cells: Acanthamoeba castellanii, another FLA, and macrophage-like THP-1 cells. After 4 h of coincubation, the percentages of the three phagocytic cell types with adhered conidia were similar, even though the types of receptors between FLA and macrophagic cell seemed different. However, the percentage of THP-1 with internalized conidia was considerably lower (40 %) in comparison with the two other cell types (100 %). Thus, this study revealed that interactions between A. fumigatus and these three phagocytic cell types show similarities, even though it is premature to extrapolate these results to interpret relationships between A. fumigatus and macrophages.

  16. Aspergillus fumigatus in the cystic fibrosis lung: pros and cons of azole therapy

    PubMed Central

    Burgel, Pierre-Régis; Paugam, André; Hubert, Dominique; Martin, Clémence

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main fungus cultured in the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis occurs in ~10% of CF patients and is clearly associated with airway damage and lung function decline. The effects of A. fumigatus colonization in the absence of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis are less well established. Retrospective clinical studies found associations of A. fumigatus-positive cultures with computed tomography scan abnormalities, greater risk of CF exacerbations and hospitalizations, and/or lung function decline. These findings were somewhat variable among studies and provided only circumstantial evidence for a role of A. fumigatus colonization in CF lung disease progression. The availability of a growing number of oral antifungal triazole drugs, together with the results of nonrandomized case series suggesting positive effects of azole therapies, makes it tempting to treat CF patients with these antifungal drugs. However, the only randomized controlled trial that has used itraconazole in CF patients showed no significant benefit. Because triazoles may have significant adverse effects and drug interactions, and because their prolonged use has been associated with the emergence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates, it remains unclear whether or not CF patients benefit from azole therapy. PMID:27703383

  17. Aspergillus fumigatus mycovirus causes mild hypervirulent effect on pathogenicity when tested on Galleria mellonella.

    PubMed

    Özkan, Selin; Coutts, Robert H A

    2015-03-01

    Mycoviruses are a specific group of viruses that naturally infect and replicate in fungi. The importance of mycoviruses was revealed after their effects were identified not only in economically important fungi but also in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The latter was shown recently to harbor at least three different types of mycoviruses including a chrysovirus, a partitivirus and an as yet uncharacterized virus. Assessment of virulence in the presence and absence of mycoviruses in A. fumigatus is pivotal to understanding its pathogenicity. Here, we have investigated, for the first time, the effects of mycoviruses on the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus as assessed using larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella. In order to observe the effects of mycoviruses on pathogenicity, G. mellonella were injected with virus-free and virus-infected isolates of A. fumigatus and post-infection survival times were analyzed along with the fungal burden. Neither chrysovirus nor partitivirus infection affected fungal pathogenicity when survival rates were assessed which, for the chrysovirus, agreed with a previous study on murine pathogenicity. However statistically significant differences were observed in survival rates and fungal burden in the presence of the uncharacterized A78 virus. Here we show, for the first time, the effects of a partitivirus and an uncharacterized A78 virus on the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus.

  18. Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus by polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed Central

    Spreadbury, C; Holden, D; Aufauvre-Brown, A; Bainbridge, B; Cohen, J

    1993-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic nosocomial pathogen causing an often fatal pneumonia, invasive aspergillosis (IA), in immunosuppressed patients. Oligonucleotide primers were used to amplify a 401-bp fragment spanning the 26S/intergenic spacer region of the rDNA complex of A. fumigatus by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The primers were highly sensitive and specific: as little as 1 pg of A. fumigatus genomic DNA could be detected, and the primers only amplified DNA from A. fumigatus and not any other fungal, bacterial, viral, or human DNA tested. Using the PCR, we were able to detect A. fumigatus DNA in lung homogenates from immunosuppressed mice experimentally infected with A. fumigatus but not from immunosuppressed uninfected controls. There was 93% correlation between the culture results and the PCR results. In a retrospective clinical study, the sensitivity of the PCR for the detection of A. fumigatus in clinical samples was confirmed by positive amplification in three of three culture-positive respiratory samples from confirmed cases of IA. Because isolation of Aspergillus spp. may reflect contamination and colonization without infection, the feasibility of using the PCR was evaluated by analyzing culture-negative samples from both immunosuppressed patients at high risk for IA and immunocompetent patients with other lung infections. Only 2 of 10 patients were culture negative and PCR positive in the high-risk group, and 2 of 7 patients were culture negative and PCR positive in the immunocompetent group. The results indicate that PCR detection might be a valuable adjunct to current laboratory methods to diagnose IA. Images PMID:8458955

  19. Aspergillus fumigatus challenge increases cytokine levels in nasal lavage fluid.

    PubMed

    Stark, H; Roponen, M; Purokivi, M; Randell, J; Tukiainen, H; Hirvonen, M-R

    2006-12-01

    Several studies have shown an association between exposure in moisture-damaged buildings and adverse health effects. There are several indicator microbes of moisture damage, but Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the best-documented molds provoking health problems in different occupational conditions. We assessed whether inhalation of a commercial A. fumigatus solution would affect cytokine levels (tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-alpha, interleukin [IL]-1beta, IL-4, IL-6, interferon [IFN]-gamma) in nasal lavage fluid (NAL) compared with that evoked by placebo challenge. Twenty-seven subjects were studied: 13 had occupational exposure in a moisture-damaged building, 4 were atopic, and 10 were considered as controls. In all the subjects, the IL-1beta levels were increased significantly both at 6 (p = 0.013) and 24 h (p = .005) after the A. fumigatus challenge compared to placebo. In subjects with previous occupational exposure in a moisture-damaged building, IL-4 concentrations were increased significantly both at 6 (p =.046) and 24 h (p =.008) after the A. fumigatus challenge compared with placebo. Furthermore, in the control group, TNF-alpha levels were significantly increased at 6 h after the A. fumigatus challenge compared to placebo (p = .028). Thus, these data show a link between markers of inflammation in NAL and experimental A. fumigatus challenge.

  20. Recombination detection in Aspergillus fumigatus through single nucleotide polymorphisms typing.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Joana; Amorim, António; Araujo, Ricardo

    2015-12-01

    The first evidence of sexual reproduction in Aspergillus fumigatus was reported in 2009. Nevertheless, it remains difficult to understand how A. fumigatus is able to reproduce through this mode in its natural environment and how frequently this occurs. The aim of this study was to analyse single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a set of environmental and clinical isolates of A. fumigatus to detect signatures of recombination. A group of closely related Portuguese A. fumigatus isolates was characterized by mating type and the genetic diversity of the intergenic regions, microsatellites and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) genes. A group of 19 SNPs, organized in nine association groups and inherited in blocks, was identified and compared. Several variations on the association panel were detected on reference isolates of A. fumigatus AF293 and A1163, the sequence types available at MLST database and six clinical and environmental Portuguese isolates. About one to four haplotype disruptions were observed per isolate. Considering clinical and environmental isolates, sexual reproduction seems to occur more frequently than previously admitted in A. fumigatus. In this study, a practical SNP approach is proposed for detection of recombination events in larger collections of A. fumigatus. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Isolation and toxigenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus from moldy silage.

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Valentina Melo; Dorner, Joe W; Carreira, Fátima

    2003-01-01

    Thirty-nine silage samples were collected from various silos on Terceira Island in the Azores. Samples were examined for the presence of total fungi, and isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus were analyzed for their ability to produce fumitremorgens B and C, fumigaclavines B and C, and gliotoxin. Thirty-four silage samples (87%) were contaminated with fungi, and A. fumigatus was isolated from 27 samples (69%). Samples that were taken from the surface of silos had significantly higher populations of both total fungi and A. fumigatus than did samples taken from the middle of silos. Analysis of 27 A. fumigatus isolates (one representing each positive sample) showed that 59.3% produced fumitremorgen B; 33.3% produced fumitremorgen C; 29.6% produced fumigaclavine B; 7.4% produced fumigaclavine C; and 11.1% produced gliotoxin. Fifty-two percent of the isolates produced multiple toxins, and 25.9% did not produce any of these toxins. Gliotoxin and fumigaclavine C were always produced in combination with other toxins. Because of the demonstrated potential of these A. fumigatus isolates to produce mycotoxins, it is important to properly construct and manage silos to prevent their contamination with A. fumigatus.

  2. Automated quantification of the phagocytosis of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia by a novel image analysis algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Kraibooj, Kaswara; Schoeler, Hanno; Svensson, Carl-Magnus; Brakhage, Axel A.; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2015-01-01

    Studying the pathobiology of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus has gained a lot of attention in recent years. This is due to the fact that this fungus is a human pathogen that can cause severe diseases, like invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. Because alveolar macrophages belong to the first line of defense against the fungus, here, we conduct an image-based study on the host-pathogen interaction between murine alveolar macrophages and A. fumigatus. This is achieved by an automated image analysis approach that uses a combination of thresholding, watershed segmentation and feature-based object classification. In contrast to previous approaches, our algorithm allows for the segmentation of individual macrophages in the images and this enables us to compute the distribution of phagocytosed and macrophage-adherent conidia over all macrophages. The novel automated image-based analysis provides access to all cell-cell interactions in the assay and thereby represents a framework that enables comprehensive computation of diverse characteristic parameters and comparative investigation for different strains. We here apply automated image analysis to confocal laser scanning microscopy images of the two wild-type strains ATCC 46645 and CEA10 of A. fumigatus and investigate the ability of macrophages to phagocytose the respective conidia. It is found that the CEA10 strain triggers a stronger response of the macrophages as revealed by a higher phagocytosis ratio and a larger portion of the macrophages being active in the phagocytosis process. PMID:26106370

  3. Determination of antifungal susceptibility patterns among the environmental isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadi, Faezeh; Dehghan, Parvin; Nekoeian, Shahram; Hashemi, Seyed Jamal

    2016-01-01

    Background: In recent years, triazole-resistant environmental isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus have emerged in Europe and Asia. Azole resistance has been reported in patients who are treated with long-term azole therapy or exposure of the fungus spores to the azole fungicides used in agriculture. To date, a wide range of mutations in A. fumigatus have been described conferring azole-resistance, which commonly involves modifications in the cyp51A gene. We investigated antifungal susceptibility pattern of environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Materials and Methods: In this study, 170 environmental samples collected from indoors surfaces of three hospitals in Iran. It was used β-tubulin gene to confirm the all of A. fumigatus isolates, which was identified by conventional methods. Furthermore, the antifungal susceptibility of itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole was investigated using broth microdilution test, according to European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility testing reference method. Results: From a total of 158 environmental molds fungi obtained from the hospitals, 58 isolates were identified as A. fumigatus by amplification of expected size of β-tubulin gene (~500 bp). In this study, in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing has shown that there were not high minimum inhibitory concentration values of triazole antifungals in all of the 58 environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that there was not azole-resistant among environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Medical triazoles compounds have structural similarity with triazole fungicide compounds in agriculture, therefore, resistance development through exposure to triazole fungicide compounds in the environment is important but it sounds there is not a serious health problem in drug resistance in environmental isolates in Iran. PMID:27656605

  4. [Strategy of Aspergillus fumigatus to evade attacks from host--projectile weapons and armor].

    PubMed

    Toyotome, Takahito; Watanabe, Akira; Iwasaki, Aya; Kamei, Katsuhiko

    2009-01-01

    Humans are continually inhaling environmental fungi. When the host immune system is competent, the inhaled fungi are cleared away from the lung by host defense mechanisms. But in immunocompromised individuals, the environmental fungi (e.g., Aspergillus fumigatus) sometimes cause infection. Pathogenic fungi possess various mechanisms to invade the host. A. fumigatus is no exception in possessing several virulence factors and defense mechanisms against host immune attack.One of the virulence factors is secondary metabolite. A. fumigatus produces a variety of secondary metabolites, and the fungal products in culture supernatant have a strong apoptosis-inducing activity to macrophages and alveolar epithelial cells. These data suggest that A. fumigatus is equipped with special projectile weapons for destroying host physical barriers and immunological barriers in lung.The fungal cell wall is an easy target for the host to recognize the pathogen. One of the fungal cell wall components, beta- (1,3) -glucan, is a major fungal PAMP (pathogen-associated molecular pattern), which is recognized by one of the pattern recognition receptors, dectin-1. The interaction induces activation of transcription factors and production of proinflammatory cytokines in the host cell. However, beta-glucan of A. fumigatus is strongly exposed to the surface only during the "swollen-conidia" phase. In the hyphal phase, the fungus is covered with "armor", i.e., other cell wall components to minimize the exposure of the beta-glucan structure. These findings suggest that A. fumigatus evades the recognition and the attack from host by masking beta-glucan. A. fumigatus has clever mechanisms to defend itself and to attack the host immune system.

  5. Aspergillus fumigatus colonization in cystic fibrosis: implications for lung function?

    PubMed

    de Vrankrijker, A M M; van der Ent, C K; van Berkhout, F T; Stellato, R K; Willems, R J L; Bonten, M J M; Wolfs, T F W

    2011-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is commonly found in the respiratory secretions of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Although allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is associated with deterioration of lung function, the effects of A. fumigatus colonization on lung function in the absence of ABPA are not clear. This study was performed in 259 adults and children with CF, without ABPA. A. fumigatus colonization was defined as positivity of >50% of respiratory cultures in a given year. A cross-sectional analysis was performed to study clinical characteristics associated with A. fumigatus colonization. A retrospective cohort analysis was performed to study the effect of A. fumigatus colonization on lung function observed between 2002 and 2007. Longitudinal data were analysed with a linear mixed model. Sixty-one of 259 patients were at least intermittently colonized with A. fumigatus. An association was found between A. fumigatus colonization and increased age and use of inhaled antibiotics. In the longitudinal analysis, 163 patients were grouped according to duration of colonization. After adjustment for confounders, there was no significant difference in lung function between patients colonized for 0 or 1 year and patients with 2-3 or more than 3 years of colonization (p 0.40 and p 0.64) throughout the study. There was no significant difference in lung function decline between groups. Although colonization with A. fumigatus is more commonly found in patients with more severe lung disease and increased treatment burden, it is not independently associated with lower lung function or more severe lung function decline over a 5-year period.

  6. Monoclonal antibodies bind identically to both spores and hyphae of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Reijula, K E; Kurup, V P; Kumar, A; Fink, J N

    1992-05-01

    Immunoelectron microscopy (IEM) was used to determine the binding of six monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) produced against Aspergillus fumigatus antigens present on or within the conidia and hyphae of the fungus. Antigen-antibody complexes were demonstrated in EM using labelled colloidal gold particles (15 nm). Three out of 6 MoAbs (C9, F12 and H10) reacted only with the cytoplasmic components of A. fumigatus while the remaining three (B12, F6G5 and D6E6) showed reactivity to both cytoplasm and cell wall of the conidia and hyphae. The results indicate that IEM is of considerable value in determining and selecting monoclonal antibodies having specific reactivity with diverse antigenic components.

  7. Characterization and genetic variability of feed-borne and clinical animal/human Aspergillus fumigatus strains using molecular markers.

    PubMed

    Pena, Gabriela A; Coelho, Irene; Reynoso, María M; Soleiro, Carla; Cavaglieri, Lilia R

    2015-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, the major etiological agent of human and animal aspergillosis, is a toxigenic fungus largely regarded as a single species by macroscopic and microscopic features. However, molecular studies have demonstrated that several morphologically identified A. fumigatus strains might be genetically distinct. This work was aimed to apply PCR-restriction length fragment polymorphisms (PCR-RFLP) and random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular markers to characterize a set of feed-borne and clinical A. fumigatus sensu lato strains isolated from Argentina and Brazil and to determine and compare their genetic variability. All A. fumigatus strains had the same band profile and those typical of A. fumigatus sensu stricto positive controls by PCR-RFLP. Moreover, all Argentinian and Brazilian strains typified by RAPD showed similar band patterns to each other and to A. fumigatus sensu stricto reference strains regardless of their isolation source (animal feeds or human/animal clinical cases) and geographic origin. Genetic similarity coefficients ranged from 0.61 to 1.00, but almost all isolates showed 78% of genetic similarly suggesting that genetic variability was found at intraspecific level. Finally, benA sequencing confirmed its identification as A. fumigatus sensu stricto species. These results suggest that A. fumigatus sensu stricto is a predominant species into Aspergillus section Fumigati found in animal environments as well as in human/animal clinical cases, while other species may be rarely isolated. The strains involved in human and animal aspergillosis could come from the environment where this fungus is frequently found. Rural workers and animals would be constantly exposed. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. [Nasal, pulmonary, and abomasal aspergillosis (Aspergillus fumigatus) in a calf].

    PubMed

    Breuer, W; Stoll, A; Hörmansdorfer, S; Knubben-Schweizer, G; Hafner-Marx, A; Deischl, K

    2015-07-01

    This study presents a case of nasal aspergillosis in a 17-days old calf (German Fleckvieh): it had been admitted moribund to the Clinic for Ruminants of the University of Munich, and died after a short time. Pathologically, the calf was diagnosed with purulent-necrotizing rhinitis, necrotizing pneumonia, and diphtheroid-necrotizing abomasitis. Histologically, fungal elements were found in all the localizations mentioned before, and mycologically, Aspergillus fumigatus was cultured from nasal cavity. Pathogenesis is discussed.

  9. Inhaled corticosteroids and Aspergillus fumigatus isolation in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Noni, Maria; Katelari, Anna; Dimopoulos, George; Kourlaba, Georgia; Spoulou, Vana; Alexandrou-Athanassoulis, Helen; Doudounakis, Stavros-Eleftherios; Tzoumaka-Bakoula, Chryssa

    2014-10-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus isolation in cultures from respiratory specimens of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is quite common; however, the role of A. fumigatus as a pathogen and whether its presence is associated with progression of pulmonary disease remain unclear. We investigated the association between inhaled corticosteroids and the recovery of A. fumigatus by performing a retrospective cohort study of CF patients born between 1988 and 1996. The patients' medical records from their first visit to the CF Center until December 2010 were reviewed. Outcomes were the occurrence of A. fumigatus first isolation, chronic colonization, or the last visit at the CF Center. A number of possible confounders were included in the multivariate logistic regression analysis in order to identify an independent association between inhaled corticosteroids and colonization status. A total of 121 patients were included in the study. Thirty-nine patients (32.2%) had at least one positive culture and 14 (11.6%) developed chronic colonization. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the independent effect of inhaled corticosteroids on the odds of first isolation (odds ratio [OR], 1.165; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.015-1.337; P = 0.029) and chronic colonization (OR, 1.180; 95% CI, 1.029-1.353; P = 0.018). In conclusion, A. fumigatus first isolation and chronic colonization are associated with the duration of inhaled corticosteroid treatment.

  10. Characteristics of fungal phytases from Aspergillus fumigatus and Sartorya fumigata.

    PubMed

    Brugger, R; Simões Nunes, C; Hug, D; Vogel, K; Guggenbuhl, P; Mascarello, F; Augem, S; Wyss, M; van Loon, A P G M; Pasamontes, L

    2004-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus phytase has previously been identified as a phytase with a series of favourable properties that may be relevant in animal and human nutrition, both for maximising phytic acid degradation and for increasing mineral and amino acid availability. To study the natural variability in amino acid sequence and its impact on the catalytic properties of the enzyme, we cloned and overexpressed the phytase genes and proteins from six new purported A. fumigatus isolates. Five of these phytases displayed < or= 2 amino acid substitutions and had virtually identical stability and catalytic properties when compared with the previously described A. fumigatus ATCC 13073 phytase. In contrast, the phytase from isolate ATCC 32239 ( Sartorya fumigata, the anamorph of which was identified as A. fumigatus) was more divergent (only 86% amino acid sequence identity), had a higher specific activity with phytic acid, and displayed distinct differences in substrate specificity and pH-activity profile. Finally, comparative experiments confirmed the favourable stability and catalytic properties of A. fumigatus phytase.

  11. Automated image analysis of the host-pathogen interaction between phagocytes and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mech, Franziska; Thywissen, Andreas; Guthke, Reinhard; Brakhage, Axel A; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2011-05-05

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitous airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen. In immunocompromised hosts, the fungus can cause life-threatening diseases like invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Since the incidence of fungal systemic infections drastically increased over the last years, it is a major goal to investigate the pathobiology of A. fumigatus and in particular the interactions of A. fumigatus conidia with immune cells. Many of these studies include the activity of immune effector cells, in particular of macrophages, when they are confronted with conidia of A. fumigus wild-type and mutant strains. Here, we report the development of an automated analysis of confocal laser scanning microscopy images from macrophages coincubated with different A. fumigatus strains. At present, microscopy images are often analysed manually, including cell counting and determination of interrelations between cells, which is very time consuming and error-prone. Automation of this process overcomes these disadvantages and standardises the analysis, which is a prerequisite for further systems biological studies including mathematical modeling of the infection process. For this purpose, the cells in our experimental setup were differentially stained and monitored by confocal laser scanning microscopy. To perform the image analysis in an automatic fashion, we developed a ruleset that is generally applicable to phagocytosis assays and in the present case was processed by the software Definiens Developer XD. As a result of a complete image analysis we obtained features such as size, shape, number of cells and cell-cell contacts. The analysis reported here, reveals that different mutants of A. fumigatus have a major influence on the ability of macrophages to adhere and to phagocytose the respective conidia. In particular, we observe that the phagocytosis ratio and the aggregation behaviour of pksP mutant compared to wild-type conidia are both significantly increased.

  12. Interaction of the pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus with lung epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Osherov, Nir

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic environmental mold that can cause severe allergic responses in atopic individuals and poses a life-threatening risk for severely immunocompromised patients. Infection is caused by inhalation of fungal spores (conidia) into the lungs. The initial point of contact between the fungus and the host is a monolayer of lung epithelial cells. Understanding how these cells react to fungal contact is crucial to elucidating the pathobiology of Aspergillus-related disease states. The experimental systems, both in vitro and in vivo, used to study these interactions, are described. Distinction is made between bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells. The experimental findings suggest that lung epithelial cells are more than just “innocent bystanders” or a purely physical barrier against infection. They can be better described as an active extension of our innate immune system, operating as a surveillance mechanism that can specifically identify fungal spores and activate an offensive response to block infection. This response includes the internalization of adherent conidia and the release of cytokines, antimicrobial peptides, and reactive oxygen species. In the case of allergy, lung epithelial cells can dampen an over-reactive immune response by releasing anti-inflammatory compounds such as kinurenine. This review summarizes our current knowledge regarding the interaction of A. fumigatus with lung epithelial cells. A better understanding of the interactions between A. fumigatus and lung epithelial cells has therapeutic implications, as stimulation or inhibition of the epithelial response may alter disease outcome. PMID:23055997

  13. Evolutionary Analysis of Sequence Divergence and Diversity of Duplicate Genes in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ence; Hulse, Amanda M.; Cai, James J.

    2012-01-01

    Gene duplication as a major source of novel genetic material plays an important role in evolution. In this study, we focus on duplicate genes in Aspergillus fumigatus, a ubiquitous filamentous fungus causing life-threatening human infections. We characterize the extent and evolutionary patterns of the duplicate genes in the genome of A. fumigatus. Our results show that A. fumigatus contains a large amount of duplicate genes with pronounced sequence divergence between two copies, and approximately 10% of them diverge asymmetrically, i.e. two copies of a duplicate gene pair diverge at significantly different rates. We use a Bayesian approach of the McDonald-Kreitman test to infer distributions of selective coefficients γ(=2Nes) and find that (1) the values of γ for two copies of duplicate genes co-vary positively and (2) the average γ for the two copies differs between genes from different gene families. This analysis highlights the usefulness of combining divergence and diversity data in studying the evolution of duplicate genes. Taken together, our results provide further support and refinement to the theories of gene duplication. Through characterizing the duplicate genes in the genome of A. fumigatus, we establish a computational framework, including parameter settings and methods, for comparative study of genetic redundancy and gene duplication between different fungal species. PMID:23225993

  14. Fluorescence Polarization Binding Assay for Aspergillus fumigatus Virulence Factor UDP-Galactopyranose Mutase

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Jun; Oppenheimer, Michelle; Sobrado, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic human pathogenic fungus responsible for deadly lung infections in immunocompromised individuals. Galactofuranose (Galf) residues are essential components of the cell wall and play an important role in A. fumigatus virulence. The flavoenzyme UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM) catalyzes the isomerization of UDP-galactopyranose to UDP-galactofuranose, the biosynthetic precursor of Galf. Thus, inhibitors of UGM that block the biosynthesis of Galf can lead to novel chemotherapeutics for treating A. fumigatus-related diseases. Here, we describe the synthesis of fluorescently labeled UDP analogs and the development of a fluorescence polarization (FP) binding assay for A. fumigatus UGM (AfUGM). High-affinity binding to AfUGM was only obtained with the chromophore TAMRA, linked to UDP by either 2 or 6 carbons with Kd values of 2.6 ± 0.2 μM and 3.0 ± 0.7 μM, respectively. These values were ~6 times lower than when UDP was linked to fluorescein. The FP assay was validated against several known ligands and displayed an excellent Z′ factor (0.79 ± 0.02) and good tolerance to dimethyl sulfoxide. PMID:21876791

  15. ImmunoPET/MR imaging allows specific detection of Aspergillus fumigatus lung infection in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Rolle, Anna-Maria; Hasenberg, Mike; Thornton, Christopher R.; Solouk-Saran, Djamschid; Männ, Linda; Weski, Juliane; Maurer, Andreas; Fischer, Eliane; Spycher, Philipp R.; Schibli, Roger; Boschetti, Frederic; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Bruder, Dunja; Severin, Gregory W.; Autenrieth, Stella E.; Krappmann, Sven; Davies, Genna; Pichler, Bernd J.; Gunzer, Matthias; Wiehr, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a life-threatening lung disease caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, and is a leading cause of invasive fungal infection-related mortality and morbidity in patients with hematological malignancies and bone marrow transplants. We developed and tested a novel probe for noninvasive detection of A. fumigatus lung infection based on antibody-guided positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance (immunoPET/MR) imaging. Administration of a [64Cu]DOTA-labeled A. fumigatus-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), JF5, to neutrophil-depleted A. fumigatus-infected mice allowed specific localization of lung infection when combined with PET. Optical imaging with a fluorochrome-labeled version of the mAb showed colocalization with invasive hyphae. The mAb-based newly developed PET tracer [64Cu]DOTA-JF5 distinguished IPA from bacterial lung infections and, in contrast to [18F]FDG-PET, discriminated IPA from a general increase in metabolic activity associated with lung inflammation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that antibody-guided in vivo imaging has been used for noninvasive diagnosis of a fungal lung disease (IPA) of humans, an approach with enormous potential for diagnosis of infectious diseases and with potential for clinical translation. PMID:26787852

  16. Aspergillus fumigatus melanins: interference with the host endocytosis pathway and impact on virulence

    PubMed Central

    Heinekamp, Thorsten; Thywißen, Andreas; Macheleidt, Juliane; Keller, Sophia; Valiante, Vito; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2013-01-01

    The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus produces at least two types of melanin, namely pyomelanin and dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin. Pyomelanin is produced during tyrosine catabolism via accumulation of homogentisic acid. Although pyomelanin protects the fungus against reactive oxygen species (ROS) and acts as a defense compound in response to cell wall stress, mutants deficient for pyomelanin biosynthesis do not differ in virulence when tested in a murine infection model for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. DHN melanin is responsible for the characteristic gray-greenish color of A. fumigatus conidia. Mutants lacking a functional polyketide synthase PksP, the enzyme responsible for the initial step in DHN-melanin formation, i.e., the synthesis of naphthopyrone, produce white spores and are attenuated in virulence. The activity of PksP was found to be essential not only for inhibition of apoptosis of phagocytes by interfering with the host PI3K/Akt signaling cascade but also for effective inhibition of acidification of conidia-containing phagolysosomes. These features allow A. fumigatus to survive in phagocytes and thereby to escape from human immune effector cells and to become a successful pathogen. PMID:23346079

  17. Complementary Roles of the Classical and Lectin Complement Pathways in the Defense against Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Rosbjerg, Anne; Genster, Ninette; Pilely, Katrine; Skjoedt, Mikkel-Ole; Stahl, Gregory L.; Garred, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus infections are associated with a high mortality rate for immunocompromised patients. The complement system is considered to be important in protection against this fungus, yet the course of activation is unclear. The aim of this study was to unravel the role of the classical, lectin, and alternative pathways under both immunocompetent and immunocompromised conditions to provide a relevant dual-perspective on the response against A. fumigatus. Conidia (spores) from a clinical isolate of A. fumigatus were combined with various human serum types (including serum deficient of various complement components and serum from umbilical cord blood). We also combined this with inhibitors against C1q, mannose-binding lectin (MBL), and ficolin-2 before complement activation products and phagocytosis were detected by flow cytometry. Our results showed that alternative pathway amplified complement on A. fumigatus, but required classical and/or lectin pathway for initiation. In normal human serum, this initiation came primarily from the classical pathway. However, with a dysfunctional classical pathway (C1q-deficient serum), lectin pathway activated complement and mediated opsonophagocytosis through MBL. To model the antibody-decline in a compromised immune system, we used serum from normal umbilical cords and found MBL to be the key complement initiator. In another set of experiments, serum from patients with different kinds of immunoglobulin insufficiencies showed that the MBL lectin pathway contribution was highest in the samples with the lowest IgG/IgM binding. In conclusion, lectin pathway appears to be the primary route of complement activation in the absence of anti-A. fumigatus antibodies, whereas in a balanced immune state classical pathway is the main activator. This suggests a crucial role for the lectin pathway in innate immune protection against A. fumigatus in immunocompromised patients. PMID:27857715

  18. Targeted disruption of nonribosomal peptide synthetase pes3 augments the virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    O'Hanlon, Karen A; Cairns, Timothy; Stack, Deirdre; Schrettl, Markus; Bignell, Elaine M; Kavanagh, Kevin; Miggin, Sinéad M; O'Keeffe, Grainne; Larsen, Thomas O; Doyle, Sean

    2011-10-01

    Nonribosomal peptide synthesis (NRPS) is a documented virulence factor for the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and other fungi. Secreted or intracellularly located NRP products include the toxic molecule gliotoxin and the iron-chelating siderophores triacetylfusarinine C and ferricrocin. No structural or immunologically relevant NRP products have been identified in the organism. We investigated the function of the largest gene in A. fumigatus, which encodes the NRP synthetase Pes3 (AFUA_5G12730), by targeted gene deletion and extensive phenotypic analysis. It was observed that in contrast to other NRP synthetases, deletion of pes3 significantly increases the virulence of A. fumigatus, whereby the pes3 deletion strain (A. fumigatus Δpes3) exhibited heightened virulence (increased killing) in invertebrate (P < 0.001) and increased fungal burden (P = 0.008) in a corticosteroid model of murine pulmonary aspergillosis. Complementation restored the wild-type phenotype in the invertebrate model. Deletion of pes3 also resulted in increased susceptibility to the antifungal, voriconazole (P < 0.01), shorter germlings, and significantly reduced surface β-glucan (P = 0.0325). Extensive metabolite profiling revealed that Pes3 does not produce a secreted or intracellularly stored NRP in A. fumigatus. Macrophage infections and histological analysis of infected murine tissue indicate that Δpes3 heightened virulence appears to be mediated by aberrant innate immune recognition of the fungus. Proteome alterations in A. fumigatus Δpes3 strongly suggest impaired germination capacity. Uniquely, our data strongly indicate a structural role for the Pes3-encoded NRP, a finding that appears to be novel for an NRP synthetase.

  19. Targeted Disruption of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase pes3 Augments the Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    O'Hanlon, Karen A.; Cairns, Timothy; Stack, Deirdre; Schrettl, Markus; Bignell, Elaine M.; Kavanagh, Kevin; Miggin, Sinéad M.; O'Keeffe, Grainne; Larsen, Thomas O.; Doyle, Sean

    2011-01-01

    Nonribosomal peptide synthesis (NRPS) is a documented virulence factor for the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and other fungi. Secreted or intracellularly located NRP products include the toxic molecule gliotoxin and the iron-chelating siderophores triacetylfusarinine C and ferricrocin. No structural or immunologically relevant NRP products have been identified in the organism. We investigated the function of the largest gene in A. fumigatus, which encodes the NRP synthetase Pes3 (AFUA_5G12730), by targeted gene deletion and extensive phenotypic analysis. It was observed that in contrast to other NRP synthetases, deletion of pes3 significantly increases the virulence of A. fumigatus, whereby the pes3 deletion strain (A. fumigatus Δpes3) exhibited heightened virulence (increased killing) in invertebrate (P < 0.001) and increased fungal burden (P = 0.008) in a corticosteroid model of murine pulmonary aspergillosis. Complementation restored the wild-type phenotype in the invertebrate model. Deletion of pes3 also resulted in increased susceptibility to the antifungal, voriconazole (P < 0.01), shorter germlings, and significantly reduced surface β-glucan (P = 0.0325). Extensive metabolite profiling revealed that Pes3 does not produce a secreted or intracellularly stored NRP in A. fumigatus. Macrophage infections and histological analysis of infected murine tissue indicate that Δpes3 heightened virulence appears to be mediated by aberrant innate immune recognition of the fungus. Proteome alterations in A. fumigatus Δpes3 strongly suggest impaired germination capacity. Uniquely, our data strongly indicate a structural role for the Pes3-encoded NRP, a finding that appears to be novel for an NRP synthetase. PMID:21746855

  20. Recent advances in the understanding of the Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark J; Sheppard, Donald C

    2016-03-01

    Over the past several decades, research on the synthesis and organization of the cell wall polysaccharides of Aspergillus fumigatus has expanded our knowledge of this important fungal structure. Besides protecting the fungus from environmental stresses and maintaining structural integrity of the organism, the cell wall is also the primary site for interaction with host tissues during infection. Cell wall polysaccharides are important ligands for the recognition of fungi by the innate immune system and they can mediate potent immunomodulatory effects. The synthesis of cell wall polysaccharides is a complicated process that requires coordinated regulation of many biosynthetic and metabolic pathways. Continuous synthesis and remodeling of the polysaccharides of the cell wall is essential for the survival of the fungus during development, reproduction, colonization and invasion. As these polysaccharides are absent from the human host, these biosynthetic pathways are attractive targets for antifungal development. In this review, we present recent advances in our understanding of Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall polysaccharides, including the emerging role of cell wall polysaccharides in the host-pathogen interaction.

  1. In-host adaptation and acquired triazole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus: a dilemma for clinical management.

    PubMed

    Verweij, Paul E; Zhang, Jianhua; Debets, Alfons J M; Meis, Jacques F; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; Schoustra, Sijmen E; Zwaan, Bas J; Melchers, Willem J G

    2016-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus causes a range of diseases in human beings, some of which are characterised by fungal persistence. A fumigatus can persist by adapting to the human lung environment through physiological and genomic changes. The physiological changes are based on the large biochemical versatility of the fungus, and the genomic changes are based on the capacity of the fungus to generate genetic diversity by spontaneous mutations or recombination and subsequent selection of the genotypes that are most adapted to the new environment. In this Review, we explore the adaptation strategies of A fumigatus in relation to azole resistance selection and the clinical implications thereof for management of diseases caused by Aspergillus spp. We hypothesise that the current diagnostic tools and treatment strategies do not take into account the biology of the fungus and might result in an increased likelihood of fungal persistence in patients. Stress factors, such as triazole exposure, cause mutations that render resistance. The process of reproduction-ie, sexual, parasexual, or asexual-is probably crucial for the adaptive potential of Aspergillus spp. As any change in the environment can provoke adaptation, switching between triazoles in patients with chronic pulmonary aspergillosis might result in a high-level pan-triazole-resistant phenotype through the accumulation of resistance mutations. Alternatively, when triazole therapy is stopped, an azole-free environment is created that could prompt selection for compensatory mutations that overcome any fitness costs that are expected to accompany resistance development. As a consequence, starting, switching, and stopping azole therapy has the risk of selecting for highly resistant strains with wildtype fitness. A similar adaptation is expected to occur in response to other stress factors, such as endogenous antimicrobial peptides; over time the fungus will become increasingly adapted to the lung environment, thereby limiting

  2. Persistence versus Escape: Aspergillus terreus and Aspergillus fumigatus Employ Different Strategies during Interactions with Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Slesiona, Silvia; Gressler, Markus; Mihlan, Michael; Zaehle, Christoph; Schaller, Martin; Barz, Dagmar; Hube, Bernhard; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Brock, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Invasive bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (IBPA) is a life-threatening disease in immunocompromised patients. Although Aspergillus terreus is frequently found in the environment, A. fumigatus is by far the main cause of IBPA. However, once A. terreus establishes infection in the host, disease is as fatal as A. fumigatus infections. Thus, we hypothesized that the initial steps of disease establishment might be fundamentally different between these two species. Since alveolar macrophages represent one of the first phagocytes facing inhaled conidia, we compared the interaction of A. terreus and A. fumigatus conidia with alveolar macrophages. A. terreus conidia were phagocytosed more rapidly than A. fumigatus conidia, possibly due to higher exposure of β-1,3-glucan and galactomannan on the surface. In agreement, blocking of dectin-1 and mannose receptors significantly reduced phagocytosis of A. terreus, but had only a moderate effect on phagocytosis of A. fumigatus. Once phagocytosed, and in contrast to A. fumigatus, A. terreus did not inhibit acidification of phagolysosomes, but remained viable without signs of germination both in vitro and in immunocompetent mice. The inability of A. terreus to germinate and pierce macrophages resulted in significantly lower cytotoxicity compared to A. fumigatus. Blocking phagolysosome acidification by the v-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin increased A. terreus germination rates and cytotoxicity. Recombinant expression of the A. nidulans wA naphthopyrone synthase, a homologue of A. fumigatus PksP, inhibited phagolysosome acidification and resulted in increased germination, macrophage damage and virulence in corticosteroid-treated mice. In summary, we show that A. terreus and A. fumigatus have evolved significantly different strategies to survive the attack of host immune cells. While A. fumigatus prevents phagocytosis and phagolysosome acidification and escapes from macrophages by germination, A. terreus is rapidly phagocytosed, but

  3. Azole preexposure affects the Aspergillus fumigatus population in patients.

    PubMed

    Alanio, Alexandre; Cabaret, Odile; Sitterlé, Emilie; Costa, Jean-Marc; Brisse, Sylvain; Cordonnier, Catherine; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2012-09-01

    The relationship between the azole preexposure of 86 patients and the genotype, azole susceptibility, and cyp51A polymorphisms of 110 corresponding Aspergillus fumigatus isolates was explored. Isolates carrying serial polymorphisms (F46Y and M172V with or without N248T with or without D255E with or without E427K) had higher itraconazole MICs (P = 0.04), although <2 μg/ml using the EUCAST methodology, were associated with two genetic clusters (P < 0.001) and with voriconazole preexposure of patients (P = 0.016). Voriconazole preexposure influences the distribution of A. fumigatus isolates with selection of isolates carrying cyp51A polymorphisms and higher itraconazole MICs.

  4. Fungal siderophore metabolism with a focus on Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Haas, Hubertus

    2014-10-01

    Siderophores are chelators synthesized by microbes to sequester iron. This article summarizes the knowledge on the fungal siderophore metabolism with a focus on Aspergillus fumigatus. In recent years, A. fumigatus became a role model for fungal biosynthesis, uptake and degradation of siderophores as well as regulation of siderophore-mediated iron handling and the elucidation of siderophore functions. Siderophore functions comprise uptake, intracellular transport and storage of iron. This proved to be crucial not only for adaptation to iron starvation conditions but also for germination, asexual and sexual propagation, antioxidative defense, mutual interaction, microbial competition as well as virulence in plant and animal hosts. Recent studies also indicate the high potential of siderophores and its biosynthetic pathway to improve diagnosis and therapy of fungal infections.

  5. Genomic Context of Azole Resistance Mutations in Aspergillus fumigatus Determined Using Whole-Genome Sequencing.

    PubMed

    Abdolrasouli, Alireza; Rhodes, Johanna; Beale, Mathew A; Hagen, Ferry; Rogers, Thomas R; Chowdhary, Anuradha; Meis, Jacques F; Armstrong-James, Darius; Fisher, Matthew C

    2015-06-02

    A rapid and global emergence of azole resistance has been observed in the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus over the past decade. The dominant resistance mechanism appears to be of environmental origin and involves mutations in the cyp51A gene, which encodes a protein targeted by triazole antifungal drugs. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was performed for high-resolution single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis of 24 A. fumigatus isolates, including azole-resistant and susceptible clinical and environmental strains obtained from India, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, in order to assess the utility of WGS for characterizing the alleles causing resistance. WGS analysis confirmed that TR34/L98H (a mutation comprising a tandem repeat [TR] of 34 bases in the promoter of the cyp51A gene and a leucine-to-histidine change at codon 98) is the sole mechanism of azole resistance among the isolates tested in this panel of isolates. We used population genomic analysis and showed that A. fumigatus was panmictic, with as much genetic diversity found within a country as is found between continents. A striking exception to this was shown in India, where isolates are highly related despite being isolated from both clinical and environmental sources across >1,000 km; this broad occurrence suggests a recent selective sweep of a highly fit genotype that is associated with the TR34/L98H allele. We found that these sequenced isolates are all recombining, showing that azole-resistant alleles are segregating into diverse genetic backgrounds. Our analysis delineates the fundamental population genetic parameters that are needed to enable the use of genome-wide association studies to identify the contribution of SNP diversity to the generation and spread of azole resistance in this medically important fungus. Resistance to azoles in the ubiquitous ascomycete fungus A. fumigatus was first reported from clinical isolates collected in the United States during the late 1980s

  6. Emphysematous renal tract disease due to Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, M; Dakshinamurty, K V

    2004-06-01

    Emphysematous renal tract disease (ERTD) is a rare necrotizing infection of renal parenchyma and/or urinary tract caused by gas producing organisms. A case of acute emphysematous renal tract disease (ERTD) (emphysematous pyelonephritis along with emphysematous cystitis) caused by Aspergillus fumigatus in a non-diabetic patient, who did not apparently have any risk factor for fungal infection, is presented. Patient had refused for any surgical intervention. He was treated successfully with liposomal amphotericin B and 5-flucytosin and achieved complete recovery. Various causes of ERTD and available therapeutic options are discussed.

  7. Secreted Aspergillus fumigatus Protease Alp1 Degrades Human Complement Proteins C3, C4, and C5▿

    PubMed Central

    Behnsen, Judith; Lessing, Franziska; Schindler, Susann; Wartenberg, Dirk; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Thoen, Marcel; Zipfel, Peter F.; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2010-01-01

    The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is a major cause of fungal infections in immunocompromised patients. Innate immunity plays an important role in the defense against infections. The complement system represents an essential part of the innate immune system. This cascade system is activated on the surface of A. fumigatus conidia and hyphae and enhances phagocytosis of conidia. A. fumigatus conidia but not hyphae bind to their surface host complement regulators factor H, FHL-1, and CFHR1, which control complement activation. Here, we show that A. fumigatus hyphae possess an additional endogenous activity to control complement activation. A. fumigatus culture supernatant efficiently cleaved complement components C3, C4, C5, and C1q as well as immunoglobulin G. Secretome analysis and protease inhibitor studies identified the secreted alkaline protease Alp1, which is present in large amounts in the culture supernatant, as the central molecule responsible for this cleavage. An alp1 deletion strain was generated, and the culture supernatant possessed minimal complement-degrading activity. Moreover, protein extract derived from an Escherichia coli strain overproducing Alp1 cleaved C3b, C4b, and C5. Thus, the protease Alp1 is responsible for the observed cleavage and degrades a broad range of different substrates. In summary, we identified a novel mechanism in A. fumigatus that contributes to evasion from the host complement attack. PMID:20498262

  8. Assessment Techniques to Detect Aspergillus fumigatus in Different Samples of Immunosuppressed Male Western Albino Rats.

    PubMed

    Niazi, Khalid; Khaled, Jamal Mohammed Ali; Kandeal, Saleh A; Khalel, Addulla Saleh

    2014-11-01

    There are several conventional, immunological and molecular techniques to diagnose the fungi that cause aspergillosis in biological samples; these methods have some advantages and disadvantages. The current study aimed to evaluate different methods used in identification and diagnosis of fungi causing aspergillosis. Male Western Albino rats were provided by Animal Care Unit at Faculty of Pharmacy, King Saud University. After adaptation for a reasonable period, rat's immunity was debilitated by injection of cyclophosphamide (i.p.); the infection was induced by injecting (i.v.) the prepared suspension of Aspergillus fumigatus spores. Blood samples, lung tissue, lung fluid smears and nasal fluid smears were obtained during the periods before and after injection. Isolation of fungus was carried out by synthetic media; and macro- and micro-characteristics were studied to identify the fungus. Enzyme-linked immunesorbent (ELISA) and LightCycler-based PCR was employed to check the existence of the fungus in blood samples. The results indicated that all methods were unable to diagnose the A. fumigatus on the following day of infection except ELISA method; however, culturing methods varied according to the type of vital samples where lung tissue and lung fluid smears were the best. Moreover, more than half of the samples used in the culturing techniques had negative results. The highest rate of the cases diagnosed by ELISA and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was recorded during the second week following the infection, and then it declined gradually till the end of the experiment. The molecular methods showed high efficiency followed by ELISA. It could be concluded that the best methods to identify A. fumigatus were molecular methods; however, the early diagnosis requires the enzymatic-immunological methods (ELISA). The current study recommends the integration among all possible techniques whenever the facilities are available. But when only microbiological methods are used

  9. Interactions of Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia with Airway Epithelial Cells: A Critical Review

    PubMed Central

    Croft, Carys A.; Culibrk, Luka; Moore, Margo M.; Tebbutt, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an environmental filamentous fungus that also acts as an opportunistic pathogen able to cause a variety of symptoms, from an allergic response to a life-threatening disseminated fungal infection. The infectious agents are inhaled conidia whose first point of contact is most likely to be an airway epithelial cell (AEC). The interaction between epithelial cells and conidia is multifaceted and complex, and has implications for later steps in pathogenesis. Increasing evidence has demonstrated a key role for the airway epithelium in the response to respiratory pathogens, particularly at early stages of infection; therefore, elucidating the early stages of interaction of conidia with AECs is essential to understand the establishment of infection in cohorts of at-risk patients. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the early interactions between A. fumigatus and AECs, including bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells. We describe mechanisms of adhesion, internalization of conidia by AECs, the immune response of AECs, as well as the role of fungal virulence factors, and patterns of fungal gene expression characteristic of early infection. A clear understanding of the mechanisms involved in the early establishment of infection by A. fumigatus could point to novel targets for therapy and prophylaxis. PMID:27092126

  10. Regulation of Sterol Biosynthesis in the Human Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus: Opportunities for Therapeutic Development

    PubMed Central

    Dhingra, Sourabh; Cramer, Robert A.

    2017-01-01

    Sterols are a major component of eukaryotic cell membranes. For human fungal infections caused by the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, antifungal drugs that target sterol biosynthesis and/or function remain the standard of care. Yet, an understanding of A. fumigatus sterol biosynthesis regulatory mechanisms remains an under developed therapeutic target. The critical role of sterol biosynthesis regulation and its interactions with clinically relevant azole drugs is highlighted by the basic helix loop helix (bHLH) class of transcription factors known as Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins (SREBPs). SREBPs regulate transcription of key ergosterol biosynthesis genes in fungi including A. fumigatus. In addition, other emerging regulatory pathways and target genes involved in sterol biosynthesis and drug interactions provide additional opportunities including the unfolded protein response, iron responsive transcriptional networks, and chaperone proteins such as Hsp90. Thus, targeting molecular pathways critical for sterol biosynthesis regulation presents an opportunity to improve therapeutic options for the collection of diseases termed aspergillosis. This mini-review summarizes our current understanding of sterol biosynthesis regulation with a focus on mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by the SREBP family of transcription factors. PMID:28203225

  11. A monoclonal IgM directed against immunodominant catalase B of cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus exerts anti-A. fumigatus activities.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, Ashok K; Kumar, Rohitashw; Kumar, Awanit; Shukla, Praveen K

    2009-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, a ubiquitous fungus, has been reported to cause human diseases like allergic pulmonary aspergillosis, aspergilloma and invasive infection. Limited spectrum and emergence of resistance has become a serious problem with available antifungals. Therefore, an alternative approach is required for successful treatment of mycoses. In the present study, immunogenic protein profile of A. fumigatus cell wall was generated using two-dimensional-gel electrophoresis and three hybridomas producing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs; IgM) were selected after fusion experiments. Of these three MAbs, MAb-7 exhibited potent in vitro inhibitory activity, which was confirmed by MTT assay, fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis and immuno-fluorescence studies, and the protein was identified as catalase B using MALDI-TOF-MS.

  12. SreA-mediated iron regulation in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Schrettl, Markus; Kim, H Stanley; Eisendle, Martin; Kragl, Claudia; Nierman, William C; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Werner, Ernst R; Jacobsen, Ilse; Illmer, Paul; Yi, Hyojeong; Brakhage, Axel A; Haas, Hubertus

    2008-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, the most common airborne fungal pathogen of humans, employs two high-affinity iron uptake systems: iron uptake mediated by the extracellular siderophore triacetylfusarinine C and reductive iron assimilation. Furthermore, A. fumigatus utilizes two intracellular siderophores, ferricrocin and hydroxyferricrocin, to store iron. Siderophore biosynthesis, which is essential for virulence, is repressed by iron. Here we show that this control is mediated by the GATA factor SreA. During iron-replete conditions, SreA deficiency partially derepressed synthesis of triacetylfusarinine C and uptake of iron resulting in increased cellular accumulation of both iron and ferricrocin. Genome-wide DNA microarray analysis identified 49 genes that are repressed by iron in an SreA-dependent manner. This gene set, termed SreA regulon, includes all known genes involved in iron acquisition, putative novel siderophore biosynthetic genes, and also genes not directly linked to iron metabolism. SreA deficiency also caused upregulation of iron-dependent and antioxidative pathways, probably due to the increased iron content and iron-mediated oxidative stress. Consistently, the sreA disruption mutant displayed increased sensitivity to iron, menadion and phleomycin but retained wild-type virulence in a mouse model. As all detrimental effects of sreA disruption are restricted to iron-replete conditions these data underscore that A. fumigatus faces iron-depleted conditions during infection. PMID:18721228

  13. Secondary metabolite profiles and antifungal drug susceptibility of Aspergillus fumigatus and closely related species, Aspergillus lentulus, Aspergillus udagawae, and Aspergillus viridinutans.

    PubMed

    Tamiya, Hiroyuki; Ochiai, Eri; Kikuchi, Kazuyo; Yahiro, Maki; Toyotome, Takahito; Watanabe, Akira; Yaguchi, Takashi; Kamei, Katsuhiko

    2015-05-01

    The incidence of Aspergillus infection has been increasing in the past few years. Also, new Aspergillus fumigatus-related species, namely Aspergillus lentulus, Aspergillus udagawae, and Aspergillus viridinutans, were shown to infect humans. These fungi exhibit marked morphological similarities to A. fumigatus, albeit with different clinical courses and antifungal drug susceptibilities. The present study used liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry to identify the secondary metabolites secreted as virulence factors by these Aspergillus species and compared their antifungal susceptibility. The metabolite profiles varied widely among A. fumigatus, A. lentulus, A. udagawae, and A. viridinutans, producing 27, 13, 8, and 11 substances, respectively. Among the mycotoxins, fumifungin, fumiquinazoline A/B and D, fumitremorgin B, gliotoxin, sphingofungins, pseurotins, and verruculogen were only found in A. fumigatus, whereas auranthine was only found in A. lentulus. The amount of gliotoxin, one of the most abundant mycotoxins in A. fumigatus, was negligible in these related species. In addition, they had decreased susceptibility to antifungal agents such as itraconazole and voriconazole, even though metabolites that were shared in the isolates showing higher minimum inhibitory concentrations than epidemiological cutoff values were not detected. These strikingly different secondary metabolite profiles may lead to the development of more discriminative identification protocols for such closely related Aspergillus species as well as improved treatment outcomes. Copyright © 2015 Japanese Society of Chemotherapy and The Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Insight into Enzymatic Degradation of Corn, Wheat, and Soybean Cell Wall Cellulose Using Quantitative Secretome Analysis of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Sharma Ghimire, Prakriti; Ouyang, Haomiao; Wang, Qian; Luo, Yuanming; Shi, Bo; Yang, Jinghua; Lü, Yang; Jin, Cheng

    2016-12-02

    Lignocelluloses contained in animal forage cannot be digested by pigs or poultry with 100% efficiency. On contrary, Aspergillus fumigatus, a saprophytic filamentous fungus, is known to harbor 263 glycoside hydrolase encoding genes, suggesting that A. fumigatus is an efficient lignocellulose degrader. Hence the present study uses corn, wheat, or soybean as a sole carbon source to culture A. fumigatus under animal physiological condition to understand how cellulolytic enzymes work together to achieve an efficient degradation of lignocellulose. Our results showed that A. fumigatus produced different sets of enzymes to degrade lignocelluloses derived from corn, wheat, or soybean cell wall. In addition, the cellulolytic enzymes produced by A. fumigatus were stable under acidic condition or at higher temperatures. Using isobaric tags for a relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) approach, a total of ∼600 extracellular proteins were identified and quantified, in which ∼50 proteins were involved in lignocellulolysis, including cellulases, hemicellulases, lignin-degrading enzymes, and some hypothetical proteins. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD004670. On the basis of quantitative iTRAQ results, 14 genes were selected for further confirmation by RT-PCR. Taken together, our results indicated that the expression and regulation of lignocellulolytic proteins in the secretome of A. fumigatus were dependent on both nature and complexity of cellulose, thus suggesting that a different enzyme system is required for degradation of different lignocelluloses derived from plant cells. Although A. fumigatus is a pathogenic fungus and cannot be directly used as an enzyme source, as an efficient lignocellulose degrader its strategy to synergistically degrade various lignocelluloses with different enzymes can be used to design enzyme combination for optimal digestion and absorption of corn, wheat, or soybean that are used as forage of pig and poultry.

  15. Identification and characterization of an Aspergillus fumigatus "supermater" pair.

    PubMed

    Sugui, Janyce A; Losada, Liliana; Wang, Wei; Varga, John; Ngamskulrungroj, Popchai; Abu-Asab, Mones; Chang, Yun C; O'Gorman, Céline M; Wickes, Brian L; Nierman, William C; Dyer, Paul S; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J

    2011-01-01

    The mating efficiency of 50 Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from both clinical and environmental sources was analyzed. Forty isolates completed the sexual cycle in 4 weeks with variable levels of fertility designated high, medium, or low. Two opposite-mating-type strains exhibiting the highest fertility, AFB62 (MAT1-1), isolated from a case of invasive aspergillosis, and AFIR928 (MAT1-2), isolated from the environment, were chosen as the supermater pair. Single cleistothecia obtained from a cross of the two strains harbored a minimum of 1 × 10(4) ascospores. The viability of ascospores increased with the age of the fruiting body, 17% at 4 weeks and reaching 95% at 20 weeks. AFB62 and AFIR928 were equally virulent in two different murine models, despite differences in their sources. High recombination frequencies were observed when the closely linked genes alb1 (AFUA_2G17600) and abr2 (AFUA_2G17530) were used as genetic markers. Comparative genome hybridization analyses revealed that only 86 genes (ca. 0.86% of the genome) are significantly diverged between AFB62 and AFIR928. The high fertility in a relatively short period, combined with a high degree of virulence and a high recombination frequency, demonstrates that the mating pair AFB62 and AFIR928 provides an excellent tool for genetic studies of A. fumigatus. Aspergillus fumigatus is a heterothallic fungal pathogen that causes life-threatening infections in immunocompromised hosts. Although heterothallism facilitates genetic study via recombinational analysis, previous work showed that a 6-month incubation period is required for the completion of sexual reproduction in this species. Such a long incubation period impedes progress in genetic research. To discover a highly fertile (supermater) pair that can complete the sexual cycle in a considerably shorter period, we screened 50 strains collected from various geographic regions for mating efficiency. We identified a highly virulent pair of supermaters that can be

  16. Clinical implications of globally emerging azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Meis, Jacques F; Chowdhary, Anuradha; Rhodes, Johanna L; Fisher, Matthew C; Verweij, Paul E

    2016-12-05

    Aspergillus fungi are the cause of an array of diseases affecting humans, animals and plants. The triazole antifungal agents itraconazole, voriconazole, isavuconazole and posaconazole are treatment options against diseases caused by Aspergillus However, resistance to azoles has recently emerged as a new therapeutic challenge in six continents. Although de novo azole resistance occurs occasionally in patients during azole therapy, the main burden is the aquisition of resistance through the environment. In this setting, the evolution of resistance is attributed to the widespread use of azole-based fungicides. Although ubiquitously distributed, A. fumigatus is not a phytopathogen. However, agricultural fungicides deployed against plant pathogenic moulds such as Fusarium, Mycospaerella and A. flavus also show activity against A. fumigatus in the environment and exposure of non-target fungi is inevitable. Further, similarity in molecule structure between azole fungicides and antifungal drugs results in cross-resistance of A. fumigatus to medical azoles. Clinical studies have shown that two-thirds of patients with azole-resistant infections had no previous history of azole therapy and high mortality rates between 50% and 100% are reported in azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis. The resistance phenotype is associated with key mutations in the cyp51A gene, including TR34/L98H, TR53 and TR46/Y121F/T289A resistance mechanisms. Early detection of resistance is of paramount importance and if demonstrated, either with susceptibility testing or through molecular analysis, azole monotherapy should be avoided. Liposomal amphotericin B or a combination of voriconazole and an echinocandin are recomended for azole-resistant aspergillosis.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'.

  17. Coding Tandem Repeats Generate Diversity in Aspergillus fumigatus Genes▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Levdansky, Emma; Romano, Jacob; Shadkchan, Yona; Sharon, Haim; Verstrepen, Kevin J.; Fink, Gerald R.; Osherov, Nir

    2007-01-01

    Genes containing multiple coding mini- and microsatellite repeats are highly dynamic components of genomes. Frequent recombination events within these tandem repeats lead to changes in repeat numbers, which in turn alters the amino acid sequence of the corresponding protein. In bacteria and yeasts, the expansion of such coding repeats in cell wall proteins is associated with alterations in immunogenicity, adhesion, and pathogenesis. We hypothesized that identification of repeat-containing putative cell wall proteins in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus may reveal novel pathogenesis-related elements. Here, we report that the genome of A. fumigatus contains as many as 292 genes with internal repeats. Fourteen of 30 selected genes showed size variation of their repeat-containing regions among 11 clinical A. fumigatus isolates. Four of these genes, Afu3g08990, Afu2g05150 (MP-2), Afu4g09600, and Afu6g14090, encode putative cell wall proteins containing a leader sequence and a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor motif. All four genes are expressed and produce variable-size mRNA encoding a discrete number of repeat amino acid units. Their expression was altered during development and in response to cell wall-disrupting agents. Deletion of one of these genes, Afu3g08990, resulted in a phenotype characterized by rapid conidial germination and reduced adherence to extracellular matrix suggestive of an alteration in cell wall characteristics. The Afu3g08990 protein was localized to the cell walls of dormant and germinating conidia. Our findings suggest that a subset of the A. fumigatus cell surface proteins may be hypervariable due to recombination events in their internal tandem repeats. This variation may provide the functional diversity in cell surface antigens which allows rapid adaptation to the environment and/or elusion of the host immune system. PMID:17557878

  18. Aspergillus fumigatus Photobiology Illuminates the Marked Heterogeneity between Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Kevin K.; Cramer, Robert A.; Zegans, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The given strain of Aspergillus fumigatus under study varies across laboratories, ranging from a few widely used “standards,” e.g., Af293 or CEA10, to locally acquired isolates that may be unique to one investigator. Since experiments concerning physiology or gene function are seldom replicated by others, i.e., in a different A. fumigatus background, the extent to which behavioral heterogeneity exists within the species is poorly understood. As a proxy for assessing such intraspecies variability, we analyzed the light response of 15 A. fumigatus isolates and observed striking quantitative and qualitative heterogeneity among them. The majority of the isolates fell into one of two seemingly mutually exclusive groups: (i) “photopigmenters” that robustly accumulate hyphal melanin in the light and (ii) “photoconidiators” that induce sporulation in the light. These two distinct responses were both governed by the same upstream blue light receptor, LreA, indicating that a specific protein’s contribution can vary in a strain-dependent manner. Indeed, while LreA played no apparent role in regulating cell wall homeostasis in strain Af293, it was essential in that regard in strain CEA10. The manifest heterogeneity in the photoresponses led us to compare the virulence levels of selected isolates in a murine model; remarkably, the virulence did vary greatly, although not in a manner that correlated with their overt light response. Taken together, these data highlight the extent to which isolates of A. fumigatus can vary, with respect to both broad physiological characteristics (e.g., virulence and photoresponse) and specific protein functionality (e.g., LreA-dependent phenotypes). PMID:27651362

  19. The Immune Interplay between the Host and the Pathogen in Aspergillus fumigatus Lung Infection

    PubMed Central

    Sales-Campos, Helioswilton; Tonani, Ludmilla; Cardoso, Cristina Ribeiro Barros; Kress, Márcia Regina Von Zeska

    2013-01-01

    The interplay between Aspergillus fumigatus and the host immune response in lung infection has been subject of studies over the last years due to its importance in immunocompromised patients. The multifactorial virulence factors of A. fumigatus are related to the fungus biological characteristics, for example, structure, ability to grow and adapt to high temperatures and stress conditions, besides capability of evading the immune system and causing damage to the host. In this context, the fungus recognition by the host innate immunity occurs when the pathogen disrupts the natural and chemical barriers followed by the activation of acquired immunity. It seems clear that a Th1 response has a protective role, whereas Th2 reactions are often associated with higher fungal burden, and Th17 response is still controversial. Furthermore, a fine regulation of the effector immunity is required to avoid excessive tissue damage associated with fungal clearance, and this role could be attributed to regulatory T cells. Finally, in this work we reviewed the aspects involved in the complex interplay between the host immune response and the pathogen virulence factors, highlighting the immunological issues and the importance of its better understanding to the development of novel therapeutic approaches for invasive lung aspergillosis. PMID:23984400

  20. Changes in Atmospheric CO2 Influence the Allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus fungal spore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang-Yona, N.; Levin, Y.; Dannemoller, K. C.; Yarden, O.; Peccia, J.; Rudich, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Increased allergic susceptibility has been documented without a comprehensive understanding for its causes. Therefore understanding trends and mechanisms of allergy inducing agents is essential. In this study we investigated whether elevated atmospheric CO2 levels can affect the allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus, a common allergenic fungal species. Both direct exposure to changing CO2 levels during fungal growth, and indirect exposure through changes in the C:N ratios in the growth media were inspected. We determined the allergenicity of the spores through two types of immunoassays, accompanied with genes expression analysis, and proteins relative quantification. We show that fungi grown under present day CO2 levels (392 ppm) exhibit 8.5 and 3.5 fold higher allergenicity compared to fungi grown at preindustrial (280 ppm) and double (560 ppm) CO2 levels, respectively. A corresponding trend is observed in the expression of genes encoding for known allergenic proteins and in the major allergen Asp f1 concentrations, possibly due to physiological changes such as respiration rates and the nitrogen content of the fungus, influenced by the CO2 concentrations. Increased carbon and nitrogen levels in the growth medium also lead to a significant increase in the allergenicity, for which we propose two different biological mechanisms. We suggest that climatic changes such as increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and changes in the fungal growth medium may impact the ability of allergenic fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus to induce allergies. The effect of changing CO2 concentrations on the total allergenicity per 10^7 spores of A. fumigatus (A), the major allergen Asp f1 concentration in ng per 10^7 spores (B), and the gene expression by RT-PCR (C). The error bars represent the standard error of the mean.

  1. Transcriptional and proteomic analysis of the Aspergillus fumigatus ΔprtT protease-deficient mutant.

    PubMed

    Hagag, Shelly; Kubitschek-Barreira, Paula; Neves, Gabriela W P; Amar, David; Nierman, William; Shalit, Itamar; Shamir, Ron; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila; Osherov, Nir

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common opportunistic mold pathogen of humans, infecting immunocompromised patients. The fungus invades the lungs and other organs, causing severe damage. Penetration of the pulmonary epithelium is a key step in the infectious process. A. fumigatus produces extracellular proteases to degrade the host structural barriers. The A. fumigatus transcription factor PrtT controls the expression of multiple secreted proteases. PrtT shows similarity to the fungal Gal4-type Zn(2)-Cys(6) DNA-binding domain of several transcription factors. In this work, we further investigate the function of this transcription factor by performing a transcriptional and a proteomic analysis of the ΔprtT mutant. Unexpectedly, microarray analysis revealed that in addition to the expected decrease in protease expression, expression of genes involved in iron uptake and ergosterol synthesis was dramatically decreased in the ΔprtT mutant. A second finding of interest is that deletion of prtT resulted in the upregulation of four secondary metabolite clusters, including genes for the biosynthesis of toxic pseurotin A. Proteomic analysis identified reduced levels of three secreted proteases (ALP1 protease, TppA, AFUA_2G01250) and increased levels of three secreted polysaccharide-degrading enzymes in the ΔprtT mutant possibly in response to its inability to derive sufficient nourishment from protein breakdown. This report highlights the complexity of gene regulation by PrtT, and suggests a potential novel link between the regulation of protease secretion and the control of iron uptake, ergosterol biosynthesis and secondary metabolite production in A. fumigatus.

  2. Global Transcriptome Changes Underlying Colony Growth in the Opportunistic Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Gibbons, John G.; Beauvais, Anne; Beau, Remi; McGary, Kriston L.

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common and deadly pulmonary fungal infection worldwide. In the lung, the fungus usually forms a dense colony of filaments embedded in a polymeric extracellular matrix. To identify candidate genes involved in this biofilm (BF) growth, we used RNA-Seq to compare the transcriptomes of BF and liquid plankton (PL) growth. Sequencing and mapping of tens of millions sequence reads against the A. fumigatus transcriptome identified 3,728 differentially regulated genes in the two conditions. Although many of these genes, including the ones coding for transcription factors, stress response, the ribosome, and the translation machinery, likely reflect the different growth demands in the two conditions, our experiment also identified hundreds of candidate genes for the observed differences in morphology and pathobiology between BF and PL. We found an overrepresentation of upregulated genes in transport, secondary metabolism, and cell wall and surface functions. Furthermore, upregulated genes showed significant spatial structure across the A. fumigatus genome; they were more likely to occur in subtelomeric regions and colocalized in 27 genomic neighborhoods, many of which overlapped with known or candidate secondary metabolism gene clusters. We also identified 1,164 genes that were downregulated. This gene set was not spatially structured across the genome and was overrepresented in genes participating in primary metabolic functions, including carbon and amino acid metabolism. These results add valuable insight into the genetics of biofilm formation in A. fumigatus and other filamentous fungi and identify many relevant, in the context of biofilm biology, candidate genes for downstream functional experiments. PMID:21724936

  3. Genomic Context of Azole Resistance Mutations in Aspergillus fumigatus Determined Using Whole-Genome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Abdolrasouli, Alireza; Rhodes, Johanna; Hagen, Ferry; Rogers, Thomas R.; Chowdhary, Anuradha

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT A rapid and global emergence of azole resistance has been observed in the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus over the past decade. The dominant resistance mechanism appears to be of environmental origin and involves mutations in the cyp51A gene, which encodes a protein targeted by triazole antifungal drugs. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was performed for high-resolution single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis of 24 A. fumigatus isolates, including azole-resistant and susceptible clinical and environmental strains obtained from India, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, in order to assess the utility of WGS for characterizing the alleles causing resistance. WGS analysis confirmed that TR34/L98H (a mutation comprising a tandem repeat [TR] of 34 bases in the promoter of the cyp51A gene and a leucine-to-histidine change at codon 98) is the sole mechanism of azole resistance among the isolates tested in this panel of isolates. We used population genomic analysis and showed that A. fumigatus was panmictic, with as much genetic diversity found within a country as is found between continents. A striking exception to this was shown in India, where isolates are highly related despite being isolated from both clinical and environmental sources across >1,000 km; this broad occurrence suggests a recent selective sweep of a highly fit genotype that is associated with the TR34/L98H allele. We found that these sequenced isolates are all recombining, showing that azole-resistant alleles are segregating into diverse genetic backgrounds. Our analysis delineates the fundamental population genetic parameters that are needed to enable the use of genome-wide association studies to identify the contribution of SNP diversity to the generation and spread of azole resistance in this medically important fungus. PMID:26037120

  4. Deciphering the Counterplay of Aspergillus fumigatus Infection and Host Inflammation by Evolutionary Games on Graphs

    PubMed Central

    Pollmächer, Johannes; Timme, Sandra; Schuster, Stefan; Brakhage, Axel A.; Zipfel, Peter F.; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2016-01-01

    Microbial invaders are ubiquitously present and pose the constant risk of infections that are opposed by various defence mechanisms of the human immune system. A tight regulation of the immune response ensures clearance of microbial invaders and concomitantly limits host damage that is crucial for host viability. To investigate the counterplay of infection and inflammation, we simulated the invasion of the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus in lung alveoli by evolutionary games on graphs. The layered structure of the innate immune system is represented by a sequence of games in the virtual model. We show that the inflammatory cascade of the immune response is essential for microbial clearance and that the inflammation level correlates with the infection-dose. At low infection-doses, corresponding to daily inhalation of conidia, the resident alveolar macrophages may be sufficient to clear infections, however, at higher infection-doses their primary task shifts towards recruitment of neutrophils to infection sites. PMID:27291424

  5. Deciphering the Counterplay of Aspergillus fumigatus Infection and Host Inflammation by Evolutionary Games on Graphs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollmächer, Johannes; Timme, Sandra; Schuster, Stefan; Brakhage, Axel A.; Zipfel, Peter F.; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2016-06-01

    Microbial invaders are ubiquitously present and pose the constant risk of infections that are opposed by various defence mechanisms of the human immune system. A tight regulation of the immune response ensures clearance of microbial invaders and concomitantly limits host damage that is crucial for host viability. To investigate the counterplay of infection and inflammation, we simulated the invasion of the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus in lung alveoli by evolutionary games on graphs. The layered structure of the innate immune system is represented by a sequence of games in the virtual model. We show that the inflammatory cascade of the immune response is essential for microbial clearance and that the inflammation level correlates with the infection-dose. At low infection-doses, corresponding to daily inhalation of conidia, the resident alveolar macrophages may be sufficient to clear infections, however, at higher infection-doses their primary task shifts towards recruitment of neutrophils to infection sites.

  6. Characterization of the FKBP12-Encoding Genes in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Amber D.; Vargas-Muñiz, José M.; Renshaw, Hilary; Steinbach, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis, largely caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, is responsible for a growing number of deaths among immunosuppressed patients. Immunosuppressants such as FK506 (tacrolimus) that target calcineurin have shown promise for antifungal drug development. FK506-binding proteins (FKBPs) form a complex with calcineurin in the presence of FK506 (FKBP12-FK506) and inhibit calcineurin activity. Research on FKBPs in fungi is limited, and none of the FKBPs have been previously characterized in A. fumigatus. We identified four orthologous genes of FKBP12, the human FK506 binding partner, in A. fumigatus and designated them fkbp12-1, fkbp12-2, fkbp12-3, and fkbp12-4. Deletional analysis of the four genes revealed that the Δfkbp12-1 strain was resistant to FK506, indicating FKBP12-1 as the key mediator of FK506-binding to calcineurin. The endogenously expressed FKBP12-1-EGFP fusion protein localized to the cytoplasm and nuclei under normal growth conditions but also to the hyphal septa following FK506 treatment, revealing its interaction with calcineurin. The FKBP12-1-EGFP fusion protein didn’t localize at the septa in the presence of FK506 in the cnaA deletion background, confirming its interaction with calcineurin. Testing of all deletion strains in the Galleria mellonella model of aspergillosis suggested that these proteins don’t play an important role in virulence. While the Δfkbp12-2 and Δfkbp12-3 strains didn’t show any discernable phenotype, the Δfkbp12-4 strain displayed slight growth defect under normal growth conditions and inhibition of the caspofungin-mediated “paradoxical growth effect” at higher concentrations of the antifungal caspofungin. Together, these results indicate that while only FKBP12-1 is the bona fide binding partner of FK506, leading to the inhibition of calcineurin in A. fumigatus, FKBP12-4 may play a role in basal growth and the caspofungin-mediated paradoxical growth response. Exploitation of differences between A

  7. Galactosaminogalactan, a New Immunosuppressive Polysaccharide of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Simenel, Catherine; Coddeville, Bernadette; van Vliet, Sandra J.; van Kooyk, Yvette; Bozza, Silvia; Moretti, Silvia; Schwarz, Flavio; Trichot, Coline; Aebi, Markus; Delepierre, Muriel; Elbim, Carole; Romani, Luigina; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2011-01-01

    A new polysaccharide secreted by the human opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus has been characterized. Carbohydrate analysis using specific chemical degradations, mass spectrometry, 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance showed that this polysaccharide is a linear heterogeneous galactosaminogalactan composed of α1-4 linked galactose and α1-4 linked N-acetylgalactosamine residues where both monosacharides are randomly distributed and where the percentage of galactose per chain varied from 15 to 60%. This polysaccharide is antigenic and is recognized by a majority of the human population irrespectively of the occurrence of an Aspergillus infection. GalNAc oligosaccharides are an essential epitope of the galactosaminogalactan that explains the universal antibody reaction due to cross reactivity with other antigenic molecules containing GalNAc stretches such as the N-glycans of Campylobacter jejuni. The galactosaminogalactan has no protective effect during Aspergillus infections. Most importantly, the polysaccharide promotes fungal development in immunocompetent mice due to its immunosuppressive activity associated with disminished neutrophil infiltrates. PMID:22102815

  8. A New Aspergillus fumigatus Typing Method Based on Hypervariable Tandem Repeats Located within Exons of Surface Protein Coding Genes (TRESP).

    PubMed

    Garcia-Rubio, Rocio; Gil, Horacio; Monteiro, Maria Candida; Pelaez, Teresa; Mellado, Emilia

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprotrophic mold fungus ubiquitously found in the environment and is the most common species causing invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised individuals. For A. fumigatus genotyping, the short tandem repeat method (STRAf) is widely accepted as the first choice. However, difficulties associated with PCR product size and required technology have encouraged the development of novel typing techniques. In this study, a new genotyping method based on hypervariable tandem repeats within exons of surface protein coding genes (TRESP) was designed. A. fumigatus isolates were characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing with a panel of three TRESP encoding genes: cell surface protein A; MP-2 antigenic galactomannan protein; and hypothetical protein with a CFEM domain. The allele sequence repeats of each of the three targets were combined to assign a specific genotype. For the evaluation of this method, 126 unrelated A. fumigatus strains were analyzed and 96 different genotypes were identified, showing a high level of discrimination [Simpson's index of diversity (D) 0.994]. In addition, 49 azole resistant strains were analyzed identifying 26 genotypes and showing a lower D value (0.890) among them. This value could indicate that these resistant strains are closely related and share a common origin, although more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis. In summary, a novel genotyping method for A. fumigatus has been developed which is reproducible, easy to perform, highly discriminatory and could be especially useful for studying outbreaks.

  9. A New Aspergillus fumigatus Typing Method Based on Hypervariable Tandem Repeats Located within Exons of Surface Protein Coding Genes (TRESP)

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Rubio, Rocio; Gil, Horacio; Monteiro, Maria Candida; Pelaez, Teresa; Mellado, Emilia

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprotrophic mold fungus ubiquitously found in the environment and is the most common species causing invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised individuals. For A. fumigatus genotyping, the short tandem repeat method (STRAf) is widely accepted as the first choice. However, difficulties associated with PCR product size and required technology have encouraged the development of novel typing techniques. In this study, a new genotyping method based on hypervariable tandem repeats within exons of surface protein coding genes (TRESP) was designed. A. fumigatus isolates were characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing with a panel of three TRESP encoding genes: cell surface protein A; MP-2 antigenic galactomannan protein; and hypothetical protein with a CFEM domain. The allele sequence repeats of each of the three targets were combined to assign a specific genotype. For the evaluation of this method, 126 unrelated A. fumigatus strains were analyzed and 96 different genotypes were identified, showing a high level of discrimination [Simpson’s index of diversity (D) 0.994]. In addition, 49 azole resistant strains were analyzed identifying 26 genotypes and showing a lower D value (0.890) among them. This value could indicate that these resistant strains are closely related and share a common origin, although more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis. In summary, a novel genotyping method for A. fumigatus has been developed which is reproducible, easy to perform, highly discriminatory and could be especially useful for studying outbreaks. PMID:27701437

  10. Phenotypic and genotypic analysis of variability in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Rinyu, E; Varga, J; Ferenczy, L

    1995-01-01

    Sixty-one isolates and collection strains of Aspergillus fumigatus were compared for their phenotypic (morphological features and isoenzyme profiles) and genotypic (restriction enzyme-generated mitochondrial DNA and ribosomal DNA profiles and random amplified polymorphic DNA patterns) features. The examined strains exhibited highly variable colony morphologies and growth rates at different temperatures, but their micromorphologies and conidial diameters were characteristic of the species. Of the isoenzymes studied, the beta-arylesterase and phosphatase patterns were the most divergent, and the 61 strains could be classified into seven groups. The glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and catalase isoenzyme patterns displayed only a limited variability, while the profiles of superoxide dismutase, lactate dehydrogenase, and glutamate dehydrogenase were highly conserved. The HaeIII-generated mitochondrial DNA patterns and SmaI-digested repetitive DNA and ribosomal DNA hybridization patterns of almost all strains were also invariable. The level of variation was much higher when random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis was applied. Although the patterns of the strains were very similar with most of the primers, the application of some primers made it possible to cluster the A. fumigatus isolates into several groups. The results indicate that the random amplified polymorphic DNA technique could be used more efficiently than isoenzyme analysis for typing A. fumigatus isolates. A good correlation was found between the dendrograms obtained from the isoenzyme and random amplified polymorphic DNA data, but the isoenzyme and amplified DNA patterns did not correlate with the pathogenicity, pigment production, or geographical origin of the strains.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8567884

  11. Genetic relatedness versus biological compatibility between Aspergillus fumigatus and related species

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Aspergillus section Fumigati contains twelve clinically relevant species. Among them, A. fumigatus is the most frequent agent of invasive aspergillosis followed by A. lentulus and A. viridinutans. Genealogical concordance and mating experiments were performed to examine the relationship between phyl...

  12. Aspergillus fumigatus SidJ mediates intracellular siderophore hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Gründlinger, Mario; Gsaller, Fabio; Schrettl, Markus; Lindner, Herbert; Haas, Hubertus

    2013-12-01

    Siderophore-mediated iron handling is crucial for the virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we identified a new component of its siderophore metabolism, termed SidJ, which is encoded by AFUA_3G03390. The encoding gene is localized in a siderophore biosynthetic gene cluster that is conserved in a variety of fungi. During iron starvation, SidJ deficiency resulted in decreased growth and increased intracellular accumulation of hydrolysis products of the siderophore fusarinine C. The implied role in siderophore hydrolysis is consistent with a putative esterase domain in SidJ, which now represents the first functionally characterized member of the DUF1749 (domain of unknown function) protein family, with members found exclusively in fungi and plants.

  13. Optimization of triacetylfusarinine C and ferricrocin productions in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Szigeti, Zsuzsa M; Szaniszló, Szilvia; Fazekas, Erika; Gyémánt, Gyöngyi; Szabon, Judit; Antal, Károly; Emri, Tamás; Balla, József; Balla, György; Csernoch, László; Pócsi, István

    2014-06-01

    Iron is an essential element for all microorganisms. Bacteria and fungi produce versatile siderophores for binding and storing this essential transition metal when its availability is limited in the environment. The aim of the study was to optimize the fermentation medium of Aspergillus fumigatus for siderophore production. Triacetyl-fusarinine C and ferricrocin yields were dependent on glucose and glycine supplementations as well as the initial pH of the culture media. The optimal fermentation medium for triacetylfusarinine C production contained 8% glucose, 0.4% glycine and the initial pH was set to 5.9. Meanwhile, maximal ferricrocin yields were recorded in the presence of 10% glucose, 0.5% glycine and at an initial pH of 7.4. Under optimized fermentation conditions, the yields for triacetylfusarinine C and ferricrocin increased up to 2.9 g/l culture medium and 18.9 mg/g mycelium, respectively.

  14. Molecular Insights into Pathogenesis and Infection with Aspergillus Fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Ghazaei, Ciamak

    2017-01-01

    The virulence of fungi is dependent on multiple factors, including the immune status of patients and biological features of fungi. In particular, the virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus is due to the complex interaction among various molecules involved in thermotolerance (such as ribosomal biogenesis proteins, α-mannosyltransferase and heat shock proteins), pigment production (DHN-melanin), immune evasion (like melanin and hydrophobin) and nutrient uptake (such as siderophores and zinc transporters). Other molecules also play important roles in the virulence of A. fumigatus, including cell wall components and those which maintain its integrity (for instance β-1–3 glucan, α-1–3 glucan, chitin, galactomannan and mannoproteins) and adhesion (such as hydrophobins), as well as various hydrolytic enzymes (such as serine and aspartic protease, phospholipases, metalloproteinase and dipeptidyl peptidases). Signalling molecules (including G-protein, cAMP, Ras protein and calcineurin) also increase the virulence through altering the metabolic response to stress conditions and toxins (such as gliotoxin, fumitremorgins, fumagatin and helvolic acid). PMID:28381925

  15. Bioconversion of tea polyphenols to bioactive theabrownins by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiuping; Gong, Jiashun; Chisti, Yusuf; Sirisansaneeyakul, Sarote

    2014-12-01

    Theabrownins (TB) are water-soluble phenolic compounds associated with the various health benefits of Pu-erh tea, a post-fermented Chinese dark tea. This work reports on the production of theabrownins from infusions of sun-dried green tea leaves using a pure culture of Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from a solid-state Pu-erh tea fermentation. A theabrownins yield of 158 g kg(-1) sun-dried green tea leaves was obtained in 6 days at 45 °C in an aerobic fermentation. In a 2 l fermenter, the yield of theabrownins was 151 g kg(-1) sun-dried green tea leaves in 48 h of aerobic culture (45 °C, 1 vvm aeration rate, 250 rpm agitation speed). Extracellular polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase of A. fumigatus contributed to this bioconversion. Repeated batch fermentation process was used for producing theabrownins but was less productive than the batch process.

  16. Thorium biosorption by Aspergillus fumigatus, a filamentous fungal biomass.

    PubMed

    Bhainsa, Kuber C; D'Souza, Stanislaus F

    2009-06-15

    Thorium biosorption by Aspergillus fumigatus was carried out in a batch reactor to study the effect of initial pH and metal ion concentration, contact time, biomass dose and kinetics and equilibrium Th uptake. Thorium(IV) uptake by A. fumigatus was pH dependent (pH range, 2.0-6.0) and maximum sorption was observed at pH 4.0. The uptake was rapid and the biosorption process reached equilibrium within 2h of contact times at pH 2-4 and initial Th concentration of 50 and 100mg/L. The kinetics data fitted well to Lagergren's pseudo-second-order rate equation (r(2)>0.99). A maximum initial sorption rate of 71.94 (mg/g min) and second-order rate constant of 7.82 x 10(-2) (g/mg min) were observed at pH 4.0, 50 mg Th/L. The observed maximum uptake of thorium was 370 mg Th/g at equilibrium. Biosorption process could be well described by Langmuir isotherm in comparison to Freundlich and Temkin isotherms. Sodium bicarbonate was the most efficient desorbing reagent with desorption efficiency of more than 99%. Environmental scanning electron micrograph (ESEM) showed that the surface of the biomass after desorption was intact.

  17. Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus pulmonary fungal infections in mice with 99mTc-labeledMORF oligomers targeting ribosomal RNA

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yuzhen; Chen, Ling; Liu, Xinrong; Cheng, Dengfeng; Liu, Guozheng; Liu, Yuxia; Dou, Shuping; Hnatowich, Donald J.; Rusckowski, Mary

    2012-01-01

    Purpose Invasive aspergillosis is a major cause of infectious morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised hosts. The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is the primary causative agent of invasive aspergillosis. However, A. fumigatus infections remain difficult to diagnose particularly in the early stages due to the lack of a rapid, sensitive and specific diagnostic approach. In this study, we investigated 99mTc labeled MORF oligomers targeting fungal ribosomal RNA (rRNA) for the imaging detection of fungal infections. Procedures Three phosphorodiamidate morpholino (MORF) oligomer (a DNA analogue) probes were designed: AGEN, complementary to a sequence of the fungal 28S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) of Aspergillus, as a genus-specific probe; AFUM, complementary to the 28S rRNA sequence of A. fumigatus, as a fungus species-specific probe; and cMORF, irrelevant to all fungi species, as a control probe. The probes were conjugated with Alexa Fluor 633 carboxylic acid succinimidyl ester (AF633) for fluorescence imaging or with NHS-mercaptoacetyl triglycine (NHS-MAG3) for nuclear imaging with 99mTc and then evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Results The specific binding of AGEN and AFUM to fungal total RNA was confirmed by dot blot hybridization while specific binding of AGEN and AFUM in fixed and live A. fumigatus was demonstrated by both fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis and accumulation in live cells. SPECT imaging of BALB/c mice with pulmonary A. fumigatus infections and administered 99mTc labeled AGEN and AFUM showed immediate and obvious accumulation in the infected lungs, while no significant accumulation of the control 99mTc-cMORF in the infected lung was observed. Compared to non-infected mice, with sacrifice at 1 hour, the accumulation of 99mTc-AGEN and 99mTc-AFUM in the lungs of mice infected with A. fumigatus were 2 and 2.7 fold higher respectively. Conclusions In vivo targeting fungal ribosomal RNA with 99mTc labeled MORF probes AGEN and AFUM may

  18. Hypersensitivity testing for Aspergillus fumigatus IgE is significantly more sensitive than testing for Aspergillus niger IgE.

    PubMed

    Selvaggi, Thomas A; Walco, Jeremy P; Parikh, Sujal; Walco, Gary A

    2012-02-01

    We sought to determine if sufficient redundancy exists between specific IgE testing for Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger to eliminate one of the assays in determining Aspergillus hypersensitivity. We reviewed regional laboratory results comparing A fumigatus-specific IgE with A niger-specific IgE using the Pharmacia UniCAP system (Pharmacia, Kalamazoo, MI). By using the Fisher exact test as an index of concordance among paired results, we showed a significant difference between 109 paired samples for the presence of specific IgE to A fumigatus and A niger (P < .0001). Of these specimens, 94 were negative for IgE to both species, 10 were positive for A fumigatus and negative for A niger; no specimen was positive for A niger and negative for A fumigatus. We conclude that A fumigatus-specific IgE is sufficient to detect Aspergillus hypersensitivity. The assay for A niger-specific IgE is redundant, less sensitive, and unnecessary if the assay for specific IgE for A fumigatus is performed.

  19. Discovering the infectome of human endothelial cells challenged with Aspergillus fumigatus applying a mass spectrometry label-free approach.

    PubMed

    Curty, N; Kubitschek-Barreira, P H; Neves, G W; Gomes, D; Pizzatti, L; Abdelhay, E; Souza, G H M F; Lopes-Bezerra, L M

    2014-01-31

    Blood vessel invasion is a key feature of invasive aspergillosis. This angioinvasion process contributes to tissue thrombosis, which can impair the access of leukocytes and antifungal drugs to the site of infection. It has been demonstrated that human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) are activated and assume a prothrombotic phenotype following contact with Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae or germlings, a process that is independent of fungus viability. However, the molecular mechanisms by which this pathogen can activate endothelial cells, together with the endothelial pathways that are involved in this process, remain unknown. Using a label-free approach by High Definition Mass Spectrometry (HDMS(E)), differentially expressed proteins were identified during HUVEC-A. fumigatus interaction. Among these, 89 proteins were determined to be up- or down-regulated, and another 409 proteins were exclusive to one experimental condition: the HUVEC control or HUVEC:AF interaction. The in silico predictions provided a general view of which biological processes and/or pathways were regulated during HUVEC:AF interaction, and they mainly included cell signaling, immune response and hemostasis pathways. This work describes the first global proteomic analysis of HUVECs following interaction with A. fumigatus germlings, the fungus morphotype that represents the first step of invasion and dissemination within the host. A. fumigatus causes the main opportunistic invasive fungal infection related to neutropenic hematologic patients. One of the key steps during the establishment of invasive aspergillosis is angioinvasion but the mechanism associated with the interaction of A. fumigatus with the vascular endothelium remains unknown. The identification of up- and down-regulated proteins expressed by human endothelial cells in response to the fungus infection can contribute to reveal the mechanism of endothelial response and, to understand the physiopathology of this high mortality

  20. Important factors mediates the adhesion of aspergillus fumigatus to alveolar epithelial cells with E-cadherin.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiao-Yong; Chen, Fei; Sun, He; Chen, Chen; Zhao, Bei-Lei

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus is widely distributed in the Earth's biosphere. It has strong adaptive capacity, and lives as saprophytic or parasitic life. This study aims to investigate the role of E-cadherin for adhesion of Aspergillus fumigatus blastospores in a human epithelial cell line (A549) and search the correlated molecule in aspergillus. A. fumigatus blastospores were incubated with the total protein of A549 to investigate the binding of E-cadherin and blastospores followed by an affinity purification procedure. After establishing the adhesion model, the adhesion of A. fumigatus blastospores by A549 cells was evaluated by down-regulating E-cadherin of A549 cells with small interfering RNA (siRNA). FVB mice constructed with E-cadherin down-regulation were infected with aspergillus fumigatus. Preliminary exploration of E-cadherin interacting protein on the surface of aspergillus fumigates by immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry analysis. E-cadherin was adhered to the surface of A. fumigatus blastospore. Adhesion of the blastospores was reduced by blocking or down-regulating E-cadherin in A549 cells. E-cadherin showed limited significance in the process of mice against aspergillus fumigates. Mass spectrometry (MS) analysis indicated the following proteins AFUA_8G07080, AfA24A6.130c, XP_747789 can bind to E-cadherin. In conclusion, E-cadherin is a receptor for adhesion of A. fumigatus blastospores in epithelial cells. This may open a new approach to treat this fungal infection.

  1. Tolerance to silver of an Aspergillus fumigatus strain able to grow on cyanide containing wastes.

    PubMed

    Sabatini, L; Battistelli, M; Giorgi, L; Iacobucci, M; Gobbi, L; Andreozzi, E; Pianetti, A; Franchi, R; Bruscolini, F

    2016-04-05

    We studied the strategy of an Aspergillus fumigatus strain able to grow on metal cyanide wastes to cope with silver. The tolerance test revealed that the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration of Ag(I) was 6mM. In 1mM AgNO3 aqueous solution the fungus was able to reduce and sequestrate silver into the cell in the form of nanoparticles as evidenced by the change in color of the biomass and Electron Microscopy observations. Extracellular silver nanoparticle production also occurred in the filtrate solution after previous incubation of the fungus in sterile, double-distilled water for 72h, therefore evidencing that culture conditions may influence nanoparticle formation. The nanoparticles were characterized by UV-vis spectrometry, X-ray diffraction and Energy Dispersion X-ray analysis. Atomic absorption spectrometry revealed that the optimum culture conditions for silver absorption were at pH 8.5.The research is part of a polyphasic study concerning the behavior of the fungal strain in presence of metal cyanides; the results provide better understanding for further research targeted at a rationale use of the microorganism in bioremediation plans, also in view of possible metal recovery. Studies will be performed to verify if the fungus maintains its ability to produce nanoparticles using KAg(CN)2.

  2. HYP1, a hydrophobin gene from Aspergillus fumigatus, complements the rodletless phenotype in Aspergillus nidulans.

    PubMed Central

    Parta, M; Chang, Y; Rulong, S; Pinto-DaSilva, P; Kwon-Chung, K J

    1994-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus produces conidia that are highly dispersable and resistant to degradation. We have sought to analyze these properties by studying the rodlets which form the outer spore coat protein. Degenerate primers based on hydrophobins in other fungi were applied to genomic DNA from A. fumigatus in PCR. A product of this reaction with similarity to an Aspergillus nidulans gene as judged by Southern hybridization was chosen for further study. Cloning and sequencing revealed a gene with two introns which encodes a protein of 159 amino acids. Structural characteristics consistent with those of other fungal hydrophobin genes, especially conserved cysteine residues, are present. The expression of the gene is limited to the developmental stages in which maturing conidiophores are present. This A. fumigatus gene, HYP1, was used to transform a mutant strain of A. nidulans that lacks rodlets. Transformants with a single copy of HYP1 expressed a rodlet layer on their conidia as observed by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. Images PMID:7927700

  3. Neosartorya udagawae (Aspergillus udagawae), an emerging agent of aspergillosis: how different is it from Aspergillus fumigatus?

    PubMed

    Sugui, J A; Vinh, D C; Nardone, G; Shea, Y R; Chang, Y C; Zelazny, A M; Marr, K A; Holland, S M; Kwon-Chung, K J

    2010-01-01

    A recent report on several cases of invasive aspergillosis caused by Neosartorya udagawae suggested distinctive patterns of disease progression between N. udagawae and Aspergillus fumigatus. This prompted us to characterize N. udagawae in comparison to A. fumigatus. Our findings showed that both species exist in two mating types at similar ratios and produce gliotoxin. However, the thermotolerance of the two species differs: while A. fumigatus is able to grow at 55 degrees C but not at 10 degrees C, N. udagawae is able to grow at 10 degrees C but fails to grow at >42 degrees C. Furthermore, compared to A. fumigatus, the conidia of N. udagawae require longer incubation periods to germinate at 37 degrees C and are more susceptible to neutrophil attack as well as hydrogen peroxide; N. udagawae is also less virulent in gp91(phox-/-) mice. These findings suggest that growth and susceptibility to the host response might account for the reduced virulence of N. udagawae and the subtle distinction in the progression of the disease caused by the two species.

  4. Asexual sporulation facilitates adaptation: The emergence of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhua; Debets, Alfons J M; Verweij, Paul E; Melchers, Willem J G; Zwaan, Bas J; Schoustra, Sijmen E

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the occurrence and spread of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is crucial for public health. It has been hypothesized that asexual sporulation, which is abundant in nature, is essential for phenotypic expression of azole resistance mutations in A. fumigatus facilitating subsequent spread through natural selection. Furthermore, the disease aspergilloma is associated with asexual sporulation within the lungs of patients and the emergence of azole resistance. This study assessed the evolutionary advantage of asexual sporulation by growing the fungus under pressure of one of five different azole fungicides over seven weeks and by comparing the rate of adaptation between scenarios of culturing with and without asexual sporulation. Results unequivocally show that asexual sporulation facilitates adaptation. This can be explained by the combination of more effective selection because of the transition from a multicellular to a unicellular stage, and by increased mutation supply due to the production of spores, which involves numerous mitotic divisions. Insights from this study are essential to unravel the resistance mechanisms of sporulating pathogens to chemical compounds and disease agents in general, and for designing strategies that prevent or overcome the emerging threat of azole resistance in particular. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. Network Modeling Reveals Cross Talk of MAP Kinases during Adaptation to Caspofungin Stress in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Altwasser, Robert; Baldin, Clara; Weber, Jakob; Guthke, Reinhard; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Brakhage, Axel A; Linde, Jörg; Valiante, Vito

    2015-01-01

    Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are highly conserved in eukaryotic organisms. In pathogenic fungi, their activities were assigned to different physiological functions including drug adaptation and resistance. Aspergillus fumigatus is a human pathogenic fungus, which causes life-threatening invasive infections. Therapeutic options against invasive mycoses are still limited. One of the clinically used drugs is caspofungin, which specifically targets the fungal cell wall biosynthesis. A systems biology approach, based on comprehensive transcriptome data sets and mathematical modeling, was employed to infer a regulatory network and identify key interactions during adaptation to caspofungin stress in A. fumigatus. Mathematical modeling and experimental validations confirmed an intimate cross talk occurring between the cell wall-integrity and the high osmolarity-glycerol signaling pathways. Specifically, increased concentrations of caspofungin promoted activation of these signalings. Moreover, caspofungin affected the intracellular transport, which caused an additional osmotic stress that is independent of glucan inhibition. High concentrations of caspofungin reduced this osmotic stress, and thus decreased its toxic activity. Our results demonstrated that MAPK signaling pathways play a key role during caspofungin adaptation and are contributing to the paradoxical effect exerted by this drug.

  6. FAD2-DGAT2 Genes Coexpressed in Endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus Derived from Tung Oilseeds

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yi-Cun; Wang, Yang-Dong; Cui, Qin-Qin; Zhan, Zhi-Yong

    2012-01-01

    Recent efforts to genetically engineer plants that contain fatty acid desaturases to produce valuable fatty acids have made only modest progress. Diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2), which catalyzes the final step in triacylglycerol (TAG) assembly, might potentially regulate the biosynthesis of desired fatty acids in TAGs. To study the effects of tung tree (Vernicia fordii) vfDGAT2 in channeling the desired fatty acids into TAG, vfDGAT2 combined with the tung tree fatty acid desaturase-2 (vfFAD2) gene was co-introduced into Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus isolated from healthy tung oilseed. Two transformants coexpressing vfFAD2 and vfDGAT2 showed a more than 6-fold increase in linoleic acid production compared to the original A. fumigatus strain, while a nearly 2-fold increase was found in the transformant expressing only vfFAD2. Our data suggest that vfDGAT2 plays a pivotal role in promoting linoleic acid accumulation in TAGs. This holds great promise for further genetic engineering aimed at producing valuable fatty acids. PMID:22919314

  7. Early events in macrophage killing of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia: new flow cytometric viability assay.

    PubMed

    Marr, K A; Koudadoust, M; Black, M; Balajee, S A

    2001-11-01

    Detailed investigations of macrophage phagocytosis and killing of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia have been limited by technical difficulties in quantifying fungal uptake and viability. In order to study early events in cell pathogen ingestion and killing, we developed a new flow cytometry assay that utilizes the fungus-specific viability dye FUN-1. Metabolically active A. fumigatus conidia accumulate orange fluorescence in vacuoles, while dormant or dead conidia stain green. After incubation within THP-1 cells, recovered conidia are costained with propidium iodide (PI) to discriminate between dormant and dead cells. Flow cytometric measurements of FUN-1 metabolism and PI uptake provide indicators of conidial viability, dormancy, and death. Conidial phagocytosis and killing are also assessed by measurement of green and orange FUN-1 fluorescence within the THP-1 cell population. Compared to previously described methods, this assay has less error introduced by membrane permeability changes and serial dilution of filamentous fungal forms. Results suggest that the THP-1 cells kill conidia rapidly (within 6 h) after exposure. Conidia that are preexposed to human serum are ingested and killed more quickly than are nonopsonized conidia.

  8. Specific antibodies to recombinant allergens of Aspergillus fumigatus in cystic fibrosis patients with ABPA

    PubMed Central

    Kurup, Viswanath P; Knutsen, Alan P; Moss, Richard B; Bansal, Naveen K

    2006-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus, a widely distributed fungus, has been implicated in causing life threatening infections as well as severe asthma and allergic diseases in man. Allergic affliction like allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a disabling lung disease frequently seen in patients with asthma and cystic fibrosis. Immunodiagnosis of the former is comparatively easier due to the availability of purified antigens and sensitive methods. However, this is not true with cystic fibrosis patients where the prevalence of ABPA is fairly high and the morbidity and mortality are significant. Methods In the present study, we have evaluated purified recombinant allergens from A. fumigatus, namely Asp f 1, f 2, f 3, f 4, and f 6 using ELISA and a semi-automated method (ImmunoCAP). We studied 17 patients each from cystic fibrosis with ABPA, and cystic fibrosis with asthma, 22 cystic fibrosis with no ABPA or asthma, and 11 age matched controls. Results The results indicate that no antigen, antibody or method is capable of differentiating cystic fibrosis (CF) with ABPA from other CF patients, although some allergens showed strong reaction or showed more prevalence among the patients studied. Conclusion When results of several allergens such as Asp f 1, f 2, f 3, f 4, and f 6 in their binding to IgA, IgG, and IgE antibodies were analyzed, a more strong discrimination of CF patients with ABPA was possible from the other groups studied. PMID:16859543

  9. Production and biochemical characterization of insecticidal enzymes from Aspergillus fumigatus toward Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Jackeline L; Franco, Octávio L; Noronha, Eliane F

    2006-06-01

    In the present work, Aspergillus fumigatus is described as a higher producer of hydrolytic enzymes secreted in response to the presence of the Callosobruchus maculatus bruchid pest. This fungus was able to grow over cowpea weevil shells as a unique carbon source, secreting alkaline proteolytic and chitinolytic enzymes. Enzyme secretion in A. fumigatus was induced by both C. maculatus exoskeleton as well as commercial chitin, and alkaline proteolytic and chitinolytic activities were detected after 48 hours of growth. Furthermore, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis showed the production of specific proteins. Among them, two extracellular alkaline proteinases from culture enriched with C. maculatus exoskeleton were purified after chromatographic procedures using ion exchange and affinity columns. These proteins, named AP15 and AP30, had apparent molecular masses of 15,500 and 30,000 Da, respectively, as estimated by SDS-PAGE electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. AP30 was classified as a serine proteinase because it was inhibited by 5 mM: phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (100%) and 50 microM leupeptin (67.94%).

  10. Healthy Human T-Cell Responses to Aspergillus fumigatus Antigens

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhary, Neelkamal; Staab, Janet F.; Marr, Kieren A.

    2010-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus is associated with both invasive and allergic pulmonary diseases, in different hosts. The organism is inhaled as a spore, which, if not cleared from the airway, germinates into hyphal morphotypes that are responsible for tissue invasion and resultant inflammation. Hyphae secrete multiple products that function as antigens, evoking both a protective (TH1–TH17) and destructive allergic (TH2) immunity. How Aspergillus allergens (Asp f proteins) participate in the development of allergic sensitization is unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings To determine whether Asp f proteins are strictly associated with TH2 responses, or represent soluble hyphal products recognized by healthy hosts, human T cell responses to crude and recombinant products were characterized by ELISPOT. While responses (number of spots producing IFN-γ, IL-4 or IL-17) to crude hyphal antigen preparations were weak, responses to recombinant Asp f proteins were higher. Recombinant allergens stimulated cells to produce IFN-γ more so than IL-4 or IL-17. Volunteers exhibited a diverse CD4+ and CD8+ T cell antigen recognition profile, with prominent CD4 TH1-responses to Asp f3 (a putative peroxismal membrane protein), Asp f9/16 (cell wall glucanase), Asp f11 (cyclophilin type peptidyl-prolyl isomerase) and Asp f22 (enolase). Strong IFN-γ responses were reproduced in most subjects tested over 6 month intervals. Conclusions Products secreted after conidial germination into hyphae are differentially recognized by protective T cells in healthy, non-atopic individuals. Defining the specificity of the human T cell repertoire, and identifying factors that govern early responses may allow for development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics for both invasive and allergic Aspergillus diseases. PMID:20174463

  11. Characterization of an N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase involved in Aspergillus fumigatus zwitterionic glycoinositolphosphoceramide biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Engel, Jakob; Schmalhorst, Philipp S; Krüger, Anke Tina; Müller, Christina Theda; Buettner, Falk F R; Routier, Françoise H

    2015-12-01

    Glycoinositolphosphoceramides (GIPCs) are complex sphingolipids present at the plasma membrane of various eukaryotes with the important exception of mammals. In fungi, these glycosphingolipids commonly contain an α-mannose residue (Man) linked at position 2 of the inositol. However, several pathogenic fungi additionally synthesize zwitterionic GIPCs carrying an α-glucosamine residue (GlcN) at this position. In the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, the GlcNα1,2IPC core (where IPC is inositolphosphoceramide) is elongated to Manα1,3Manα1,6GlcNα1,2IPC, which is the most abundant GIPC synthesized by this fungus. In this study, we identified an A. fumigatus N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase, named GntA, and demonstrate its involvement in the initiation of zwitterionic GIPC biosynthesis. Targeted deletion of the gene encoding GntA in A. fumigatus resulted in complete absence of zwitterionic GIPC; a phenotype that could be reverted by episomal expression of GntA in the mutant. The N-acetylhexosaminyltransferase activity of GntA was substantiated by production of N-acetylhexosamine-IPC in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae upon GntA expression. Using an in vitro assay, GntA was furthermore shown to use UDP-N-acetylglucosamine as donor substrate to generate a glycolipid product resistant to saponification and to digestion by phosphatidylinositol-phospholipase C as expected for GlcNAcα1,2IPC. Finally, as the enzymes involved in mannosylation of IPC, GntA was localized to the Golgi apparatus, the site of IPC synthesis. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. The Aspergillus fumigatus dihydroxyacid dehydratase Ilv3A/IlvC is required for full virulence.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Jason D; Kaye, Sarah J; Tuckwell, Danny; Johns, Anna E; Macdonald, Darel A; Livermore, Joanne; Warn, Peter A; Birch, Mike; Bromley, Michael J

    2012-01-01

    Dihydroxyacid dehydratase (DHAD) is a key enzyme in the branched-chain amino acid biosynthetic pathway that exists in a variety of organisms, including fungi, plants and bacteria, but not humans. In this study we identified four putative DHAD genes from the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus by homology to Saccharomyces cerevisiae ILV3. Two of these genes, AFUA_2G14210 and AFUA_1G03550, initially designated AfIlv3A and AfIlv3B for this study, clustered in the same group as S. cerevisiae ILV3 following phylogenetic analysis. To investigate the functions of these genes, AfIlv3A and AfIlv3B were knocked out in A. fumigatus. Deletion of AfIlv3B gave no apparent phenotype whereas the Δilv3A strain required supplementation with isoleucine and valine for growth. Thus, AfIlv3A is required for branched-chain amino acid synthesis in A. fumigatus. A recombinant AfIlv3A protein derived from AFUA_2G14210 was shown to have DHAD activity in an in vitro assay, confirming that AfIlv3A is a DHAD. In addition we show that mutants lacking AfIlv3A and ilv3B exhibit reduced levels of virulence in murine infection models, emphasising the importance of branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis in fungal infections, and hence the potential of targeting this pathway with antifungal agents. Here we propose that AfIlv3A/AFUA_2G2410 be named ilvC.

  13. The Aspergillus fumigatus Sialidase Is a 3-Deoxy-d-glycero-d-galacto-2-nonulosonic Acid Hydrolase (KDNase)

    PubMed Central

    Telford, Judith C.; Yeung, Juliana H. F.; Xu, Guogang; Kiefel, Milton J.; Watts, Andrew G.; Hader, Stefan; Chan, Jefferson; Bennet, Andrew J.; Moore, Margo M.; Taylor, Garry L.

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a filamentous fungus that can cause severe respiratory disease in immunocompromised individuals. A putative sialidase from A. fumigatus was recently cloned and shown to be relatively poor in cleaving N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) in comparison with bacterial sialidases. Here we present the first crystal structure of a fungal sialidase. When the apo structure was compared with bacterial sialidase structures, the active site of the Aspergillus enzyme suggested that Neu5Ac would be a poor substrate because of a smaller pocket that normally accommodates the acetamido group of Neu5Ac in sialidases. A sialic acid with a hydroxyl in place of an acetamido group is 2-keto-3-deoxynononic acid (KDN). We show that KDN is the preferred substrate for the A. fumigatus sialidase and that A. fumigatus can utilize KDN as a sole carbon source. A 1.45-Å resolution crystal structure of the enzyme in complex with KDN reveals KDN in the active site in a boat conformation and nearby a second binding site occupied by KDN in a chair conformation, suggesting that polyKDN may be a natural substrate. The enzyme is not inhibited by the sialidase transition state analog 2-deoxy-2,3-dehydro-N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac2en) but is inhibited by the related 2,3-didehydro-2,3-dideoxy-d-glycero-d-galacto-nonulosonic acid that we show bound to the enzyme in a 1.84-Å resolution crystal structure. Using a fluorinated KDN substrate, we present a 1.5-Å resolution structure of a covalently bound catalytic intermediate. The A. fumigatus sialidase is therefore a KDNase with a similar catalytic mechanism to Neu5Ac exosialidases, and this study represents the first structure of a KDNase. PMID:21247893

  14. Expression of the protein serum amyloid A in response to Aspergillus fumigatus in murine models of allergic airway inflammation.

    PubMed

    Moran, Gabriel; Carcamo, Carolina; Concha, Margarita; Folch, Hugo

    2015-01-01

    Serum amyloid A (SAA) is an acute phase protein that is elevated in blood during inflammation. The role of this protein in allergic diseases of airways remains unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the SAA in blood, lung and bronchial cells in a murine model of bronchial hypersensitivity to Aspergillus fumigatus. To achieve this purpose, different groups of 5-month-old mice were housed in cages containing hay bedding that was contaminated with A. fumigatus and were kept in an isolation room for 16 days to allow for the induction of allergic airway inflammation. Subsequently, the mice were then exposed once again to Aspergillus spores at 0, 2, 8, 24 and 72 h, and they were bled to acquire serum and sacrificed to obtain bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) or lung tissues for analysis. SAA levels were measured in lung, serum and BALF by dot blot assay and RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction). The results indicated that SAA protein levels increased in both serum and lung within 2-24h after mice were exposed to Aspergillus spores. Moreover, the SAA mRNA expression levels in the lungs and BALF cells demonstrated the same trend that was observed for the protein levels through the dot blot assay; in particular, SAA mRNA levels increased within the first hour after mice were exposed to A. fumigatus. In this allergic airway model, we conclude that A. fumigatus can induce an acute inflammatory response in the airways through the stimulation of the SAA protein, increasing its levels in serum, lung tissue and BALF samples during the early hours of exposure of mice that have been sensitised for this fungus. Copyright © 2012 Revista Iberoamericana de Micología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  15. Application and comparison in biosynthesis and biodegradation by Fusarium solani and Aspergillus fumigatus cutinases.

    PubMed

    Ping, Li-Feng; Chen, Xiao-Yang; Yuan, Xiao-Li; Zhang, Min; Chai, Yan-Jun; Shan, Sheng-Dao

    2017-11-01

    In this study, two synthesized cutinase genes from Fusarium solani and Aspergillus fumigatus were expressed in Pichia pastoris X33. The characteristics of these two cutinases were investigated and compared. The results indicated that F. solani and A. fumigatus cutinases hydrolyzed p-nitrophenyl substrates with different carbon chain lengths. A. fumigatus cutinase predominately hydrolyzed p-nitrophenyl butyrate, but F. solani cutinase preferred p-nitrophenyl decanoate. The abilities of polymer synthesis and bioplastic degradation were tested and compared between F. solani and A. fumigatus cutinases. The results showed that F. solani cutinase had degradation ability on poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and synthesized polymer with a molecular weight (MW) of 2300 in organic solvent. However, A. fumigatus cutinase completely degraded PCL and synthesized molecules with a MW of 25,000, suggesting that A. fumigatus cutinase has more promising applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Aspergillus fumigatus Stimulates the NLRP3 Inflammasome through a Pathway Requiring ROS Production and the Syk Tyrosine Kinase

    PubMed Central

    Saïd-Sadier, Najwane; Padilla, Eduardo; Langsley, Gordon; Ojcius, David M.

    2010-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a life-threatening disease that occurs in immunodepressed patients when infected with Aspergillus fumigatus. This fungus is the second most-common causative agent of fungal disease after Candida albicans. Nevertheless, much remains to be learned about the mechanisms by which A. fulmigatus activates the innate immune system. We investigated the inflammatory response to conidia and hyphae of A. fumigatus and specifically, their capacity to trigger activation of an inflammasome. Our results show that in contrast to conidia, hyphal fragments induce NLRP3 inflammasome assembly, caspase-1 activation and IL-1β release from a human monocyte cell line. The ability of Aspergillus hyphae to activate the NLRP3 inflammasome in the monocytes requires K+ efflux and ROS production. In addition, our data show that NLRP3 inflammasome activation as well as pro-IL-1β expression relies on the Syk tyrosine kinase, which is downstream from the pathogen recognition receptor Dectin-1, reinforcing the importance of Dectin-1 in the innate immune response against fungal infection. Furthermore, we show that treatment of monocytes with corticosteroids inhibits transcription of the gene encoding IL-1β. Thus, our data demonstrate that the innate immune response against A. fumigatus infection involves a two step activation process, with a first signal promoting expression and synthesis of pro-IL-1β; and a second signal, involving Syk-induced activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and caspase-1, allowing processing and secretion of the mature cytokine. PMID:20368800

  17. Pharmacodynamics of isavuconazole in an Aspergillus fumigatus mouse infection model.

    PubMed

    Seyedmousavi, Seyedmojtaba; Brüggemann, Roger J M; Meis, Jacques F; Melchers, Willem J G; Verweij, Paul E; Mouton, Johan W

    2015-05-01

    Azole resistance is an emerging problem in Aspergillus fumigatus which translates into treatment failure. Alternative treatments with new azoles may improve therapeutic outcome in invasive aspergillosis (IA) even for strains with decreased susceptibility to current azoles. The in vivo efficacy of 0.25, 1, 4, 16, 64, 128, 256, and 512 mg/kg of body weight/day prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate (BAL8557) (isavuconazole [ISA]-equivalent doses of 0.12, 0.48, 1.92, 7.68, 30.7, 61.4, 122.9, and 245.8 mg/kg/day, respectively) administered by oral gavage was assessed in an immunocompetent murine model of IA against four clinical A. fumigatus isolates: a wild-type isolate (ISA MICEUCAST, 0.5 mg/liter) and three azole-resistant isolates harboring substitutions in the cyp51A gene: G54W (ISA MIC(EUCAST), 0.5 mg/liter), M220I (ISA MIC(EUCAST), 4 mg/liter), and TR34/L98H (ISA MIC(EUCAST), 8 mg/liter). The maximum effect (100% survival) was reached at a prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate dose of 64 mg/kg for the wild-type isolate, 128 mg/kg for the G54W mutant, and 256 mg/kg two times per day (q12) for the M220I mutant. A maximum response was not achieved with the TR34/L98H isolates with the highest dose of prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate (256 mg/kg q12). For a survival rate of 50%, the effective AUC(0-24)/MIC(EUCAST) ratio for ISA total drug was 24.73 (95% confidence interval, 22.50 to 27.18). The efficacy of isavuconazole depended on both the drug exposure and the isavuconazole MIC of the isolates. The quantitative relationship between exposure and effect (AUC(0-24)/MIC) can be used to optimize the treatment of human infections by A. fumigatus, including strains with decreased susceptibility.

  18. Pharmacodynamics of Isavuconazole in an Aspergillus fumigatus Mouse Infection Model

    PubMed Central

    Brüggemann, Roger J. M.; Meis, Jacques F.; Melchers, Willem J. G.; Verweij, Paul E.

    2015-01-01

    Azole resistance is an emerging problem in Aspergillus fumigatus which translates into treatment failure. Alternative treatments with new azoles may improve therapeutic outcome in invasive aspergillosis (IA) even for strains with decreased susceptibility to current azoles. The in vivo efficacy of 0.25, 1, 4, 16, 64, 128, 256, and 512 mg/kg of body weight/day prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate (BAL8557) (isavuconazole [ISA]-equivalent doses of 0.12, 0.48, 1.92, 7.68, 30.7, 61.4, 122.9, and 245.8 mg/kg/day, respectively) administered by oral gavage was assessed in an immunocompetent murine model of IA against four clinical A. fumigatus isolates: a wild-type isolate (ISA MICEUCAST, 0.5 mg/liter) and three azole-resistant isolates harboring substitutions in the cyp51A gene: G54W (ISA MICEUCAST, 0.5 mg/liter), M220I (ISA MICEUCAST, 4 mg/liter), and TR34/L98H (ISA MICEUCAST, 8 mg/liter). The maximum effect (100% survival) was reached at a prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate dose of 64 mg/kg for the wild-type isolate, 128 mg/kg for the G54W mutant, and 256 mg/kg two times per day (q12) for the M220I mutant. A maximum response was not achieved with the TR34/L98H isolates with the highest dose of prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate (256 mg/kg q12). For a survival rate of 50%, the effective AUC0–24/MICEUCAST ratio for ISA total drug was 24.73 (95% confidence interval, 22.50 to 27.18). The efficacy of isavuconazole depended on both the drug exposure and the isavuconazole MIC of the isolates. The quantitative relationship between exposure and effect (AUC0–24/MIC) can be used to optimize the treatment of human infections by A. fumigatus, including strains with decreased susceptibility. PMID:25753636

  19. [Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans in cystic fibrosis: clinical significance and specific immune response involving serum immunoglobulins G, A, and M].

    PubMed

    Máiz, Luis; Cuevas, Manuela; Lamas, Adelaida; Sousa, Aurora; Quirce, Santiago; Suárez, Lucrecia

    2008-03-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the clinical significance of Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans in respiratory secretions from patients with cystic fibrosis and to assess the immune response to these fungi in serum. The study included 66 patients with cystic fibrosis (34 men; mean age, 16.2 years). Sera from 15 healthy individuals were used as controls. The serum concentrations of immunoglobulin (Ig) G, IgA, and IgM against A fumigatus and C albicans were higher in patients than in the control group. There was no correlation between the presence of A fumigatus in respiratory secretions and the immune response to the fungus measured in serum. In contrast, the presence of C albicans in respiratory secretions was correlated with the immune response to that fungus. The likelihood of obtaining A fumigatus cultures from respiratory secretions increased with age. The presence of these fungi in respiratory samples was not a risk factor for greater respiratory impairment. In response to increased colonization of the lower respiratory tract by A fumigatus and C albicans, patients with cystic fibrosis have elevated serum levels of IgG, IgA, and IgM against those fungi. In patients with cystic fibrosis, culture of sputum and oropharyngeal secretions is adequate for the assessment of lower respiratory tract colonization by C albicans but not A fumigatus. Fungal colonization of the lower respiratory tract is not a risk factor for greater respiratory impairment in patients with cystic fibrosis.

  20. VeA Regulates Conidiation, Gliotoxin Production, and Protease Activity in the Opportunistic Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dhingra, Sourabh; Andes, David

    2012-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis by Aspergillus fumigatus is a leading cause of infection-related mortality in immunocompromised patients. In this study, we show that veA, a major conserved regulatory gene that is unique to fungi, is necessary for normal morphogenesis in this medically relevant fungus. Although deletion of veA results in a strain with reduced conidiation, overexpression of this gene further reduced conidial production, indicating that veA has a major role as a regulator of development in A. fumigatus and that normal conidiation is only sustained in the presence of wild-type VeA levels. Furthermore, our studies revealed that veA is a positive regulator in the production of gliotoxin, a secondary metabolite known to be a virulent factor in A. fumigatus. Deletion of veA resulted in a reduction of gliotoxin production with respect to that of the wild-type control. This reduction in toxin coincided with a decrease in gliZ and gliP expression, which is necessary for gliotoxin biosynthesis. Interestingly, veA also influences protease activity in this organism. Specifically, deletion of veA resulted in a reduction of protease activity; this is the first report of a veA homolog with a role in controlling fungal hydrolytic activity. Although veA affects several cellular processes in A. fumigatus, pathogenicity studies in a neutropenic mouse infection model indicated that veA is dispensable for virulence. PMID:23087369

  1. The Aspergillus fumigatus sitA Phosphatase Homologue Is Important for Adhesion, Cell Wall Integrity, Biofilm Formation, and Virulence.

    PubMed

    Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Winkelströter, Lizziane K; Marine, Marçal; Hori, Juliana I; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Goldman, Maria Helena S; Brown, Neil Andrew; Rajendran, Ranjith; Ramage, Gordon; Walker, Louise A; Munro, Carol A; Rocha, Marina Campos; Malavazi, Iran; Hagiwara, Daisuke; Goldman, Gustavo H

    2015-08-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogenic fungus able to infect immunocompromised patients, eventually causing disseminated infections that are difficult to control and lead to high mortality rates. It is important to understand how the signaling pathways that regulate these factors involved in virulence are orchestrated. Protein phosphatases are central to numerous signal transduction pathways. Here, we characterize the A. fumigatus protein phosphatase 2A SitA, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sit4p homologue. The sitA gene is not an essential gene, and we were able to construct an A. fumigatus null mutant. The ΔsitA strain had decreased MpkA phosphorylation levels, was more sensitive to cell wall-damaging agents, had increased β-(1,3)-glucan and chitin, was impaired in biofilm formation, and had decreased protein kinase C activity. The ΔsitA strain is more sensitive to several metals and ions, such as MnCl2, CaCl2, and LiCl, but it is more resistant to ZnSO4. The ΔsitA strain was avirulent in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and induces an augmented tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) response in mouse macrophages. These results stress the importance of A. fumigatus SitA as a possible modulator of PkcA/MpkA activity and its involvement in the cell wall integrity pathway.

  2. Aspergillosis, a Natural Infection in Poultry: Mycological and Molecular Characterization and Determination of Gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates.

    PubMed

    de Oca, Verónica Montes; Valdés, Sara Esther; Segundo, Carolina; Gómez, Gabriela Guadalupe; Ramírez, José; Cervantes, Roberto Arnulfo

    2017-03-01

    Aspergillosis affects all types of birds; it causes the loss of specimens with high ecologic value and also leads to significant economic losses within the poultry industry. The main etiologic agent is Aspergillus fumigatus , a filamentary fungus with multiple virulence factors, such as gliotoxin (GT), which is an immunosuppressive epipolythiodioxopiperazine molecule. Necropsy was performed on 73 poultry from different provenances, all of which presented with a respiratory semiology compatible with aspergillosis. A mycological culture was performed on the injured lungs of diseased birds, as was chloroform extraction of the GT, a thin-layer chromatography analysis (TLC), and a histopathology analysis with hematoxylin-eosin and Grocott stainings. The A. fumigatus identification was confirmed by PCR, where the ITS 1 5.1-5.8S-ITS 2 fragment of the rDNA complex was amplified. The in vitro GT production was studied by TLC in the recovered isolates from A. fumigatus . Seven isolates of A. fumigatus were obtained and in six of them, GT-like compounds were detected. In a lung sample, a compound with the same retention time (RF) as the reference GT was detected; whereas RF compounds different from the GT standard were observed in three lung samples.

  3. The Aspergillus fumigatus sitA Phosphatase Homologue Is Important for Adhesion, Cell Wall Integrity, Biofilm Formation, and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Winkelströter, Lizziane K.; Marine, Marçal; Hori, Juliana I.; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Goldman, Maria Helena S.; Brown, Neil Andrew; Rajendran, Ranjith; Ramage, Gordon; Walker, Louise A.; Munro, Carol A.; Rocha, Marina Campos; Malavazi, Iran; Hagiwara, Daisuke

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogenic fungus able to infect immunocompromised patients, eventually causing disseminated infections that are difficult to control and lead to high mortality rates. It is important to understand how the signaling pathways that regulate these factors involved in virulence are orchestrated. Protein phosphatases are central to numerous signal transduction pathways. Here, we characterize the A. fumigatus protein phosphatase 2A SitA, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sit4p homologue. The sitA gene is not an essential gene, and we were able to construct an A. fumigatus null mutant. The ΔsitA strain had decreased MpkA phosphorylation levels, was more sensitive to cell wall-damaging agents, had increased β-(1,3)-glucan and chitin, was impaired in biofilm formation, and had decreased protein kinase C activity. The ΔsitA strain is more sensitive to several metals and ions, such as MnCl2, CaCl2, and LiCl, but it is more resistant to ZnSO4. The ΔsitA strain was avirulent in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and induces an augmented tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) response in mouse macrophages. These results stress the importance of A. fumigatus SitA as a possible modulator of PkcA/MpkA activity and its involvement in the cell wall integrity pathway. PMID:25911225

  4. Bronchoscopic and serologic diagnosis of Aspergillus fumigatus pulmonary infection in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Reidarson, T H; Harrell, J H; Rinaldi, M G; McBain, J

    1998-12-01

    A 4-yr-old male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) developed an Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. Fungal elements were identified by cytology and microbiology from endoscopic bronchoalveolar lavage and brushings of a raised yellow endobronchial lesion. The results of qualitative immunodiffusion serology, a technique that identifies specific circulating antibodies to Aspergillus fumigatus, were suggestive of an active infection. The dolphin was treated with itraconazole for over 2 yr, which resulted in remission of clinical signs. Pneumonia caused by Aspergillus sp. accounts for the large majority of pulmonary mycoses in marine mammals. Bronchoscopy facilitated an early definitive diagnosis, accurate treatment, and remission.

  5. Plant-like biosynthesis of isoquinoline alkaloids in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Baccile, Joshua A.; Spraker, Joseph E.; Le, Henry H.; Brandenburger, Eileen; Gomez, Christian; Bok, Jin Woo; Macheleidt, Juliane; Brakhage, Axel A.; Hoffmeister, Dirk; Keller, Nancy P.; Schroeder, Frank C.

    2016-01-01

    Natural product discovery efforts have focused primarily on microbial biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) containing large multi-modular PKSs and NRPSs; however, sequencing of fungal genomes has revealed a vast number of BGCs containing smaller NRPS-like genes of unknown biosynthetic function. Using comparative metabolomics, we show that a BGC in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus named fsq, which contains an NRPS-like gene lacking a condensation domain, produces several novel isoquinoline alkaloids, the fumisoquins. These compounds derive from carbon-carbon bond formation between two amino acid-derived moieties followed by a sequence that is directly analogous to isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis in plants. Fumisoquin biosynthesis requires the N-methyltransferase FsqC and the FAD-dependent oxidase FsqB, which represent functional analogs of coclaurine N-methyltransferase and berberine bridge enzyme in plants. Our results show that BGCs containing incomplete NRPS modules may reveal new biosynthetic paradigms and suggest that plant-like isoquinoline biosynthesis occurs in diverse fungi. PMID:27065235

  6. Production, purification, and characterization of exoglucanase by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mahmood, Raja Tahir; Asad, Muhammad Javaid; Mehboob, Nazia; Mushtaq, Maria; Gulfraz, Muhammad; Asgher, Muhammad; Minhas, Nasir M; Hadri, Saqib Hussain

    2013-06-01

    Fungi are considered good producers of industrially valuable enzymes with higher enzymatic activities. Among these cellulases are group of extracellular enzymes commonly employed in many industries for the hydrolysis of cellulolytic material. Aspergillus fumigatus produced exoglucanase having high enzymatic activity (83 U/gds) during the solid-state fermentation of wheat straw under optimum physical and nutritional conditions. Maximum production was obtained after 72 h of fermentation, at 55 °C temperature, pH 5.5, 80 % moisture level, and 2 mL fungal inoculum. Production was further increased by the addition of fructose (0.3 %) as additional carbon source, peptone (0.4 %) as nitrogen source, Tween-80 (0.3 %) as surfactant, and ammonium sulfate (0.2 %) in media. Exoglucanase was 2.30-folds purified by adding 40 % ammonium sulfate with volumetric activity 95.4 U/gds and specific activity 14.74 U/mg. Further, it was 5.18-folds purified by gel filtration chromatography with volumetric activity 115.2 U/gds and specific activity 33.10 U/mg. Purified exoglucanase has maximum activity at 55 °C and pH 4.8 using 1 % Avicel aqueous solution as substrate. The K(m) and V(max) were 4.34 mM and 7.29 μM/min, respectively. Calcium, magnesium, and zinc ions have positive effect on exoglucanase activity.

  7. Neutrophil Interactions Stimulate Evasive Hyphal Branching by Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Jorgensen, Julianne; Frydman, Galit H.; Jones, Caroline N.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis (IA), primarily caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, is an opportunistic fungal infection predominantly affecting immunocompromised and neutropenic patients that is difficult to treat and results in high mortality. Investigations of neutrophil-hypha interaction in vitro and in animal models of IA are limited by lack of temporal and spatial control over interactions. This study presents a new approach for studying neutrophil-hypha interaction at single cell resolution over time, which revealed an evasive fungal behavior triggered by interaction with neutrophils: Interacting hyphae performed de novo tip formation to generate new hyphal branches, allowing the fungi to avoid the interaction point and continue invasive growth. Induction of this mechanism was independent of neutrophil NADPH oxidase activity and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation, but could be phenocopied by iron chelation and mechanical or physiological stalling of hyphal tip extension. The consequence of branch induction upon interaction outcome depends on the number and activity of neutrophils available: In the presence of sufficient neutrophils branching makes hyphae more vulnerable to destruction, while in the presence of limited neutrophils the interaction increases the number of hyphal tips, potentially making the infection more aggressive. This has direct implications for infections in neutrophil-deficient patients and opens new avenues for treatments targeting fungal branching. PMID:28076396

  8. Exploring temporal transcription regulation structure of Aspergillus fumigatus in heat shock by state space model

    PubMed Central

    Do, Jin Hwan; Yamaguchi, Rui; Miyano, Satoru

    2009-01-01

    Background The thermotolerance of Aspergillus fumigatus plays a critical role in mammalian and avian infections. Thus, the identification of its adaptation mechanism to higher temperature is very important for an efficient anti-fungal drug development as well as fundamental understanding of its pathogenesis. We explored the temporal transcription regulation structure of this pathogenic fungus under heat shock conditions using the time series microarray data reported by Nierman et al. (Nature 2005, 438:1151-1156). Results The estimated transcription regulation structure of A. fumigatus shows that the heat shock proteins are strongly negatively associated with central metabolic pathway genes such as the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle) and carbohydrate metabolism. It was 60 min and 120 min, respectively, after the growth temperature changes from 30°C (corresponding to environments of tropical soil) to 37°C and 48°C (corresponding to temperatures in the human body and compost, respectively) that some of genes in TCA cycle were started to be upregulated. In these points, most of heat shock proteins showed lowest expression level after heat shocks. Among the heat shock proteins, the HSP30 (AFU6G06470), a single integral plasma membrane heat shock protein, presented most active role in transcription regulation structure in both heat shock conditions of 37°C and 48°C. The metabolic genes associated with multiple genes in the gene regulation network showed a tendency to have opposite expression patterns of heat shock proteins. The role of those metabolic genes was second regulator in the coherent feed-forward loop type of regulation structure having heat shock protein as its first regulator. This type of regulation structure might be very advantageous for the thermal adaptation of A. fumigatus under heat shock because a small amount of heat shock proteins can rapidly magnify their regulation effect on target genes. However, the coherent feed-forward loop type of

  9. Analysis and description of the stages of Aspergillus fumigatus biofilm formation using scanning electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    González-Ramírez, Alejandra Itzel; Ramírez-Granillo, Adrián; Medina-Canales, María Gabriela; Rodríguez-Tovar, Aída Verónica; Martínez-Rivera, María Angeles

    2016-10-18

    Biofilms are a highly structured consortia of microorganisms that adhere to a substrate and are encased within an extracellular matrix (ECM) that is produced by the organisms themselves. Aspergillus fumigatus is a biotechnological fungus that has a medical and phytopathogenic significance, and its biofilm occurs in both natural and artificial environments; therefore, studies on the stages observed in biofilm formation are of great significance due to the limited knowledge that exists on this specific topic and because there are multiple applications that are being carried out. Growth curves were obtained from the soil and clinical isolates of the A. fumigatus biofilm formation. The optimal conditions for both of the isolates were inocula of 1 × 10(6) conidia/mL, incubated at 28 °C during 24 h; these showed stages similar to those described in classic microbial growth: the lag, exponential, and stationary phases. However, the biofilms formed at 37 °C were uneven. The A. fumigatus biofilm was similar regardless of the isolation source, but differences were presented according to the incubation temperature. The biofilm stages included the following: 1) adhesion to the plate surface (4 h), cell co-aggregation and exopolymeric substance (EPS) production; 2) conidial germination into hyphae (8-12 h), development, hyphal elongation, and expansion with channel formation (16-20 h); and 3) biofilm maturation as follows: mycelia development, hyphal layering networks, and channels formation, and high structural arrangement of the mycelia that included hyphal anastomosis and an extensive production of ECM (24 h); the ECM covered, surrounded and strengthened the mycelial arrangements, particular at 37 °C. In the clinical isolate, irregular fungal structures, such as microhyphae that are short and slender hyphae, occurred; 4) In cell dispersion, the soil isolate exhibited higher conidia than the clinical isolate, which had the capacity to germinate and generate

  10. Pseudomonas aeruginosa manipulates redox and iron homeostasis of its microbiota partner Aspergillus fumigatus via phenazines

    PubMed Central

    Briard, Benoit; Bomme, Perrine; Lechner, Beatrix E.; Mislin, Gaëtan L. A.; Lair, Virginie; Prévost, Marie-Christine; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Haas, Hubertus; Beauvais, Anne

    2015-01-01

    The opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is increasingly found as a coinfecting agent along with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients. Amongst the numerous molecules secreted by P. aeruginosa during its growth, phenazines constitute a major class. P. aeruginosa usually secreted four phenazines, pyocyanin (PYO), phenazine-1-carboxamide (PCN), 1-hydroxyphenazine (1-HP) and phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA). These phenazines inhibited the growth of A. fumigatus but the underlying mechanisms and the impact of these four phenazines on A. fumigatus biology were not known. In the present study, we analyzed the functions of the four phenazines and their mode of action on A. fumigatus. All four phenazines showed A. fumigatus growth inhibitory effects by inducing production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), specifically O2·−, and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), ONOO−. A. fumigatus Sod2p was the major factor involved in resistance against the ROS and RNS induced by phenazines. Sub-inhibitory concentrations of PYO, PCA and PCN promote A. fumigatus growth by an independent iron-uptake acquisition. Of the four phenazines 1-HP had a redox-independent function; being able to chelate metal ions 1-HP induced A. fumigatus iron starvation. Our data show the fine-interactions existing between A. fumigatus and P. aeruginosa, which can lead to stimulatory or antagonistic effects. PMID:25665925

  11. Characterization of a recombinant α-glucuronidase from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Lorena; Ravanal, María Cristina; Mardones, Wladimir; Eyzaguirre, Jaime

    2013-05-01

    The degradation of xylan requires the action of glycanases and esterases which hydrolyse, in a synergistic fashion, the main chain and the different substituents which decorate its structure. Among the xylanolytic enzymes acting on side-chains are the α-glucuronidases (AguA) (E.C. 3.2.1.139) which release methyl glucuronic acid residues. These are the least studies among the xylanolytic enzymes. In this work, the gene and cDNA of an α-glucuronidase from a newly isolated strain of Aspergillus fumigatus have been sequenced, and the gene has been expressed in Pichia pastoris. The gene is 2523 bp long, has no introns and codes for a protein of 840 amino acid residues including a putative signal peptide of 19 residues. The mature protein has a calculated molecular weight of 91,725 and shows 99 % identity with a putative α-glucuronidase from A. fumigatus A1163. The recombinant enzyme was expressed with a histidine tag and was purified to near homogeneity with a nickel nitriloacetic acid (Ni-NTA) column. The purified enzyme has a molecular weight near 100,000. It is inactive using birchwood glucuronoxylan as substrate. Activity is observed in the presence of xylooligosaccharides generated from this substrate by a family 10 endoxylanase and when a mixture of aldouronic acids are used as substrates. If, instead, family 11 endoxylanase is used to generate oligosaccharides, no activity is detected, indicating a different specificity in the cleavage of xylan by family 10 and 11 endoxylanases. Enzyme activity is optimal at 37 °C and pH 4.5-5. The enzyme binds cellulose, thus it likely possesses a carbohydrate binding module. Based on its properties and sequence similarities the catalytic module of the newly described α-glucuronidase can be classified in family 67 of the glycosyl hydrolases. The recombinant enzyme may be useful for biotechnological applications of α-glucuronidases. Copyright © 2013 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  12. Isolation and Identification of Aspergillus fumigatus Mycotoxins on Growth Medium and Some Building Materials

    PubMed Central

    Nieminen, Susanna M.; Kärki, Riikka; Auriola, Seppo; Toivola, Mika; Laatsch, Hartmut; Laatikainen, Reino; Hyvärinen, Anne; von Wright, Atte

    2002-01-01

    Genotoxic and cytotoxic compounds were isolated and purified from the culture medium of an indoor air mold, Aspergillus fumigatus. One of these compounds was identified as gliotoxin, a known fungal secondary metabolite. Growth of A. fumigatus and gliotoxin production on some building materials were also studied. Strong growth of the mold and the presence of gliotoxin were detected on spruce wood, gypsum board, and chipboard under saturation conditions. PMID:12324333

  13. Characteristics of Aspergillus fumigatus in Association with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia in an In Vitro Model of Mixed Biofilm

    PubMed Central

    Melloul, Elise; Luiggi, Stéphanie; Anaïs, Leslie; Arné, Pascal; Costa, Jean-Marc; Fihman, Vincent; Briard, Benoit; Dannaoui, Eric; Guillot, Jacques; Decousser, Jean-Winoc; Beauvais, Anne; Botterel, Françoise

    2016-01-01

    Background Biofilms are communal structures of microorganisms that have long been associated with a variety of persistent infections poorly responding to conventional antibiotic or antifungal therapy. Aspergillus fumigatus fungus and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia bacteria are examples of the microorganisms that can coexist to form a biofilm especially in the respiratory tract of immunocompromised patients or cystic fibrosis patients. The aim of the present study was to develop and assess an in vitro model of a mixed biofilm associating S. maltophilia and A. fumigatus by using analytical and quantitative approaches. Materials and Methods An A. fumigatus strain (ATCC 13073) expressing a Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and an S. maltophilia strain (ATCC 13637) were used. Fungal and bacterial inocula (105 conidia/mL and 106 cells/mL, respectively) were simultaneously deposited to initiate the development of an in vitro mixed biofilm on polystyrene supports at 37°C for 24 h. The structure of the biofilm was analysed via qualitative microscopic techniques like scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy, and by quantitative techniques including qPCR and crystal violet staining. Results Analytic methods revealed typical structures of biofilm with production of an extracellular matrix (ECM) enclosing fungal hyphae and bacteria. Quantitative methods showed a decrease of A. fumigatus growth and ECM production in the mixed biofilm with antibiosis effect of the bacteria on the fungi seen as abortive hyphae, limited hyphal growth, fewer conidia, and thicker fungal cell walls. Conclusion For the first time, a mixed A. fumigatus—S. maltophilia biofilm was validated by various analytical and quantitative approaches and the bacterial antibiosis effect on the fungus was demonstrated. The mixed biofilm model is an interesting experimentation field to evaluate efficiency of antimicrobial agents and to analyse the interactions between the

  14. Extrolites of Aspergillus fumigatus and Other Pathogenic Species in Aspergillus Section Fumigati

    PubMed Central

    Frisvad, Jens C.; Larsen, Thomas O.

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an important opportunistic human pathogen known for its production of a large array of extrolites. Up to 63 species have been described in Aspergillus section Fumigati, some of which have also been reliably reported to be pathogenic, including A. felis, A. fischeri, A. fumigatiaffinis, A. fumisynnematus, A. hiratsukae, A. laciniosus, A. lentulus, A. novofumigatus, A. parafelis, A. pseudofelis, A. pseudoviridinutans, A. spinosus, A. thermomutatus, and A. udagawae. These species share the production of hydrophobins, melanins, and siderophores and ability to grow well at 37°C, but they only share some small molecule extrolites, that could be important factors in pathogenicity. According to the literature gliotoxin and other exometabolites can be contributing factors to pathogenicity, but these exometabolites are apparently not produced by all pathogenic species. It is our hypothesis that species unable to produce some of these metabolites can produce proxy-exometabolites that may serve the same function. We tabulate all exometabolites reported from species in Aspergillus section Fumigati and by comparing the profile of those extrolites, suggest that those producing many different kinds of exometabolites are potential opportunistic pathogens. The exometabolite data also suggest that the profile of exometabolites are highly specific and can be used for identification of these closely related species. PMID:26779142

  15. Evidence for Genetic Differentiation and Variable Recombination Rates among Dutch Populations of the Opportunistic Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Klaassen, Corné H.W.; Gibbons, John G.; Fedorova, Natalie D.; Meis, Jacques F.; Rokas, Antonis

    2011-01-01

    As the frequency of antifungal drug resistance continues to increase, understanding the genetic structure of fungal populations, where resistant isolates have emerged and spread, is of major importance. Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitously distributed fungus and the primary causative agent of invasive aspergillosis (IA), a potentially lethal infection in immunocompromised individuals. In the last few years, an increasing number of A. fumigatus isolates has evolved resistance to triazoles, the primary drugs for treating IA infections. In most isolates, this multiple-triazole-resistance (MTR) phenotype is caused by mutations in the cyp51A gene, which encodes the protein targeted by the triazoles. We investigated the genetic differentiation and reproductive mode of A. fumigatus in the Netherlands, the country where the MTR phenotype likely originated, to determine their role in facilitating the emergence and distribution of resistance genotypes. Using 20 genome-wide neutral markers, we genotyped 255 Dutch isolates including 25 isolates with the MTR phenotype. In contrast to previous reports, our results show that Dutch A. fumigatus genotypes are genetically differentiated into five distinct populations. Four of the five populations show significant linkage disequilibrium, indicative of an asexual reproductive mode, whereas the fifth population is in linkage equilibrium, indicative of a sexual reproductive mode. Notably, the observed genetic differentiation among Dutch isolates does not correlate with geography, although all isolates with the MTR phenotype nest within a single, predominantly asexual, population. These results suggest that both reproductive mode and genetic differentiation contribute to the structure of Dutch A. fumigatus populations, and are likely shaping the evolutionary dynamics of drug resistance in this potentially deadly pathogen. PMID:22106836

  16. Avirulent mutants of Macrophomina phaseolina and Aspergillus fumigatus initiate infection in Phaseolus mungo in the presence of phaseolinone; levamisole gives protection.

    PubMed

    Sett, S; Mishra, S K; Siddiqui, K A

    2000-03-01

    To evaluate the role of phaseolinone, a phytotoxin produced by Macrophomina phaseolina, in disease initiation, three nontoxigenic avirulent mutants of the fungus were generated by UV-mutagenesis. Two of them were able to initiate infection in germinating Phaseolus mungo seeds only in the presence of phaseolinone. The minimum dose of phaseoli-none required for infection in 30% seedlings was 2 5 mg/ml. A human pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus was also able to infect germinating seeds of P. mungo in the presence of 5 mg/ml concentration of phaseolinone. Phaseolinone seemed to facilitate infection by A. fumigatus, which is not normally phytopathogenic, by reducing the immunity of germinating seedlings in a nonspecific way. Levamisole, a non-specific immunopotentiator gave protection against infection induced by A. fumigatus at an optimum dose of 50 mg/ml. Sodium malonate prevented the effects of levamisole.

  17. Multiplexed Activity-based Protein Profiling of the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Large Functional Changes upon Exposure to Human Serum

    SciTech Connect

    Wiedner, Susan D.; Burnum, Kristin E.; Pederson, Leeanna M.; Anderson, Lindsey N.; Fortuin, Suereta; Chauvigne-Hines, Lacie M.; Shukla, Anil K.; Ansong, Charles; Panisko, Ellen A.; Smith, Richard D.; Wright, Aaron T.

    2012-08-03

    Environmental and metabolic adaptability is critical for survival of the fungal human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus in the immunocompromised lung. We employed an activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) approach utilizing a new aryl vinyl sulfonate probe and a serine hydrolase probe combined with quantitative LC-MS based accurate mass and time (AMT) tag proteomics for the identification of functional pathway adaptation of A. fumigatus to environmental variability relevant to pulmonary Invasive Aspergillosis. When the fungal pathogen was grown with human serum, metabolism and energy processes were markedly decreased compared to no serum culture. Additionally, functional pathways associated with amino acid and protein biosynthesis were limited as the fungus scavenged from the serum to obtain essential nutrients. Our approach revealed significant metabolic adaptation by A. fumigatus, and provides direct insight into this pathogen’s ability to survive and proliferate.

  18. Genes Differentially Expressed in Conidia and Hyphae of Aspergillus fumigatus upon Exposure to Human Neutrophils

    PubMed Central

    Sugui, Janyce A.; Kim, H. Stanley; Zarember, Kol A.; Chang, Yun C.; Gallin, John I.; Nierman, Willian C.; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J.

    2008-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common etiologic agent of invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. Several studies have addressed the mechanism involved in host defense but only few have investigated the pathogen's response to attack by the host cells. To our knowledge, this is the first study that investigates the genes differentially expressed in conidia vs hyphae of A. fumigatus in response to neutrophils from healthy donors as well as from those with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) which are defective in the production of reactive oxygen species. Methodology/Principal Findings Transcriptional profiles of conidia and hyphae exposed to neutrophils, either from normal donors or from CGD patients, were obtained by using the genome-wide microarray. Upon exposure to either normal or CGD neutrophils, 244 genes were up-regulated in conidia but not in hyphae. Several of these genes are involved in the degradation of fatty acids, peroxisome function and the glyoxylate cycle which suggests that conidia exposed to neutrophils reprogram their metabolism to adjust to the host environment. In addition, the mRNA levels of four genes encoding proteins putatively involved in iron/copper assimilation were found to be higher in conidia and hyphae exposed to normal neutrophils compared to those exposed to CGD neutrophils. Deletants in several of the differentially expressed genes showed phenotypes related to the proposed functions, i.e. deletants of genes involved in fatty acid catabolism showed defective growth on fatty acids and the deletants of iron/copper assimilation showed higher sensitivity to the oxidative agent menadione. None of these deletants, however, showed reduced resistance to neutrophil attack. Conclusion This work reveals the complex response of the fungus to leukocytes, one of the major host factors involved in antifungal defense, and identifies fungal genes that may be involved in establishing or prolonging infections in humans

  19. Heterologous Expression of Lysergic Acid and Novel Ergot Alkaloids in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Sarah L.

    2014-01-01

    Different lineages of fungi produce distinct classes of ergot alkaloids. Lysergic acid-derived ergot alkaloids produced by fungi in the Clavicipitaceae are particularly important in agriculture and medicine. The pathway to lysergic acid is partly elucidated, but the gene encoding the enzyme that oxidizes the intermediate agroclavine is unknown. We investigated two candidate agroclavine oxidase genes from the fungus Epichloë festucae var. lolii × Epichloë typhina isolate Lp1 (henceforth referred to as Epichloë sp. Lp1), which produces lysergic acid-derived ergot alkaloids. Candidate genes easH and cloA were expressed in a mutant strain of the mold Aspergillus fumigatus, which typically produces a subclass of ergot alkaloids not derived from agroclavine or lysergic acid. Candidate genes were coexpressed with the Epichloë sp. Lp1 allele of easA, which encodes an enzyme that catalyzed the synthesis of agroclavine from an A. fumigatus intermediate; the agroclavine then served as the substrate for the candidate agroclavine oxidases. Strains expressing easA and cloA from Epichloë sp. Lp1 produced lysergic acid from agroclavine, a process requiring a cumulative six-electron oxidation and a double-bond isomerization. Strains that accumulated excess agroclavine (as a result of Epichloë sp. Lp1 easA expression in the absence of cloA) metabolized it into two novel ergot alkaloids for which provisional structures were proposed on the basis of mass spectra and precursor feeding studies. Our data indicate that CloA catalyzes multiple reactions to produce lysergic acid from agroclavine and that combining genes from different ergot alkaloid pathways provides an effective strategy to engineer important pathway molecules and novel ergot alkaloids. PMID:25107976

  20. Aspergillus fumigatus SidA is a highly specific ornithine hydroxylase with bound flavin cofactor.

    PubMed

    Chocklett, Samuel W; Sobrado, Pablo

    2010-08-10

    Ferrichrome is a hydroxamate-containing siderophore produced by the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus under iron-limiting conditions. This siderophore contains N(5)-hydroxylated l-ornithines essential for iron binding. A. fumigatus siderophore A (Af SidA) catalyzes the flavin- and NADPH-dependent hydroxylation of l-ornithine in ferrichrome biosynthesis. Af SidA was recombinantly expressed and purified as a soluble tetramer and is the first member of this class of flavin monooxygenases to be isolated with a bound flavin cofactor. The enzyme showed typical saturation kinetics with respect to l-ornithine while substrate inhibition was observed at high concentrations of NADPH and NADH. Increasing amounts of hydrogen peroxide were measured as a function of reduced nicotinamide coenzyme concentration, indicating that inhibition was caused by increased uncoupling. Af SidA is highly specific for its amino acid substrate, only hydroxylating l-ornithine. An 8-fold preference in the catalytic efficiency was determined for NADPH compared to NADH. In the absence of substrate, Af SidA can be reduced by NADPH, and a C4a-(hydro)peroxyflavin intermediate is observed. The decay of this intermediate is accelerated by l-ornithine binding. This intermediate was only stabilized by NADPH and not by NADH, suggesting a role for NADP(+) in the stabilization of intermediates in the reaction of Af SidA. NADP(+) is a competitive inhibitor with respect to NADPH, demonstrating that Af SidA forms a ternary complex with NADP(+) and l-ornithine during catalysis. The data suggest that Af SidA likely proceeds by a sequential kinetic mechanism.

  1. Identification and characterization of an anti-oxidative stress-associated mutant of Aspergillus fumigatus transformed by Agrobacterium tumefaciens

    PubMed Central

    FAN, ZHONGQI; YU, HUIMEI; GUO, QI; HE, DAN; XUE, BAIJI; XIE, XIANGLI; YOKOYAMA, KOJI; WANG, LI

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common opportunistic pathogenic fungi, surviving in various environmental conditions. Maintenance of the redox homeostasis of the fungus relies upon the well-organized regulation between reactive oxygen species generated by immune cells or its own organelles, and the activated anti-oxidative stress mechanism. To investigate such a mechanism, the present study obtained a number of randomly-inserted mutants of A. fumigatus, mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. In addition, a high throughput hydrogen peroxide screening system was established to examine ~1,000 mutants. A total of 100 mutants exhibited changes in hydrogen peroxide sensitivity, among which a significant increase in sensitivity was observed in the AFM2658 mutant. Further investigations of the mutant were also performed, in which the sequence of this mutant was characterized using thermal asymmetric interlaced-polymerase chain reaction. This revealed that the insertion site was located on chromosome 2 afu1_92, and the 96 bp sequence was knocked out, which partially comprised a sequence localized between the integral membrane protein coding region and the helix-loop-helix transcription factor coding region. A decrease in the levels of anti-oxidative stress-associated mRNAs were observed, and an increase in reactive oxygen species were detected using fluorescence. The results of the present study demonstrated that this sequence may have a protective role in A. fumigatus in the presence of oxidative stress. PMID:26847000

  2. Isolation and characterization of recombinant single chain fragment variable anti-idiotypic antibody specific to Aspergillus fumigatus membrane protein.

    PubMed

    Krishnaswamy, Senthilkumar; Kabir, M Enamul; Rahman, M Mamunur; Miyamoto, Masahiko; Furuichi, Yasuhiro; Komiyama, Tadazumi

    2011-03-07

    Aspergillus fumigatus causes the highly lethal form of invasive aspergillosis (IA). In the present study to develop a novel anti-fungal drug for protection against invasive disease, we identified a single chain fragment variable (scFv) antibody (scFv AF1) by panning against A. fumigatus membrane fraction (AMF) or HM-1 killer toxin (HM-1) neutralizing monoclonal antibody (nmAb-KT) as antigen. The key step was elution of bound phages with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) at pH 7.0 containing AMF. The specificity of soluble scFv AF1 antibody to antigens was verified by ELISA, which specifically binds to both AMF and nmAb-KT. After nucleotide sequencing, clone expression and purification by HisTrap HP affinity column, scFv AF1 showed in vitro anti-fungal activity against A. fumigatus. By SPR analysis it showed high binding affinity to nmAb-KT (K(d)=5.22×10(-11) M). The method used to isolate scFv AF1 was a new method and we believe that it will be applicable to isolate the specific scFv against any kind of membrane protein of yeast or fungus.

  3. Production of Extracellular Traps against Aspergillus fumigatus In Vitro and in Infected Lung Tissue Is Dependent on Invading Neutrophils and Influenced by Hydrophobin RodA

    PubMed Central

    Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Nietzsche, Sandor; Thywißen, Andreas; Jeron, Andreas; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Brakhage, Axel A.; Gunzer, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen causing life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. Macrophages and neutrophils are known to kill conidia, whereas hyphae are killed mainly by neutrophils. Since hyphae are too large to be engulfed, neutrophils possess an array of extracellular killing mechanisms including the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) consisting of nuclear DNA decorated with fungicidal proteins. However, until now NET formation in response to A. fumigatus has only been demonstrated in vitro, the importance of neutrophils for their production in vivo is unclear and the molecular mechanisms of the fungus to defend against NET formation are unknown. Here, we show that human neutrophils produce NETs in vitro when encountering A. fumigatus. In time-lapse movies NET production was a highly dynamic process which, however, was only exhibited by a sub-population of cells. NETosis was maximal against hyphae, but reduced against resting and swollen conidia. In a newly developed mouse model we could then demonstrate the existence and measure the kinetics of NET formation in vivo by 2-photon microscopy of Aspergillus-infected lungs. We also observed the enormous dynamics of neutrophils within the lung and their ability to interact with and phagocytose fungal elements in situ. Furthermore, systemic neutrophil depletion in mice almost completely inhibited NET formation in lungs, thus directly linking the immigration of neutrophils with NET formation in vivo. By using fungal mutants and purified proteins we demonstrate that hydrophobin RodA, a surface protein making conidia immunologically inert, led to reduced NET formation of neutrophils encountering Aspergillus fungal elements. NET-dependent killing of Aspergillus-hyphae could be demonstrated at later time-points, but was only moderate. Thus, these data establish that NET formation occurs in vivo during host defence against A. fumigatus, but suggest

  4. Production of extracellular traps against Aspergillus fumigatus in vitro and in infected lung tissue is dependent on invading neutrophils and influenced by hydrophobin RodA.

    PubMed

    Bruns, Sandra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Hasenberg, Mike; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Nietzsche, Sandor; Thywissen, Andreas; Jeron, Andreas; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Brakhage, Axel A; Gunzer, Matthias

    2010-04-29

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen causing life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. Macrophages and neutrophils are known to kill conidia, whereas hyphae are killed mainly by neutrophils. Since hyphae are too large to be engulfed, neutrophils possess an array of extracellular killing mechanisms including the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) consisting of nuclear DNA decorated with fungicidal proteins. However, until now NET formation in response to A. fumigatus has only been demonstrated in vitro, the importance of neutrophils for their production in vivo is unclear and the molecular mechanisms of the fungus to defend against NET formation are unknown. Here, we show that human neutrophils produce NETs in vitro when encountering A. fumigatus. In time-lapse movies NET production was a highly dynamic process which, however, was only exhibited by a sub-population of cells. NETosis was maximal against hyphae, but reduced against resting and swollen conidia. In a newly developed mouse model we could then demonstrate the existence and measure the kinetics of NET formation in vivo by 2-photon microscopy of Aspergillus-infected lungs. We also observed the enormous dynamics of neutrophils within the lung and their ability to interact with and phagocytose fungal elements in situ. Furthermore, systemic neutrophil depletion in mice almost completely inhibited NET formation in lungs, thus directly linking the immigration of neutrophils with NET formation in vivo. By using fungal mutants and purified proteins we demonstrate that hydrophobin RodA, a surface protein making conidia immunologically inert, led to reduced NET formation of neutrophils encountering Aspergillus fungal elements. NET-dependent killing of Aspergillus-hyphae could be demonstrated at later time-points, but was only moderate. Thus, these data establish that NET formation occurs in vivo during host defence against A. fumigatus, but suggest

  5. A DNA Aptamer Recognizes the Asp f 1 Allergen of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Low, Swee Yang; Hill, Jane E.; Peccia, Jordan

    2009-01-01

    Allergies are caused by the binding of IgE antibodies onto specific sites on allergens. However, in the assessment of exposure to airborne allergens, current techniques such as whole spore counts fail to account for the presence of these allergenic epitopes that trigger allergic reactions. The objective of the research is to develop a DNA aptamer for the Asp f 1 allergen of the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, using an IgE-binding epitope of the allergen as the target for aptamer selection. Through in vitro SELEX, an aptamer has been produced that binds with nanomolar affinity to the Asp f 1 IgE-epitope. The aptamer is also able to recognize the native Asp f 1 allergen, and does not bind to allergenic proteins from non-target mold species such as Alternaria alternata. Production of this aptamer provides proof-of-principle that allergen measurement methods can be developed to indicate the potent fraction, or allergenicity, of allergens. PMID:19545545

  6. Pf4 bacteriophage produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa inhibits Aspergillus fumigatus metabolism via iron sequestration.

    PubMed

    Penner, Jack C; Ferreira, Jose A G; Secor, Patrick R; Sweere, Johanna M; Birukova, Maria K; Joubert, Lydia-Marie; Haagensen, Janus A J; Garcia, Omar; Malkovskiy, Andrey V; Kaber, Gernot; Nazik, Hasan; Manasherob, Robert; Spormann, Alfred M; Clemons, Karl V; Stevens, David A; Bollyky, Paul L

    2016-09-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) and Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) are major human pathogens known to interact in a variety of disease settings, including airway infections in cystic fibrosis. We recently reported that clinical CF isolates of Pa inhibit the formation and growth of Af biofilms. Here, we report that the bacteriophage Pf4, produced by Pa, can inhibit the metabolic activity of Af biofilms. This phage-mediated inhibition was dose dependent, ablated by phage denaturation, and was more pronounced against preformed Af biofilm rather than biofilm formation. In contrast, planktonic conidial growth was unaffected. Two other phages, Pf1 and fd, did not inhibit Af, nor did supernatant from a Pa strain incapable of producing Pf4. Pf4, but not Pf1, attaches to Af hyphae in an avid and prolonged manner, suggesting that Pf4-mediated inhibition of Af may occur at the biofilm surface. We show that Pf4 binds iron, thus denying Af a crucial resource. Consistent with this, the inhibition of Af metabolism by Pf4 could be overcome with supplemental ferric iron, with preformed biofilm more resistant to reversal. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a bacterium producing a phage that inhibits the growth of a fungus and the first description of a phage behaving as an iron chelator in a biological system.

  7. The effects of Aspergillus fumigatus challenge on exhaled and nasal NO levels.

    PubMed

    Stark, H J; Randell, J T; Hirvonen, M-R; Purokivi, M K; Roponen, M H; Tukiainen, H O

    2005-11-01

    Several studies have previously shown that exposure to indoor air microbes from moisture-damaged buildings can cause adverse health effects. Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the best-documented moulds causing health problems to those exposed. In this study, inhalation of a commercial A. fumigatus solution was assessed, to establish if it would have effects on fractional exhaled (FeNO) and nasal (FnNO) nitric oxide levels and on lung function. The results were compared with placebo challenge. A total of 28 subjects were divided into three study groups: group 1 had been exposed to occupational mould; group 2 consisted of atopic subjects; and group 3 was a control group. Some 3 h after A. fumigatus challenge, there was a considerable increase in FeNO, and a significant difference was observed between the A. fumigatus and placebo inhalations. The difference was seen in all study groups. No such differences were found in the levels of FnNO or nitrite in nasal lavage fluid. Subjects reported significantly more frequent respiratory tract symptoms after the A. fumigatus inhalation compared with placebo challenge. In conclusion, it was shown here that inhalation challenge of Aspergillus fumigatus elevated fractional exhaled nitric oxide levels. An increase in fractional exhaled nitric oxide may serve as an indicator of respiratory inflammation of acute mould exposure.

  8. FleA Expression in Aspergillus fumigatus Is Recognized by Fucosylated Structures on Mucins and Macrophages to Prevent Lung Infection

    PubMed Central

    Sinha, Meenal; McCabe, Orla; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Choera, Tsokyi; Yun Lim, Fang; Wimmerova, Michaela; Carrington, Stephen D.; Yuan, Shaopeng; Lowell, Clifford A.; Oscarson, Stefan; Keller, Nancy P.; Fahy, John V.

    2016-01-01

    The immune mechanisms that recognize inhaled Aspergillus fumigatus conidia to promote their elimination from the lungs are incompletely understood. FleA is a lectin expressed by Aspergillus fumigatus that has twelve binding sites for fucosylated structures that are abundant in the glycan coats of multiple plant and animal proteins. The role of FleA is unknown: it could bind fucose in decomposed plant matter to allow Aspergillus fumigatus to thrive in soil, or it may be a virulence factor that binds fucose in lung glycoproteins to cause Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. Our studies show that FleA protein and Aspergillus fumigatus conidia bind avidly to purified lung mucin glycoproteins in a fucose-dependent manner. In addition, FleA binds strongly to macrophage cell surface proteins, and macrophages bind and phagocytose fleA-deficient (∆fleA) conidia much less efficiently than wild type (WT) conidia. Furthermore, a potent fucopyranoside glycomimetic inhibitor of FleA inhibits binding and phagocytosis of WT conidia by macrophages, confirming the specific role of fucose binding in macrophage recognition of WT conidia. Finally, mice infected with ΔfleA conidia had more severe pneumonia and invasive aspergillosis than mice infected with WT conidia. These findings demonstrate that FleA is not a virulence factor for Aspergillus fumigatus. Instead, host recognition of FleA is a critical step in mechanisms of mucin binding, mucociliary clearance, and macrophage killing that prevent Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. PMID:27058347

  9. Effect of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis on the lipid composition of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Ghfir, B; Fonvieille, J L; Koulali, Y; Ecalle, R; Dargent, R

    1994-06-01

    Addition of the essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis to the culture medium of Aspergillus fumigatus induced alterations in both growth and lipid composition of this mould. Total lipids and sterols were reduced, whereas total phospholipids were increased. There were alterations in the proportions of fatty acids, neutral lipid and phospholipid fractions.

  10. Aspergillus fumigatus toxicity and gliotoxin levels in feedstuff for domestic animals and pets in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Pena, G A; Pereyra, C M; Armando, M R; Chiacchiera, S M; Magnoli, C E; Orlando, J L; Dalcero, A M; Rosa, C A R; Cavaglieri, L R

    2010-01-01

    To evaluate gliotoxin production by Aspergillus fumigatus strains isolated from feedstuff intended for domestic animals and pets, and to determine the amount of gliotoxin in these substrates. A total of 150 feedstuff samples were collected. They were composed of 30 samples each of five different feed types (pigs, poultry, cattle, horse and pets). Aspergillus fumigatus gliotoxin production ability and gliotoxin presence in feedstuff was determined by HPLC. Aspergillus fumigatus strains were isolated from all of the tested samples. Strains from cattle, horses and pet food were able to produce gliotoxin. Corn silage samples intended for cattle did not show gliotoxin contamination. All the other tested samples had gliotoxin levels ranging from 29 to 209 microg g(-1). Horse and poultry feed samples had the greatest contamination frequency. Feed samples contaminated with gliotoxin are potentially toxic to animals. The presence of gliotoxin could affect animal productivity and health. Moreover, there are risks of contamination to farm workers handling improperly stored animal feed. Aspergillus fumigatus strains isolated from different sources should be investigated to determine prevention and control strategies.

  11. Allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis due to co-infection with Aspergillus fumigatus and Schizophyllum commune

    PubMed Central

    Seki, Masafumi; Ohno, Hideaki; Gotoh, Kazuyoshi; Motooka, Daisuke; Nakamura, Shota; Iida, Tetsuya; Miyazaki, Yoshitsugu; Tomono, Kazunori

    2014-01-01

    A 61-year-old female presented with eosinophilic pneumonia accompanied by bronchial asthma. She was finally diagnosed with allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis (ABPM) due to co-infection with Aspergillus fumigatus and Schizophyllum commune detected by genetic analysis of the plug and from cultures. PMID:26839766

  12. Allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis due to co-infection with Aspergillus fumigatus and Schizophyllum commune.

    PubMed

    Seki, Masafumi; Ohno, Hideaki; Gotoh, Kazuyoshi; Motooka, Daisuke; Nakamura, Shota; Iida, Tetsuya; Miyazaki, Yoshitsugu; Tomono, Kazunori

    2014-01-01

    A 61-year-old female presented with eosinophilic pneumonia accompanied by bronchial asthma. She was finally diagnosed with allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis (ABPM) due to co-infection with Aspergillus fumigatus and Schizophyllum commune detected by genetic analysis of the plug and from cultures.

  13. Characterization of a novel gene for strain typing reveals substructuring of Aspergillus fumigatus across North America

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Fifty five epidemiologically linked Aspergillus fumigatus isolates obtained from six nosocomial outbreaks of invasive aspergillosis were sub-typed by sequencing the polymorphic region of the gene encoding a putative cell surface protein, Afu3g08990 (denoted as CSP). Comparative sequence analysis sh...

  14. Upgrading Fungal Gene Expression on Demand: Improved Systems for Doxycycline-Dependent Silencing in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Helmschrott, Christoph; Sasse, Anna; Samantaray, Sweta

    2013-01-01

    Conditional gene expression is key for functional studies in any given microorganism. To allow tight regulation in the pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus, improved versions of the doxycycline-dependent Tet-On system were generated by replacing functional elements of the precursor module, thereby circumventing the former problem of leakiness due to intramolecular recombination. PMID:23275515

  15. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Aspergillus fumigatus Strains, Isolated from the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nitin Kumar; Blachowicz, Adriana; Checinska, Aleksandra; Wang, Clay; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2016-07-14

    Draft genome sequences of Aspergillus fumigatus strains (ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4), opportunistic pathogens isolated from the International Space Station (ISS), were assembled to facilitate investigations of the nature of the virulence characteristics of the ISS strains to other clinical strains isolated on Earth. Copyright © 2016 Singh et al.

  16. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Aspergillus fumigatus Strains, Isolated from the International Space Station

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Nitin Kumar; Blachowicz, Adriana; Checinska, Aleksandra; Wang, Clay

    2016-01-01

    Draft genome sequences of Aspergillus fumigatus strains (ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4), opportunistic pathogens isolated from the International Space Station (ISS), were assembled to facilitate investigations of the nature of the virulence characteristics of the ISS strains to other clinical strains isolated on Earth. PMID:27417828

  17. Profiling the Aspergillus fumigatus proteome in response to caspofungin.

    PubMed

    Cagas, Steven E; Jain, Mohit Raja; Li, Hong; Perlin, David S

    2011-01-01

    The proteomic response of Aspergillus fumigatus to caspofungin was evaluated by gel-free isobaric tagging for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) as a means to determine potential biomarkers of drug action. A cell fractionation approach yielding 4 subcellular compartment fractions was used to enhance the resolution of proteins for proteomic analysis. Using iTRAQ, a total of 471 unique proteins were identified in soluble and cell wall/plasma membrane fractions at 24 and 48 h of growth in rich media in a wild-type drug-susceptible strain. A total of 122 proteins showed at least a 2-fold change in relative abundance following exposure to caspofungin (CSF) at just below the minimum effective concentration (0.12 μg/ml). The largest changes were seen in the mitochondrial hypoxia response domain protein (AFUA_1G12250), the level of which decreased >16-fold in the secreted fraction, and ChiA1, the level of which decreased 12.1-fold in the cell wall/plasma membrane fraction. The level of the major allergen and cytotoxin AspF1 was also shown to decrease by 12.1-fold upon the addition of drug. A subsequent iTRAQ analysis of an echinocandin-resistant strain (fks1-S678P) was used to validate proteins specific to drug action. A total of 103 proteins in the 2 fractions tested by iTRAQ were differentially expressed in the wild-type susceptible strain but not significantly changed in the resistant strain. Of these potential biomarkers, 11 had levels that changed at least 12-fold. Microarray analysis of the susceptible strain was performed to evaluate the correlation between proteomics and genomics, with a total of 117 genes found to be changing at least 2-fold. Of these, a total of 22 proteins with significant changes identified by iTRAQ also showed significant gene expression level changes by microarray. Overall, these data have the potential to identify biomarkers that assess the relative efficacy of echinocandin drug therapy.

  18. Triazole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus Clinical Isolates Obtained in Nanjing, China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ming; Feng, Chun-Lai; Chen, Fei; He, Qian; Su, Xin; Shi, Yi

    2017-01-01

    Background: During the past decades, the incidence of invasive aspergillosis (IA) caused by Aspergillus fumigatus has increased dramatically. The aims of this study were to investigate the susceptibility of clinical isolates of A. fumigatus to triazole and the underlying cyp51A mutations in triazole-resistant A. fumigatus. Methods: A total of 126 A. fumigatus clinical isolates from 126 patients with proven or probable IA were obtained from four large tertiary hospitals in Nanjing, China, between August 2012 and July 2015. The determination of minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole was performed by broth microdilution according to the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing reference method. Results: A total of 4 A. fumigatus isolates (3.17%) were confirmed to be itraconazole resistant, with MICs of ≥8 mg/L, and one isolate (0.8%) was confirmed to be voriconazole resistant and posaconazole resistant, with MICs of 4 mg/L and 0.5 mg/L, respectively. We found that two of the 4 isolates of triazole-resistant A. fumigatus had the L98H amino acid substitution in combination with a 34-base pair tandem repeat in the promoter region, one isolate had an M220I mutation, and another itraconazole-resistant isolate did not have a substitution in the cyp51A gene. Conclusions: This study shows that triazole-resistant A. fumigatus clinical isolates are present in Nanjing, China, which is a new challenge to the clinical management of IA. PMID:28303848

  19. Regulation of Sulphur Assimilation Is Essential for Virulence and Affects Iron Homeostasis of the Human-Pathogenic Mould Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Amich, Jorge; Schafferer, Lukas; Haas, Hubertus; Krappmann, Sven

    2013-01-01

    Sulphur is an essential element that all pathogens have to absorb from their surroundings in order to grow inside their infected host. Despite its importance, the relevance of sulphur assimilation in fungal virulence is largely unexplored. Here we report a role of the bZIP transcription factor MetR in sulphur assimilation and virulence of the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The MetR regulator is essential for growth on a variety of sulphur sources; remarkably, it is fundamental for assimilation of inorganic S-sources but dispensable for utilization of methionine. Accordingly, it strongly supports expression of genes directly related to inorganic sulphur assimilation but not of genes connected to methionine metabolism. On a broader scale, MetR orchestrates the comprehensive transcriptional adaptation to sulphur-starving conditions as demonstrated by digital gene expression analysis. Surprisingly, A. fumigatus is able to utilize volatile sulphur compounds produced by its methionine catabolism, a process that has not been described before and that is MetR-dependent. The A. fumigatus MetR transcriptional activator is important for virulence in both leukopenic mice and an alternative mini-host model of aspergillosis, as it was essential for the development of pulmonary aspergillosis and supported the systemic dissemination of the fungus. MetR action under sulphur-starving conditions is further required for proper iron regulation, which links regulation of sulphur metabolism to iron homeostasis and demonstrates an unprecedented regulatory crosstalk. Taken together, this study provides evidence that regulation of sulphur assimilation is not only crucial for A. fumigatus virulence but also affects the balance of iron in this prime opportunistic pathogen. PMID:24009505

  20. Regulation of sulphur assimilation is essential for virulence and affects iron homeostasis of the human-pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Amich, Jorge; Schafferer, Lukas; Haas, Hubertus; Krappmann, Sven

    2013-01-01

    Sulphur is an essential element that all pathogens have to absorb from their surroundings in order to grow inside their infected host. Despite its importance, the relevance of sulphur assimilation in fungal virulence is largely unexplored. Here we report a role of the bZIP transcription factor MetR in sulphur assimilation and virulence of the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The MetR regulator is essential for growth on a variety of sulphur sources; remarkably, it is fundamental for assimilation of inorganic S-sources but dispensable for utilization of methionine. Accordingly, it strongly supports expression of genes directly related to inorganic sulphur assimilation but not of genes connected to methionine metabolism. On a broader scale, MetR orchestrates the comprehensive transcriptional adaptation to sulphur-starving conditions as demonstrated by digital gene expression analysis. Surprisingly, A. fumigatus is able to utilize volatile sulphur compounds produced by its methionine catabolism, a process that has not been described before and that is MetR-dependent. The A. fumigatus MetR transcriptional activator is important for virulence in both leukopenic mice and an alternative mini-host model of aspergillosis, as it was essential for the development of pulmonary aspergillosis and supported the systemic dissemination of the fungus. MetR action under sulphur-starving conditions is further required for proper iron regulation, which links regulation of sulphur metabolism to iron homeostasis and demonstrates an unprecedented regulatory crosstalk. Taken together, this study provides evidence that regulation of sulphur assimilation is not only crucial for A. fumigatus virulence but also affects the balance of iron in this prime opportunistic pathogen.

  1. Small ncRNA transcriptome analysis from Aspergillus fumigatus suggests a novel mechanism for regulation of protein synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Jöchl, Christoph; Rederstorff, Mathieu; Hertel, Jana; Stadler, Peter F.; Hofacker, Ivo L.; Schrettl, Markus; Haas, Hubertus; Hüttenhofer, Alexander

    2008-01-01

    Small non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have systematically been studied in various model organisms from Escherichia coli to Homo sapiens. Here, we analyse the small ncRNA transcriptome from the pathogenic filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. To that aim, we experimentally screened for ncRNAs, expressed under various growth conditions or during specific developmental stages, by generating a specialized cDNA library from size-selected small RNA species. Our screen revealed 30 novel ncRNA candidates from known ncRNA classes such as small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and C/D box-type small nucleolar RNAs (C/D box snoRNAs). Additionally, several candidates for H/ACA box snoRNAs could be predicted by a bioinformatical screen. We also identified 15 candidates for ncRNAs, which could not be assigned to any known ncRNA class. Some of these ncRNA species are developmentally regulated implying a possible novel function in A. fumigatus development. Surprisingly, in addition to full-length tRNAs, we also identified 5′- or 3′-halves of tRNAs, only, which are likely generated by tRNA cleavage within the anti-codon loop. We show that conidiation induces tRNA cleavage resulting in tRNA depletion within conidia. Since conidia represent the resting state of A. fumigatus we propose that conidial tRNA depletion might be a novel mechanism to down-regulate protein synthesis in a filamentous fungus. PMID:18346967

  2. Aspergillus fumigatus transcriptome response to a higher temperature during the earliest steps of germination monitored using a new customized expression microarray.

    PubMed

    Sueiro-Olivares, Mónica; Fernandez-Molina, Jimena V; Abad-Diaz-de-Cerio, Ana; Gorospe, Eva; Pascual, Elisabeth; Guruceaga, Xabier; Ramirez-Garcia, Andoni; Garaizar, Javier; Hernando, Fernando L; Margareto, Javier; Rementeria, Aitor

    2015-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is considered to be the most prevalent airborne pathogenic fungus and can cause invasive diseases in immunocompromised patients. It is known that its virulence is multifactorial, although the mechanisms of pathogenicity remain unclear. With the aim of improving our understanding of these mechanisms, we designed a new expression microarray covering the entire genome of A. fumigatus. In this first study, we analysed the transcriptomes of this fungus at the first steps of germination after being grown at 24 and 37 °C. The microarray data revealed that 1249 genes were differentially expressed during growth at these two temperatures. According to our results, A. fumigatus modified significantly the expression of genes related to metabolism to adapt to new conditions. The high percentages of genes that encoded hypothetical or unclassified proteins differentially expressed implied that many as yet unknown genes were involved in the establishment of A. fumigatus infection. Furthermore, amongst the genes implicated in virulence upregulated at 37 °C on the microarray, we found those that encoded proteins mainly related to allergens (Asp F1, Asp F2 and MnSOD), gliotoxin biosynthesis (GliP and GliZ), nitrogen (NiiA and NiaD) or iron (HapX, SreA, SidD and SidC) metabolism. However, gene expression in iron and nitrogen metabolism might be influenced not only by heat shock, but also by the availability of nutrients in the medium, as shown by the addition of fresh medium.

  3. Expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase in a murine model of Aspergillus fumigatus keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Nan; Zhao, Gui-Qiu; Lin, Jing; Hu, Li-Ting; Che, Cheng-Ye; Li, Cui; Wang, Qian; Xu, Qiang; Zhang, Jie; Peng, Xu-Dong

    2016-01-01

    AIM To observe the presence and expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) during the corneal immunity to Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) in the murine models. METHODS The murine model of fungal keratitis was established by smearing with colonies of A. fumigatus after scraping central epithelium of cornea and covering with contact lenses in C57BL/6 mice. The mice were randomly divided into control group, sham group and A. fumigatus keratitis group. The cornea was monitored daily using a slit lamp and recorded disease score after infection. Corneal lesion was detected by immunofluorescence staining. IDO mRNA and protein were also detected by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot. RESULTS The disease score and slit lamp photography indicated that disease severity was consistent with corneal inflammation in the murine models, and the disease scores in A. fumigatus keratitis group were obviously higher than those in the sham group. By immunofluorescence staining, IDO was mainly localized in corneal epithelium and stroma in the murine corneal tissues with A. fumigatus keratitis. Compared with the sham group, IDO mRNA expression was significantly enhanced in corneal epithelium infected by A. fumigatus. Furthermore, IDO protein expression detected by Western blot was in accord with transcript levels of IDO mRNA measured by qRT-PCR. IDO protein expression was enhanced after A. fumigatus infection compared with the sham group. CONCLUSION IDO is detected in corneal epithelium and stroma locally, which indicates IDO takes part in the pathogenesis of A. fumigatus keratitis and plays a key role in immune regulation at the early stage. PMID:27162718

  4. Contribution to the prophylaxis of chicks aspergillosis: study of the contamination of a hatchery by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Hamet, N; Seigle-Murandi, F; Steiman, R

    1991-09-01

    Contamination of a hatchery by Aspergillus fumigatus has been studied for 8 weeks from eggs to day old chicks. We have shown that the contamination of the hatchery originates on the egg shell and that each time the eggs are manipulated, spores of Aspergillus fumigatus are thrown into suspension in the air. Thus it seems necessary to bring eggs with as few as possible spores of Aspergillus fumigatus on their shell into the hatchery. Prophylaxis of aspergillosis should be foreseen from the conception of the hatchery: the ventilation system and the internal lay-out should be designed to prevent dispersion and accumulation of Aspergillus fumigatus spores during the processing of the eggs through the hatchery.

  5. CSP typing of Chinese Aspergillus fumigatus isolates: identification of additional CSP types.

    PubMed

    Gao, Lu-Juan; Sun, Yi; Wan, Zhe; Li, Ruo-Yu; Yu, Jin

    2013-10-01

    Cell surface protein (CSP) typing is a typing strategy that employs comparative DNA sequence analysis of the 12-mer tandem repeat region of the AFUA_3G08890 gene. The CSP typing scheme and modified nomenclature was applied to a collection of 162 clinical Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from China. A total of 16 CSP variants were observed, including five that were newly reported, indicating that phylogeographic differences may exist between the Chinese and the previously studied Australian, European and North American A. fumigatus populations. However, the most common CSP variants observed in this study are consistent with those in previous studies.

  6. A new experimental murine aspergillosis model to identify strains of Aspergillus fumigatus with reduced virulence.

    PubMed

    Sarfati, J; Diaquin, M; Debeaupuis, J P; Schmidt, A; Lecaque, D; Beauvais, A; Latge, J P

    2002-01-01

    Experimental animals are an obligate screen to investigate microorganism pathogenicity. Numerous animal models have been used to analyse the virulence of the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus but none of the experimental models used previously have been satisfactory. This report discuss these models and presents a murine model of pulmonary aspergillosis that is very easy and the most adapted to compare the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus strains. Strains to be tested are inoculated intranasally and synchronously to mice and strains isolated from the lung of mice killed by the infection are typed. The number of colonies recovered is directly correlated to the virulence of the strain.

  7. Analysis of the Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilm Extracellular Matrix by Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Reichhardt, Courtney; Ferreira, Jose A G; Joubert, Lydia-Marie; Clemons, Karl V; Stevens, David A; Cegelski, Lynette

    2015-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is commonly responsible for lethal fungal infections among immunosuppressed individuals. A. fumigatus forms biofilm communities that are of increasing biomedical interest due to the association of biofilms with chronic infections and their increased resistance to antifungal agents and host immune factors. Understanding the composition of microbial biofilms and the extracellular matrix is important to understanding function and, ultimately, to developing strategies to inhibit biofilm formation. We implemented a solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) approach to define compositional parameters of the A. fumigatus extracellular matrix (ECM) when biofilms are formed in RPMI 1640 nutrient medium. Whole biofilm and isolated matrix networks were also characterized by electron microscopy, and matrix proteins were identified through protein gel analysis. The (13)C NMR results defined and quantified the carbon contributions in the insoluble ECM, including carbonyls, aromatic carbons, polysaccharide carbons (anomeric and nonanomerics), aliphatics, etc. Additional (15)N and (31)P NMR spectra permitted more specific annotation of the carbon pools according to C-N and C-P couplings. Together these data show that the A. fumigatus ECM produced under these growth conditions contains approximately 40% protein, 43% polysaccharide, 3% aromatic-containing components, and up to 14% lipid. These fundamental chemical parameters are needed to consider the relationships between composition and function in the A. fumigatus ECM and will enable future comparisons with other organisms and with A. fumigatus grown under alternate conditions.

  8. SYBR safe(TM) efficiently replaces ethidium bromide in Aspergillus fumigatus gene disruption.

    PubMed

    Canela, H M S; Takami, L A; Ferreira, M E S

    2017-02-08

    Invasive aspergillosis is a disease responsible for high mortality rates, caused mainly by Aspergillus fumigatus. The available drugs are limited and this disease continues to occur at an unacceptable frequency. Gene disruption is essential in the search for new drug targets. An efficient protocol for A. fumigatus gene disruption was described but it requires ethidium bromide, a genotoxic agent, for DNA staining. Therefore, the present study tested SYBR safe(TM), a non-genotoxic DNA stain, in A. fumigatus gene disruption protocol. The chosen gene was cipC, which has already been disrupted successfully in our laboratory. A deletion cassette was constructed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and used in A. fumigatus transformation. There was no statistical difference between the tested DNA stains. The success rate of S. cerevisiae transformation was 63.3% for ethidium bromide and 70% for SYBR safe(TM). For A. fumigatus gene disruption, the success rate for ethidium bromide was 100 and 97% for SYBR safe(TM). In conclusion, SYBR safe(TM) efficiently replaced ethidium bromide, making this dye a safe and efficient alternative for DNA staining in A. fumigatus gene disruption.

  9. Analysis of the Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilm Extracellular Matrix by Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Reichhardt, Courtney; Ferreira, Jose A. G.; Joubert, Lydia-Marie; Clemons, Karl V.; Stevens, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is commonly responsible for lethal fungal infections among immunosuppressed individuals. A. fumigatus forms biofilm communities that are of increasing biomedical interest due to the association of biofilms with chronic infections and their increased resistance to antifungal agents and host immune factors. Understanding the composition of microbial biofilms and the extracellular matrix is important to understanding function and, ultimately, to developing strategies to inhibit biofilm formation. We implemented a solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) approach to define compositional parameters of the A. fumigatus extracellular matrix (ECM) when biofilms are formed in RPMI 1640 nutrient medium. Whole biofilm and isolated matrix networks were also characterized by electron microscopy, and matrix proteins were identified through protein gel analysis. The 13C NMR results defined and quantified the carbon contributions in the insoluble ECM, including carbonyls, aromatic carbons, polysaccharide carbons (anomeric and nonanomerics), aliphatics, etc. Additional 15N and 31P NMR spectra permitted more specific annotation of the carbon pools according to C-N and C-P couplings. Together these data show that the A. fumigatus ECM produced under these growth conditions contains approximately 40% protein, 43% polysaccharide, 3% aromatic-containing components, and up to 14% lipid. These fundamental chemical parameters are needed to consider the relationships between composition and function in the A. fumigatus ECM and will enable future comparisons with other organisms and with A. fumigatus grown under alternate conditions. PMID:26163318

  10. Sputum Inflammatory Mediators Are Increased in Aspergillus fumigatus Culture-Positive Asthmatics

    PubMed Central

    Ghebre, Michael A; Desai, Dhananjay; Singapuri, Amisha; Woods, Joanne; Rapley, Laura; Cohen, Suzanne; Herath, Athula; Wardlaw, Andrew J; Pashley, Catherine H; May, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus sensitization and culture in asthma are associated with disease severity and lung function impairment, but their relationship with airway inflammation is poorly understood. We investigated the profile of 24 sputum inflammatory mediators in A. fumigatus culture-positive or-negative moderate-to-severe asthmatics. Fifty-two subjects were recruited from a single center. A. fumigatus was cultured from 19 asthmatics. Asthma control, symptom score, lung function, and sputum cell count were not significantly different between the asthmatics with and without a positive A. fumigatus culture. All of the sputum mediators were numerically increased in subjects with a positive versus negative sputum A. fumigatus culture. Sputum TNF-R2 was significantly elevated (P=0.03) and the mediator that best distinguished A. fumigatus culture-positive from culture-negative subjects (receiver-operator characteristic area under the curve 0.66 [95% CI: 0.51 to 0.82, P=0.045]). A. fumigates-positive culture in moderate-to-severe asthma is associated with increased inflammatory sputum mediators. PMID:28102063

  11. Sputum Inflammatory Mediators Are Increased in Aspergillus fumigatus Culture-Positive Asthmatics.

    PubMed

    Ghebre, Michael A; Desai, Dhananjay; Singapuri, Amisha; Woods, Joanne; Rapley, Laura; Cohen, Suzanne; Herath, Athula; Wardlaw, Andrew J; Pashley, Catherine H; May, Richard; Brightling, Chris E

    2017-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus sensitization and culture in asthma are associated with disease severity and lung function impairment, but their relationship with airway inflammation is poorly understood. We investigated the profile of 24 sputum inflammatory mediators in A. fumigatus culture-positive or-negative moderate-to-severe asthmatics. Fifty-two subjects were recruited from a single center. A. fumigatus was cultured from 19 asthmatics. Asthma control, symptom score, lung function, and sputum cell count were not significantly different between the asthmatics with and without a positive A. fumigatus culture. All of the sputum mediators were numerically increased in subjects with a positive versus negative sputum A. fumigatus culture. Sputum TNF-R2 was significantly elevated (P=0.03) and the mediator that best distinguished A. fumigatus culture-positive from culture-negative subjects (receiver-operator characteristic area under the curve 0.66 [95% CI: 0.51 to 0.82, P=0.045]). A. fumigates-positive culture in moderate-to-severe asthma is associated with increased inflammatory sputum mediators.

  12. What makes Aspergillus fumigatus a successful pathogen? Genes and molecules involved in invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Abad, Ana; Fernández-Molina, Jimena Victoria; Bikandi, Joseba; Ramírez, Andoni; Margareto, Javier; Sendino, Javier; Hernando, Fernando Luis; Pontón, Jose; Garaizar, Javier; Rementeria, Aitor

    2010-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogen that causes 90% of invasive aspergillosis (IA) due to Aspergillus genus, with a 50-95% mortality rate. It has been postulated that certain virulence factors are characteristic of A. fumigatus, but the "non-classical" virulence factors seem to be highly variable. Overall, published studies have demonstrated that the virulence of this fungus is multifactorial, associated with its structure, its capacity for growth and adaptation to stress conditions, its mechanisms for evading the immune system and its ability to cause damage to the host. In this review we intend to give a general overview of the genes and molecules involved in the development of IA. The thermotolerance section focuses on five genes related with the capacity of the fungus to grow at temperatures above 30°C (thtA, cgrA, afpmt1, kre2/afmnt1, and hsp1/asp f 12). The following sections discuss molecules and genes related to interaction with the host and with the immune responses. These sections include β-glucan, α-glucan, chitin, galactomannan, galactomannoproteins (afmp1/asp f 17 and afmp2), hydrophobins (rodA/hyp1 and rodB), DHN-melanin, their respective synthases (fks1, rho1-4, ags1-3, chsA-G, och1-4, mnn9, van1, anp1, glfA, pksP/alb1, arp1, arp2, abr1, abr2, and ayg1), and modifying enzymes (gel1-7, bgt1, eng1, ecm33, afpigA, afpmt1-2, afpmt4, kre2/afmnt1, afmnt2-3, afcwh41 and pmi); several enzymes related to oxidative stress protection such as catalases (catA, cat1/catB, cat2/katG, catC, and catE), superoxide dismutases (sod1, sod2, sod3/asp f 6, and sod4), fatty acid oxygenases (ppoA-C), glutathione tranferases (gstA-E), and others (afyap1, skn7, and pes1); and efflux transporters (mdr1-4, atrF, abcA-E, and msfA-E). In addition, this review considers toxins and related genes, such as a diffusible toxic substance from conidia, gliotoxin (gliP and gliZ), mitogillin (res/mitF/asp f 1), hemolysin (aspHS), festuclavine and fumigaclavine A

  13. Infection-Mediated Priming of Phagocytes Protects against Lethal Secondary Aspergillus fumigatus Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Savers, Amélie; Rasid, Orhan; Parlato, Marianna; Brock, Matthias; Jouvion, Gregory; Ryffel, Bernhard; Cavaillon, Jean-Marc; Eberl, Gerard; Ibrahim-Granet, Oumaïma

    2016-01-01

    Phagocytes restrict the germination of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and prevent the establishment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in immunecompetent mice. Here we report that immunecompetent mice recovering from a primary A. fumigatus challenge are protected against a secondary lethal challenge. Using RAGγc knock-out mice we show that this protection is independent of T, B and NK cells. In protected mice, lung phagocytes are recruited more rapidly and are more efficient in conidial phagocytosis and killing. Protection was also associated with an enhanced expression of CXCR2 and Dectin-1 on bone marrow phagocytes. We also show that protective lung cytokine and chemokine responses are induced more rapidly and with enhanced dynamics in protected mice. Our findings support the hypothesis that following a first encounter with a non-lethal dose of A. fumigatus conidia, the innate immune system is primed and can mediate protection against a secondary lethal infection. PMID:27078879

  14. Multicentric epidemiological study of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis.

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, E; De Meeüs, T; Mallie, M; Renaud, F; Symoens, F; Mondon, P; Piens, M A; Lebeau, B; Viviani, M A; Grillot, R; Nolard, N; Chapuis, F; Tortorano, A M; Bastide, J M

    1996-01-01

    The genotypes of 63 isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus obtained from three hospitals in different geographical areas and of eight culture collection strains were determined by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Twelve of the 17 enzymatic loci studied were polymorphic, giving rise to 48 different electrophoretic types. The existence of fixed multilocus genotypes, significant heterozygote deficits and excesses at the different loci, and linkage disequilibria within subpopulations strongly suggests a clonal reproduction mode for A. fumigatus. Numerical analysis of the comparison and disposition of the different electrophoretic types demonstrates a significant genetic differentiation between the three sampling sites. However, no correlation could be found between geographical distances and genetic differentiation. On account of the multiple discriminatory markers, multilocus enzyme electrophoresis typing seems to be a very powerful tool for epidemiological and reproductive mode studies of A. fumigatus. PMID:8880520

  15. FunResDB-A web resource for genotypic susceptibility testing of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Weber, Michael; Schaer, Jonas; Walther, Grit; Kaerger, Kerstin; Steinmann, Jörg; Rath, Peter-Michael; Spiess, Birgit; Buchheidt, Dieter; Hamprecht, Axel; Kurzai, Oliver

    2017-03-11

    Therapy of invasive aspergillosis is becoming more difficult due to the emergence of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus. A majority of resistant strains carries mutations in the CYP51A gene. Due to a lack of sensitivity of culture-based methods, molecular detection of A. fumigatus has become an important diagnostic tool. We set up the database FunResDB (www.nrz-myk.de/funresdb) to gather all available information about CYP51A-dependent azole resistance from published literature. In summary, the screening resulted in 79 CYP51A variants, which are linked to 59 nonsynonymous mutations. A tailor-made online sequence analysis tool allows for genotypic susceptibility testing of A. fumigatus.

  16. Surface structure characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia mutated in the melanin synthesis pathway and their human cellular immune response.

    PubMed

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Beaussart, Audrey; Dufrêne, Yves F; Sharma, Meenu; Bansal, Kushagra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Brakhage, Axel A; Kaveri, Srini V; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Beauvais, Anne

    2014-08-01

    In Aspergillus fumigatus, the conidial surface contains dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin. Six-clustered gene products have been identified that mediate sequential catalysis of DHN-melanin biosynthesis. Melanin thus produced is known to be a virulence factor, protecting the fungus from the host defense mechanisms. In the present study, individual deletion of the genes involved in the initial three steps of melanin biosynthesis resulted in an altered conidial surface with masked surface rodlet layer, leaky cell wall allowing the deposition of proteins on the cell surface and exposing the otherwise-masked cell wall polysaccharides at the surface. Melanin as such was immunologically inert; however, deletion mutant conidia with modified surfaces could activate human dendritic cells and the subsequent cytokine production in contrast to the wild-type conidia. Cell surface defects were rectified in the conidia mutated in downstream melanin biosynthetic pathway, and maximum immune inertness was observed upon synthesis of vermelone onward. These observations suggest that although melanin as such is an immunologically inert material, it confers virulence by facilitating proper formation of the A. fumigatus conidial surface.

  17. Surface Structure Characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia Mutated in the Melanin Synthesis Pathway and Their Human Cellular Immune Response

    PubMed Central

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Beaussart, Audrey; Dufrêne, Yves F.; Sharma, Meenu; Bansal, Kushagra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Brakhage, Axel A.; Kaveri, Srini V.; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J.

    2014-01-01

    In Aspergillus fumigatus, the conidial surface contains dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin. Six-clustered gene products have been identified that mediate sequential catalysis of DHN-melanin biosynthesis. Melanin thus produced is known to be a virulence factor, protecting the fungus from the host defense mechanisms. In the present study, individual deletion of the genes involved in the initial three steps of melanin biosynthesis resulted in an altered conidial surface with masked surface rodlet layer, leaky cell wall allowing the deposition of proteins on the cell surface and exposing the otherwise-masked cell wall polysaccharides at the surface. Melanin as such was immunologically inert; however, deletion mutant conidia with modified surfaces could activate human dendritic cells and the subsequent cytokine production in contrast to the wild-type conidia. Cell surface defects were rectified in the conidia mutated in downstream melanin biosynthetic pathway, and maximum immune inertness was observed upon synthesis of vermelone onward. These observations suggest that although melanin as such is an immunologically inert material, it confers virulence by facilitating proper formation of the A. fumigatus conidial surface. PMID:24818666

  18. Endoplasmic reticulum localized PerA is required for cell wall integrity, azole drug resistance, and virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Dawoon; Thammahong, Arsa; Shepardson, Kelly M.; Blosser, Sara J.; Cramer, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary GPI-anchoring is a universal and critical post-translational protein modification in eukaryotes. In fungi, many cell wall proteins are GPI-anchored, and disruption of GPI-anchored proteins impairs cell wall integrity. After being synthesized and attached to target proteins, GPI anchors undergo modification on lipid moieties. In spite of its importance for GPI-anchored protein functions, our current knowledge of GPI lipid remodeling in pathogenic fungi is limited. In this study, we characterized the role of a putative GPI lipid remodeling protein, designated PerA, in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. PerA localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum and loss of PerA leads to striking defects in cell wall integrity. A perA null mutant has decreased conidia production, increased susceptibility to triazole antifungal drugs, and is avirulent in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Interestingly, loss of PerA increases exposure of β-glucan and chitin content on the hyphal cell surface, but diminished TNF production by bone marrow derived macrophages relative to wild type. Given the structural specificity of fungal GPI-anchors, which is different from humans, understanding GPI lipid remodeling and PerA function in A. fumigatus is a promising research direction to uncover a new fungal specific antifungal drug target. PMID:24779420

  19. Oxygen and an Extracellular Phase Transition Independently Control Central Regulatory Genes and Conidiogenesis in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chi, Myoung-Hwan; Craven, Kelly D.

    2013-01-01

    Conidiogenesis is the primary process for asexual reproduction in filamentous fungi. As the conidia resulting from the conidiogenesis process are primarily disseminated via air currents and/or water, an outstanding question has been how fungi recognize aerial environments suitable for conidial development. In this study, we documented the somewhat complex development of the conidia-bearing structures, termed conidiophores, from several Aspergillus species in a subsurface (gel-phase) layer of solid media. A subset of the isolates studied was able to develop conidiophores in a gel-phase environment, but exposure to the aeriform environment was required for the terminal developmental transition from phialide cells to conidia. The remaining Aspergilli could not initiate the conidiogenesis process until they were exposed to the aeriform environment. Our observations of conidiophore development in high or low oxygen conditions in both aeriform and gel-phase environments revealed that oxygen and the aeriform state are positive environmental factors for inducing conidiogenesis in most of the aspergilli tested in this study. Transcriptional analysis using A. fumigatus strain AF293 confined to either the aeriform or gel-phase environments revealed that expression of a key regulatory gene for conidiophore development (AfubrlA) is facilitated by oxygen while expression of another regulatory gene controlling conidia formation from phialides (AfuabaA) was repressed regardless of oxygen levels in the gel-embedded environment. Furthermore, by comparing the developmental behavior of conidiation-defective mutants lacking genes controlling various regulatory checkpoints throughout the conidiogenesis pathway, we propose that this aerial response by the fungus requires both oxygen and the phase transition (solid to aeriform), with these environmental signals integrating into the upstream regulatory pathway and central regulatory pathway of conidiogenesis, respectively. Our findings

  20. Deletion of afpab1 Causes Increased Sensitivity to Oxidative Stress and Hypovirulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Dongyang; Wang, Shunan; He, Dan; Gao, Song; Xue, Baiji; Wang, Li

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus AFPAB1 is the ortholog of the Aspergillus oryzae cytoplasmic messenger ribonucleoprotein granules AOPAB1 that function to depress the initiation of translation during stress. A. fumigatus can regulate its cellular physiology in response to environmental stresses, but there has been no research on Pab1 in A. fumigatus. The associated gene afpab1 was replaced with a hygromycin-selectable marker to generate the strain Δafpab1. Phenotypic analysis showed that the Δafpab1 grew more weakly than the wild-type strain. Also the germination rate of Δafpab1 was decreased when exposed to oxidative stress. The morphology of Δafpab1 spores also showed great changes. The killing rate of Δafpab1 by RAW264.7 murine macrophage cells was increased, and the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging ability of Δafpab1 was decreased. Pathogenicity testing showed that the deletion strain had decreased virulence. Therefore, we conclude that afpab1 activity is correlated with susceptibility to oxidative stress, and deletion of afpab1 from A. fumigatus possibly leads to observed hypovirulence in an immunosuppressed mouse model. PMID:27801871

  1. Aspergillus fumigatus AcuM Regulates both Iron Acquisition and Gluconeogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hong; Gravelat, Fabrice N.; Chiang, Lisa Y.; Chen, Dan; Vanier, Ghyslaine; Ejzykowicz, Daniele E.; Ibrahim, Ashraf S.; Nierman, William C.; Sheppard, Donald C.; Filler, Scott G.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Relatively few transcription factors that govern the virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus are known. We constructed 11 A. fumigatus transcription factor mutants and screened them for altered virulence in Galleria mellonella larvae. We discovered that the zinc cluster transcription factor, AcuM, is essential for maximal virulence in this model, as well as in murine models of hematogenously disseminated and invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Transcriptional profiling experiments suggested that AcuM suppresses sreA and induces hapX to stimulate expression of genes involved in both reductive iron assimilation and siderophore-mediated iron uptake. Consistent with these results, a ΔacuM mutant had reduced iron incorporation, decreased extracellular siderophore production, and impaired capacity to grow under iron-limited conditions. Interestingly, an Aspergillus nidulans ΔacuM mutant had normal extracellular siderophore production and growth under iron-limited conditions, indicating that AcuM does not govern iron acquisition in this organism. A. fumigatus AcuM also regulated genes involved in gluconeogenesis, and the ΔacuM mutant had impaired growth on gluconeogenic carbon sources. Deletion of sreA in the ΔacuM mutant restored iron uptake, extracellular siderophore production, and virulence, but not the defect in gluconeogenesis. Thus, AcuM represses SreA and thereby induces iron acquisition, a process that is essential for the maximal virulence of A. fumigatus. PMID:21062375

  2. Aspergillus fumigatus Trehalose-Regulatory Subunit Homolog Moonlights To Mediate Cell Wall Homeostasis through Modulation of Chitin Synthase Activity.

    PubMed

    Thammahong, Arsa; Caffrey-Card, Alayna K; Dhingra, Sourabh; Obar, Joshua J; Cramer, Robert A

    2017-04-25

    Trehalose biosynthesis is found in fungi but not humans. Proteins involved in trehalose biosynthesis are essential for fungal pathogen virulence in humans and plants through multiple mechanisms. Loss of canonical trehalose biosynthesis genes in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus significantly alters cell wall structure and integrity, though the mechanistic link between these virulence-associated pathways remains enigmatic. Here we characterize genes, called tslA and tslB, which encode proteins that contain domains similar to those corresponding to trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase but lack critical catalytic residues for phosphatase activity. Loss of tslA reduces trehalose content in both conidia and mycelia, impairs cell wall integrity, and significantly alters cell wall structure. To gain mechanistic insights into the role that TslA plays in cell wall homeostasis, immunoprecipitation assays coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were used to reveal a direct interaction between TslA and CsmA, a type V chitin synthase enzyme. TslA regulates not only chitin synthase activity but also CsmA sub-cellular localization. Loss of TslA impacts the immunopathogenesis of murine invasive pulmonary aspergillosis through altering cytokine production and immune cell recruitment. In conclusion, our data provide a novel model whereby proteins in the trehalose pathway play a direct role in fungal cell wall homeostasis and consequently impact fungus-host interactions.IMPORTANCE Human fungal infections are increasing globally due to HIV infections and increased use of immunosuppressive therapies for many diseases. Therefore, new antifungal drugs with reduced side effects and increased efficacy are needed to improve treatment outcomes. Trehalose biosynthesis exists in pathogenic fungi and is absent in humans. Components of the trehalose biosynthesis pathway are important for the virulence of human-pathogenic fungi, including Aspergillus fumigatus

  3. Genetic diversity among isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus in patients with cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Rath, P M; Ratjen, F; Ansorg, R

    1997-02-01

    Strains of Aspergillus fumigatus (n = 24) were isolated from the sputa of six patients with cystic fibrosis during periods from 3 to 11 months. The genetic polymorphisms of the strains were studied using the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) assay with three single oligonucleotides and pairwise combined primers. The analysis of RAPD patterns resulted in 15 different RAPD types. In four patients, the colonizing type changed, whereas in two others the same types were detected over periods between 3 and 11 months. The genetic diversity as well as the shift of the colonizing strains found in some patients might be important for the epidemiology of Aspergillus infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.

  4. Aspergillus fumigatus native valve infective endocarditis in an otherwise healthy adult

    PubMed Central

    Ikediobi, Uchenna

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Fungal endocarditis is a rare cause of infective endocarditis, and Aspergillus spp. account for up to 30 % of all cases. Risk factors include intravenous drug use, immunosuppression, malignancy and the presence of prosthetic valves. Case presentation: We present a case of A. fumigatus endocarditis in a patient without any known or described risk factors. Conclusion: Diagnosis of Aspergillus endocarditis requires a high clinical index of suspicion, given the initial non-specific presentation, and treatment may require both medical and surgical therapies to ensure improved outcomes, but mortality rates still approach 80 %. Voriconazole remains the antifungal agent of choice. PMID:28348749

  5. Contamination of a purified water system by Aspergillus fumigatus in a new endoscopy reprocessing unit.

    PubMed

    Khalsa, Kamaljit; Smith, Andrew; Morrison, Patrick; Shaw, David; Peat, Marie; Howard, Paul; Hamilton, Kate; Stewart, Alan

    2014-12-01

    Use of purified water for the final rinse stage of disinfected endoscopes is an important element of quality control. We describe the detection and management of Aspergillus fumigatus contamination of a new reverse osmosis unit supplying 10 automated endoscope reprocessor basins. Prompt detection and reaction to this contaminant were possible because of the introduction of a comprehensive program for microbiological monitoring of rinse waters, which included total viable counts, endotoxin, conductivity, and Pseudomonas spp.

  6. Calcium-Mediated Induction of Paradoxical Growth following Caspofungin Treatment Is Associated with Calcineurin Activation and Phosphorylation in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Juvvadi, Praveen R; Muñoz, Alberto; Lamoth, Frédéric; Soderblom, Erik J; Moseley, M Arthur; Read, Nick D; Steinbach, William J

    2015-08-01

    The echinocandin antifungal drug caspofungin at high concentrations reverses the growth inhibition of Aspergillus fumigatus, a phenomenon known as the "paradoxical effect," which is not consistently observed with other echinocandins (micafungin and anidulafungin). Previous studies of A. fumigatus revealed the loss of the paradoxical effect following pharmacological or genetic inhibition of calcineurin, yet the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we utilized a codon-optimized bioluminescent Ca(2+) reporter aequorin expression system in A. fumigatus and showed that caspofungin elicits a transient increase in cytosolic free Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]c) in the fungus that acts as the initial trigger of the paradoxical effect by activating calmodulin-calcineurin signaling. While the increase in [Ca(2+)]c was also observed upon treatment with micafungin, another echinocandin without the paradoxical effect, a higher [Ca(2+)]c increase was noted with the paradoxical-growth concentration of caspofungin. Treatments with a Ca(2+)-selective chelator, BAPTA [1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid], or the L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker verapamil abolished caspofungin-mediated paradoxical growth in both the wild-type and the echinocandin-resistant (EMFR-S678P) strains. Concomitant with increased [Ca(2+)]c levels at higher concentrations of caspofungin, calmodulin and calcineurin gene expression was enhanced. Phosphoproteomic analysis revealed that calcineurin is activated through phosphorylation at its serine-proline-rich region (SPRR), a domain previously shown to be essential for regulation of hyphal growth, only at a paradoxical-growth concentration of caspofungin. Our results indicate that as opposed to micafungin, the increased [Ca(2+)]c at high concentrations of caspofungin activates calmodulin-calcineurin signaling at both a transcriptional and a posttranslational level and ultimately leads to paradoxical fungal growth.

  7. Optimization of decolorization of palm oil mill effluent (POME) by growing cultures of Aspergillus fumigatus using response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Neoh, Chin Hong; Yahya, Adibah; Adnan, Robiah; Abdul Majid, Zaiton; Ibrahim, Zaharah

    2013-05-01

    The conventional treatment process of palm oil mill effluent (POME) produces a highly colored effluent. Colored compounds in POME cause reduction in photosynthetic activities, produce carcinogenic by-products in drinking water, chelate with metal ions, and are toxic to aquatic biota. Thus, failure of conventional treatment methods to decolorize POME has become an important problem to be addressed as color has emerged as a critical water quality parameter for many countries such as Malaysia. Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from POME sludge was successfully grown in POME supplemented with glucose. Statistical optimization studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of the types and concentrations of carbon and nitrogen sources, pH, temperature, and size of the inoculum. Characterization of the fungus was performed using scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and Brunauer, Emmet, and Teller surface area analysis. Optimum conditions using response surface methods at pH 5.7, 35 °C, and 0.57 % w/v glucose with 2.5 % v/v inoculum size resulted in a successful removal of 71 % of the color (initial ADMI of 3,260); chemical oxygen demand, 71 %; ammoniacal nitrogen, 35 %; total polyphenolic compounds, 50 %; and lignin, 54 % after 5 days of treatment. The decolorization process was contributed mainly by biosorption involving pseudo-first-order kinetics. FTIR analysis revealed that the presence of hydroxyl, C-H alkane, amide carbonyl, nitro, and amine groups could combine intensively with the colored compounds in POME. This is the first reported work on the application of A. fumigatus for the decolorization of POME. The present investigation suggested that growing cultures of A. fumigatus has potential applications for the decolorization of POME through the biosorption and biodegradation processes.

  8. Susceptibility of larvae of Galleria mellonella to infection by Aspergillus fumigatus is dependent upon stage of conidial germination.

    PubMed

    Renwick, Julie; Daly, Paul; Reeves, Emer P; Kavanagh, Kevin

    2006-06-01

    The ability of conidia of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus to kill larvae of the insect Galleria mellonella was investigated. Conidia at different stages of the germination process displayed variations in their virulence as measured using the Galleria infection model. Non-germinating ('resting') conidia were avirulent except when an inoculation density of 1 x 10(7) conidia per insect was used. Conidia that had been induced to commence the germination process by pre-culturing in growth medium for 3 h were capable of killing larvae at densities of 1 x 10(6) and 1 x 10(7) per insect. An inoculation density of 1 x 10(5) conidia per insect remained avirulent. Conidia in the outgrowth phase of germination (characterised as the formation of a germ tube) were the most virulent and were capable of killing 100% of larvae after 5 or 24 h when 1 x 10(7) or 1 x 10(6) conidia, that had been allowed to germinate for 24 h, were used. Examination of the response of insect haemocytes to conidia at different stages of the germination process established that haemocytes could engulf non-germinating conidia and those in the early stages of the germination process but that conidia, which had reached the outgrowth stages of germination were not phagocytosed. The results presented here indicate that haemocytes of G. mellonella are capable of phagocytosing A. fumigatus conidia less than 3.0 microm in diameter but that conidia greater than this are too large to be engulfed. The virulence of A. fumigatus in G. mellonella larvae can be ascertained within 60-90 h if infection densities of 1 x 10(6) or 1 x 10(7) activated conidia (pre-incubated for 2-3 h) per insect are employed.

  9. Screening of Xylanolytic Aspergillus fumigatus for Prebiotic Xylooligosaccharide Production Using Bagasse.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Ana Flavia Azevedo; Neto, Pedro de Oliva; Zaghetto de Almeida, Paula; Bueno da Silva, Juliana; Escaramboni, Bruna; Pastore, Glaucia Maria

    2015-12-01

    Sugarcane bagasse is an important lignocellulosic material studied for the production of xylooligosaccharides (XOS). Some XOS are considered soluble dietary fibre, with low caloric value and prebiotic effect, but they are expensive and not easily available. In a screening of 138 fungi, only nine were shortlisted, and just Aspergillus fumigatus M51 (35.6 U/mL) and A. fumigatus U2370 (28.5 U/mL) were selected as the most significant producers of xylanases. These fungi had low β-xylosidase activity, which is desirable for the production of XOS. The xylanases from Trichoderma reesei CCT 2768, A. fumigatus M51 and A. fumigatus U2370 gave a significantly higher XOS yield, 11.9, 14.7 and 7.9% respectively, in a 3-hour reaction with hemicellulose from sugarcane bagasse. These enzymes are relatively thermostable at 40-50 °C and can be used in a wide range of pH values. Furthermore, these xylanases produced more prebiotic XOS (xylobiose and xylotriose) when compared with a commercial xylanase. The xylanases from A. fumigatus M51 reached a high level of XOS production (37.6%) in 48-72 h using hemicellulose extracted from sugarcane bagasse. This yield represents 68.8 kg of prebiotic XOS per metric tonne of cane bagasse. In addition, in a biorefinery, after hemicellulose extraction for XOS production, the residual cellulose could be used for the production of second-generation ethanol.

  10. Molecular Characterization of the Putative Transcription Factor SebA Involved in Virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Almeida, Ricardo S.; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Zambelli Ramalho, Leandra Naira; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S.

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a major opportunistic pathogen and allergen of mammals. Nutrient sensing and acquisition mechanisms, as well as the capability to cope with different stressing conditions, are essential for A. fumigatus virulence and survival in the mammalian host. This study characterized the A. fumigatus SebA transcription factor, which is the putative homologue of the factor encoded by Trichoderma atroviride seb1. The ΔsebA mutant demonstrated reduced growth in the presence of paraquat, hydrogen peroxide, CaCl2, and poor nutritional conditions, while viability associated with sebA was also affected by heat shock exposure. Accordingly, SebA::GFP (SebA::green fluorescent protein) was shown to accumulate in the nucleus upon exposure to oxidative stress and heat shock conditions. In addition, genes involved in either the oxidative stress or heat shock response had reduced transcription in the ΔsebA mutant. The A. fumigatus ΔsebA strain was attenuated in virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Furthermore, killing of the ΔsebA mutant by murine alveolar macrophages was increased compared to killing of the wild-type strain. A. fumigatus SebA plays a complex role, contributing to several stress tolerance pathways and growth under poor nutritional conditions, and seems to be integrated into different stress responses. PMID:22345349

  11. Molecular characterization of the putative transcription factor SebA involved in virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Almeida, Ricardo S; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique

    2012-04-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a major opportunistic pathogen and allergen of mammals. Nutrient sensing and acquisition mechanisms, as well as the capability to cope with different stressing conditions, are essential for A. fumigatus virulence and survival in the mammalian host. This study characterized the A. fumigatus SebA transcription factor, which is the putative homologue of the factor encoded by Trichoderma atroviride seb1. The ΔsebA mutant demonstrated reduced growth in the presence of paraquat, hydrogen peroxide, CaCl2, and poor nutritional conditions, while viability associated with sebA was also affected by heat shock exposure. Accordingly, SebA::GFP (SebA::green fluorescent protein) was shown to accumulate in the nucleus upon exposure to oxidative stress and heat shock conditions. In addition, genes involved in either the oxidative stress or heat shock response had reduced transcription in the ΔsebA mutant. The A. fumigatus ΔsebA strain was attenuated in virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Furthermore, killing of the ΔsebA mutant by murine alveolar macrophages was increased compared to killing of the wild-type strain. A. fumigatus SebA plays a complex role, contributing to several stress tolerance pathways and growth under poor nutritional conditions, and seems to be integrated into different stress responses.

  12. Oxidative burst and neutrophil elastase contribute to clearance of Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia in mice.

    PubMed

    Prüfer, Steve; Weber, Michael; Stein, Pamela; Bosmann, Markus; Stassen, Michael; Kreft, Andreas; Schild, Hansjörg; Radsak, Markus P

    2014-02-01

    Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) are important for the control of invasive aspergillosis (IA), a major threat to immunocompromised individuals. For clearance of Aspergillus fumigatus infections, PMN employ their potent oxidative and non-oxidative mechanisms. To clarify the relative contribution of these mechanisms, we analyzed p47(phox-/-), gp91(phox-/-) and elastase (ELA) deficient mice (ELANE) after intratracheal infection with A. fumigatus. Infected p47(phox-/-) and gp91(phox-/-) mice died within 4 days and had a significant higher fungal burden in the lungs compared to wild-type controls. Interestingly, the survival of ELANE mice after infection was unimpaired suggesting that ELA is not essential here. Nevertheless, A. fumigatus clearance was delayed in ELANE mice indicating a partial contribution of ELA to fungal immunity. Comparing p47(phox-/-), gp91(phox-/-) or ELANE mice for PMN activation and recruitment to the lungs, we were unable to detect significant differences in vitro or in vivo among mutant or wild-type strains suggesting intact PMN functionality of basic effector mechanisms. Fungal killing in vitro by ELA deficient PMN was comparably reduced as in p47(phox-/-) and gp91(phox-/-) deficient PMN corroborating the importance of oxidative and non-oxidative PMN mechanisms for the control of fungal outgrowth. Taken together, this suggests that intact oxidative as well as non-oxidative PMN effector functions are highly relevant for the control of A. fumigatus infections in vitro and in vivo. While ELA contributes to clearance of A. fumigatus, the oxidative functions are essential for survival.

  13. Screening of Xylanolytic Aspergillus fumigatus for Prebiotic Xylooligosaccharide Production Using Bagasse

    PubMed Central

    Neto, Pedro de Oliva; Zaghetto de Almeida, Paula; Bueno da Silva, Juliana; Escaramboni, Bruna; Pastore, Glaucia Maria

    2015-01-01

    Summary Sugarcane bagasse is an important lignocellulosic material studied for the production of xylooligosaccharides (XOS). Some XOS are considered soluble dietary fibre, with low caloric value and prebiotic effect, but they are expensive and not easily available. In a screening of 138 fungi, only nine were shortlisted, and just Aspergillus fumigatus M51 (35.6 U/mL) and A. fumigatus U2370 (28.5 U/mL) were selected as the most significant producers of xylanases. These fungi had low β-xylosidase activity, which is desirable for the production of XOS. The xylanases from Trichoderma reesei CCT 2768, A. fumigatus M51 and A. fumigatus U2370 gave a significantly higher XOS yield, 11.9, 14.7 and 7.9% respectively, in a 3-hour reaction with hemicellulose from sugarcane bagasse. These enzymes are relatively thermostable at 40–50 °C and can be used in a wide range of pH values. Furthermore, these xylanases produced more prebiotic XOS (xylobiose and xylotriose) when compared with a commercial xylanase. The xylanases from A. fumigatus M51 reached a high level of XOS production (37.6%) in 48–72 h using hemicellulose extracted from sugarcane bagasse. This yield represents 68.8 kg of prebiotic XOS per metric tonne of cane bagasse. In addition, in a biorefinery, after hemicellulose extraction for XOS production, the residual cellulose could be used for the production of second-generation ethanol. PMID:27904377

  14. Development of the CRISPR/Cas9 System for Targeted Gene Disruption in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Kevin K.

    2015-01-01

    Low rates of homologous recombination have broadly encumbered genetic studies in the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The CRISPR/Cas9 system of bacteria has recently been developed for targeted mutagenesis of eukaryotic genomes with high efficiency and, importantly, through a mechanism independent of homologous repair machinery. As this new technology has not been developed for use in A. fumigatus, we sought to test its feasibility for targeted gene disruption in this organism. As a proof of principle, we first demonstrated that CRISPR/Cas9 can indeed be used for high-efficiency (25 to 53%) targeting of the A. fumigatus polyketide synthase gene (pksP), as evidenced by the generation of colorless (albino) mutants harboring the expected genomic alteration. We further demonstrated that the constitutive expression of the Cas9 nuclease by itself is not deleterious to A. fumigatus growth or virulence, thus making the CRISPR system compatible with studies involved in pathogenesis. Taken together, these data demonstrate that CRISPR can be utilized for loss-of-function studies in A. fumigatus and has the potential to bolster the genetic toolbox for this important pathogen. PMID:26318395

  15. Heterogeneity among Isolates Reveals that Fitness in Low Oxygen Correlates with Aspergillus fumigatus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Kowalski, Caitlin H.; Beattie, Sarah R.; Fuller, Kevin K.; McGurk, Elizabeth A.; Tang, Yi-Wei; Hohl, Tobias M.; Obar, Joshua J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Previous work has shown that environmental and clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus represent a diverse population that occupies a variety of niches, has extensive genetic diversity, and exhibits virulence heterogeneity in a number of animal models of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). However, mechanisms explaining differences in virulence among A. fumigatus isolates remain enigmatic. Here, we report a significant difference in virulence of two common lab strains, CEA10 and AF293, in the murine triamcinolone immunosuppression model of IPA, in which we previously identified severe low oxygen microenvironments surrounding fungal lesions. Therefore, we hypothesize that the ability to thrive within these lesions of low oxygen promotes virulence of A. fumigatus in this model. To test this hypothesis, we performed in vitro fitness and in vivo virulence analyses in the triamcinolone murine model of IPA with 14 environmental and clinical isolates of A. fumigatus. Among these isolates, we observed a strong correlation between fitness in low oxygen in vitro and virulence. In further support of our hypothesis, experimental evolution of AF293, a strain that exhibits reduced fitness in low oxygen and reduced virulence in the triamcinolone model of IPA, results in a strain (EVOL20) that has increased hypoxia fitness and a corresponding increase in virulence. Thus, the ability to thrive in low oxygen correlates with virulence of A. fumigatus isolates in the context of steroid-mediated murine immunosuppression. PMID:27651366

  16. The Aspergillus fumigatus sialidase is a 3-deoxy-D-glycero-D-galacto-2-nonulosonic acid hydrolase (KDNase): structural and mechanistic insights.

    PubMed

    Telford, Judith C; Yeung, Juliana H F; Xu, Guogang; Kiefel, Milton J; Watts, Andrew G; Hader, Stefan; Chan, Jefferson; Bennet, Andrew J; Moore, Margo M; Taylor, Garry L

    2011-03-25

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a filamentous fungus that can cause severe respiratory disease in immunocompromised individuals. A putative sialidase from A. fumigatus was recently cloned and shown to be relatively poor in cleaving N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) in comparison with bacterial sialidases. Here we present the first crystal structure of a fungal sialidase. When the apo structure was compared with bacterial sialidase structures, the active site of the Aspergillus enzyme suggested that Neu5Ac would be a poor substrate because of a smaller pocket that normally accommodates the acetamido group of Neu5Ac in sialidases. A sialic acid with a hydroxyl in place of an acetamido group is 2-keto-3-deoxynononic acid (KDN). We show that KDN is the preferred substrate for the A. fumigatus sialidase and that A. fumigatus can utilize KDN as a sole carbon source. A 1.45-Å resolution crystal structure of the enzyme in complex with KDN reveals KDN in the active site in a boat conformation and nearby a second binding site occupied by KDN in a chair conformation, suggesting that polyKDN may be a natural substrate. The enzyme is not inhibited by the sialidase transition state analog 2-deoxy-2,3-dehydro-N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac2en) but is inhibited by the related 2,3-didehydro-2,3-dideoxy-D-glycero-D-galacto-nonulosonic acid that we show bound to the enzyme in a 1.84-Å resolution crystal structure. Using a fluorinated KDN substrate, we present a 1.5-Å resolution structure of a covalently bound catalytic intermediate. The A. fumigatus sialidase is therefore a KDNase with a similar catalytic mechanism to Neu5Ac exosialidases, and this study represents the first structure of a KDNase.

  17. Intra- and inter-individual variability of Aspergillus fumigatus reactive T-cell frequencies in healthy volunteers in dependency of mould exposure in residential and working environment.

    PubMed

    Wurster, Sebastian; Weis, Philipp; Page, Lukas; Helm, Johanna; Lazariotou, Maria; Einsele, Hermann; Ullmann, Andrew J

    2017-10-01

    Invasive aspergillosis remains a deadly disease in immunocompromised patients, whereas the combination of an exaggerated immune response and continuous exposure lead to various hyperinflammatory diseases. This pilot study aimed to gain an overview of the intra- and inter-individual variability in Aspergillus fumigatus reactive T-helper cells in healthy adults and the correlation with environmental mould exposure. In this flow cytometric study, the frequencies of CD154(+) A. fumigatus reactive T cells were evaluated in 70 healthy volunteers. All subjects completed a standardised questionnaire addressing their mould exposure. Subjects with intensive mould exposure in their professional or residential surrounding demonstrated considerably higher mean frequencies of A. fumigatus reactive T-helper and T-memory cells. Comparative evaluation of multiple measurements over time demonstrated relatively conserved reactive T-cell frequencies in the absence of major changes to the exposure profile, whereas those frequently exposed in professional environment or with changes to their risk score demonstrated a marked dependency of antigen reactive T-cell frequencies on recent mould exposure. This pilot study was the first to provide data on the intra-individual variability in A. fumigatus reactive T-cell frequencies and its linkage to mould encounter. Fungus reactive T cells are to be considered a valued tool for the assessment of environmental mould exposure. © 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  18. High-yield production of hydrophobins RodA and RodB from Aspergillus fumigatus in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Mona Højgaard; Borodina, Irina; Moresco, Jacob Lange; Svendsen, Winnie Edith; Frisvad, Jens Christian; Søndergaard, Ib

    2011-06-01

    Hydrophobins are small fungal proteins with amphipatic properties and the ability to self-assemble on a hydrophobic/hydrophilic interface; thus, many technical applications for hydrophobins have been suggested. The pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus expresses the hydrophobins RodA and RodB on the surface of its conidia. RodA is known to be of importance to the pathogenesis of the fungus, while the biological role of RodB is currently unknown. Here, we report the successful expression of both hydrophobins in Pichia pastoris and present fed-batch fermentation yields of 200-300 mg/l fermentation broth. Protein bands of expected sizes were detected by SDS-PAGE and western blotting, and the identity was further confirmed by tandem mass spectrometry. Both proteins were purified using his-affinity chromatography, and the high level of purity was verified by silver-stained SDS-PAGE. Recombinant RodA as well as rRodB were able to convert a glass surface from hydrophilic to hydrophobic similar to native RodA, but only rRodB was able to decrease the hydrophobicity of a Teflon-like surface to the same extent as native RodA, while rRodA showed this ability to a lesser extent. Recombinant RodA and native RodA showed a similar ability to emulsify air in water, while recombinant RodB could also emulsify oil in water better than the control protein bovine serum albumin (BSA). This is to our knowledge the first successful expression of hydrophobins from A. fumigatus in a eukaryote host, which makes it possible to further characterize both hydrophobins. Furthermore, the expression strategy and fed-batch production using P. pastoris may be transferred to hydrophobins from other species.

  19. Agent-Based Model of Human Alveoli Predicts Chemotactic Signaling by Epithelial Cells during Early Aspergillus fumigatus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Pollmächer, Johannes; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most important human fungal pathogens, causing life-threatening diseases. Since humans inhale hundreds to thousands of fungal conidia every day, the lower respiratory tract is the primary site of infection. Current interaction networks of the innate immune response attribute fungal recognition and detection to alveolar macrophages, which are thought to be the first cells to get in contact with the fungus. At present, these networks are derived from in vitro or in situ assays, as the peculiar physiology of the human lung makes in vivo experiments, including imaging on the cell-level, hard to realize. We implemented a spatio-temporal agent-based model of a human alveolus in order to perform in silico experiments of a virtual infection scenario, for an alveolus infected with A. fumigatus under physiological conditions. The virtual analog captures the three-dimensional alveolar morphology consisting of the two major alveolar epithelial cell types and the pores of Kohn as well as the dynamic process of respiration. To the best of our knowledge this is the first agent-based model of a dynamic human alveolus in the presence of respiration. A key readout of our simulations is the first-passage-time of alveolar macrophages, which is the period of time that elapses until the first physical macrophage-conidium contact is established. We tested for random and chemotactic migration modes of alveolar macrophages and varied their corresponding parameter sets. The resulting first-passage-time distributions imply that randomly migrating macrophages fail to find the conidium before the start of germination, whereas guidance by chemotactic signals derived from the alveolar epithelial cell associated with the fungus enables a secure and successful discovery of the pathogen in time. PMID:25360787

  20. A Novel Phosphoregulatory Switch Controls the Activity and Function of the Major Catalytic Subunit of Protein Kinase A in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Shwab, E. Keats; Juvvadi, Praveen R.; Waitt, Greg; Soderblom, Erik J.; Moseley, M. Arthur; Nicely, Nathan I.; Asfaw, Yohannes G.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Invasive aspergillosis (IA), caused by the filamentous fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, is a major cause of death among immunocompromised patients. The cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway is essential for hyphal growth and virulence of A. fumigatus, but the mechanism of regulation of PKA remains largely unknown. Here, we discovered a novel mechanism for the regulation of PKA activity in A. fumigatus via phosphorylation of key residues within the major catalytic subunit, PkaC1. Phosphopeptide enrichment and tandem mass spectrometry revealed the phosphorylation of PkaC1 at four sites (S175, T331, T333, and T337) with implications for important and diverse roles in the regulation of A. fumigatus PKA. While the phosphorylation at one of the residues (T333) is conserved in other species, the identification of three other residues represents previously unknown PKA phosphoregulation in A. fumigatus. Site-directed mutagenesis of the phosphorylated residues to mimic or prevent phosphorylation revealed dramatic effects on kinase activity, growth, conidiation, cell wall stress response, and virulence in both invertebrate and murine infection models. Three-dimensional structural modeling of A. fumigatus PkaC1 substantiated the positive or negative regulatory roles for specific residues. Suppression of PKA activity also led to downregulation of PkaC1 protein levels in an apparent novel negative-feedback mechanism. Taken together, we propose a model in which PkaC1 phosphorylation both positively and negatively modulates its activity. These findings pave the way for future discovery of fungus-specific aspects of this key signaling network. PMID:28174315

  1. In silico Identification of Potential Peptides or Allergen Shot Candidates Against Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Thakur, Raman; Shankar, Jata

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Aspergillus fumigatus is capable of causing invasive aspergillosis or acute bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and the current situation is alarming. There are no vaccine or allergen shots available for Aspergillus-induced allergies. Thus, a novel approach in designing of an effective vaccine or allergen shot candidate against A. fumigatus is needed. Using immunoinformatics approaches from the characterized A. fumigatus allergens, we have mapped epitopic regions to predict potential peptides that elicit both Aspergillus-specific T cells and B cell immune response. Experimentally derived immunodominant allergens were retrieved from www.allergen.org. A total of 23 allergenic proteins of A. fumigatus were retrieved. Out of 23 allergenic proteins, 13 of them showed high sequence similarity to both human and mouse counterparts and thus were eliminated from analysis due to possible cross-reactivity. Remaining allergens were subjected to T cell (major histocompatibility complex class I and II alleles) and B cell epitope prediction using immune epitope database analysis resource. Only five allergens have shown a common B and T cell epitopic region between human and mouse. They are Asp f1 {147–156 region (RVIYTYPNKV); Mitogillin}, Asp f2 {5–19 region (LRLAVLLPLAAPLVA); Hypothetical protein}, Asp f5 {305–322 region (LNNYRPSSSSLSFKY); Metalloprotease}, Asp f17 {98–106 region (AANAGGTVY); Hypothetical protein}, and Asp f34 {74–82 region (YIQDGSLYL); PhiA cell wall protein}. The epitopic region from these five allergenic proteins showed potential for development of single peptide- or multipeptide-based vaccine or allergen shots for experimental prioritization. PMID:27872794

  2. Detection of biofilm-grown Aspergillus fumigatus by means of atomic force spectroscopy: ultrastructural effects of alginate lyase.

    PubMed

    Papi, M; Maiorana, A; Bugli, F; Torelli, R; Posteraro, B; Maulucci, G; De Spirito, M; Sanguinetti, M

    2012-10-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus has become a leading cause of fungal morbidity and mortality, especially in immunocompromised patients. This fungus is able to grow as a multicellular community and produce a hydrophobic extracellular matrix (ECM), mainly composed of galactomannan and α-1,3 glucans, to protect itself from host defenses and antimicrobial drugs. This matrix envelops the fungus hyphae, binding them into a contiguous sheath on the colony surface, forming a biofilm and increasing the fungal resistance to adverse environmental factors. Adherence to host cells and resistance to physical removal play a key role in fungal colonization and invasion of the host and in a wide range of infections. Here we show that, by using atomic force spectroscopy, it is possible to exploit the peculiar hydrophobicity of the biofilm components (i.e., cell walls, ECM) to detect the biofilm spread, its growth, and lysis on rough surfaces. By means of this approach, we demonstrate that alginate lyase, an enzyme known to reduce negatively charged alginate levels in microbial biofilms, reduces the biofilm adhesion forces suggesting a loss of ECM from the biofilm, which could be used to enhance pharmacological treatments.

  3. IL-1α Signaling Is Critical for Leukocyte Recruitment after Pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Alayna K.; Lehmann, Margaret M.; Zickovich, Julianne M.; Espinosa, Vanessa; Shepardson, Kelly M.; Watschke, Christopher P.; Hilmer, Kimberly M.; Thammahong, Arsa; Barker, Bridget M.; Rivera, Amariliz; Cramer, Robert A.; Obar, Joshua J.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a mold that causes severe pulmonary infections. Our knowledge of how A. fumigatus growth is controlled in the respiratory tract is developing, but still limited. Alveolar macrophages, lung resident macrophages, and airway epithelial cells constitute the first lines of defense against inhaled A. fumigatus conidia. Subsequently, neutrophils and inflammatory CCR2+ monocytes are recruited to the respiratory tract to prevent fungal growth. However, the mechanism of neutrophil and macrophage recruitment to the respiratory tract after A. fumigatus exposure remains an area of ongoing investigation. Here we show that A. fumigatus pulmonary challenge induces expression of the inflammasome-dependent cytokines IL-1β and IL-18 within the first 12 hours, while IL-1α expression continually increases over at least the first 48 hours. Strikingly, Il1r1-deficient mice are highly susceptible to pulmonary A. fumigatus challenge exemplified by robust fungal proliferation in the lung parenchyma. Enhanced susceptibility of Il1r1-deficient mice correlated with defects in leukocyte recruitment and anti-fungal activity. Importantly, IL-1α rather than IL-1β was crucial for optimal leukocyte recruitment. IL-1α signaling enhanced the production of CXCL1. Moreover, CCR2+ monocytes are required for optimal early IL-1α and CXCL1 expression in the lungs, as selective depletion of these cells resulted in their diminished expression, which in turn regulated the early accumulation of neutrophils in the lung after A. fumigatus challenge. Enhancement of pulmonary neutrophil recruitment and anti-fungal activity by CXCL1 treatment could limit fungal growth in the absence of IL-1α signaling. In contrast to the role of IL-1α in neutrophil recruitment, the inflammasome and IL-1β were only essential for optimal activation of anti-fungal activity of macrophages. As such, Pycard-deficient mice are mildly susceptible to A. fumigatus infection. Taken together, our data reveal

  4. Dsc Orthologs Are Required for Hypoxia Adaptation, Triazole Drug Responses, and Fungal Virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Willger, Sven D.; Cornish, E. Jean; Chung, Dawoon; Fleming, Brittany A.; Lehmann, Margaret M.; Puttikamonkul, Srisombat

    2012-01-01

    Hypoxia is an environmental stress encountered by Aspergillus fumigatus during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). The ability of this mold to adapt to hypoxia is important for fungal virulence and genetically regulated in part by the sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) SrbA. SrbA is required for fungal growth in the murine lung and to ultimately cause lethal disease in murine models of IPA. Here we identified and partially characterized four genes (dscA, dscB, dscC, and dscD, here referred to as dscA-D) with previously unknown functions in A. fumigatus that are orthologs of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe genes dsc1, dsc2, dsc3, and dsc4 (dsc1-4), which encode a Golgi E3 ligase complex critical for SREBP activation by proteolytic cleavage. A. fumigatus null dscA-D mutants displayed remarkable defects in hypoxic growth and increased susceptibility to triazole antifungal drugs. Consistent with the confirmed role of these genes in S. pombe, both ΔdscA and ΔdscC resulted in reduced cleavage of the SrbA precursor protein in A. fumigatus. Inoculation of corticosteroid immunosuppressed mice with ΔdscA and ΔdscC strains revealed that these genes are critical for A. fumigatus virulence. Reintroduction of SrbA amino acids 1 to 425, encompassing the N terminus DNA binding domain, into the ΔdscA strain was able to partially restore virulence, further supporting a mechanistic link between DscA and SrbA function. Thus, we have shown for the first time the importance of a previously uncharacterized group of genes in A. fumigatus that mediate hypoxia adaptation, fungal virulence, and triazole drug susceptibility and that are likely linked to regulation of SrbA function. PMID:23104569

  5. The Involvement of the Mid1/Cch1/Yvc1 Calcium Channels in Aspergillus fumigatus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Chiaratto, Jéssica; Winkelströter, Lizziane K.; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Goldman, Maria Helena S.; Brown, Neil Andrew; Goldman, Gustavo H.

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a major opportunistic pathogen and allergen of mammals. Calcium homeostasis and signaling is essential for numerous biological processes and also influences A. fumigatus pathogenicity. The presented study characterized the function of the A. fumigatus homologues of three Saccharomyces cerevisiae calcium channels, voltage-gated Cch1, stretch-activated Mid1 and vacuolar Yvc1. The A. fumigatus calcium channels cchA, midA and yvcA were regulated at transcriptional level by increased calcium levels. The YvcA::GFP fusion protein localized to the vacuoles. Both ΔcchA and ΔmidA mutant strains showed reduced radial growth rate in nutrient-poor minimal media. Interestingly, this growth defect in the ΔcchA strain was rescued by the exogenous addition of CaCl2. The ΔcchA, ΔmidA, and ΔcchA ΔmidA strains were also sensitive to the oxidative stress inducer, paraquat. Restriction of external Ca2+ through the addition of the Ca2+-chelator EGTA impacted upon the growth of the ΔcchA and ΔmidA strains. All the A. fumigatus ΔcchA, ΔmidA, and ΔyvcA strains demonstrated attenuated virulence in a neutropenic murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Infection with the parental strain resulted in a 100% mortality rate at 15 days post-infection, while the mortality rate of the ΔcchA, ΔmidA, and ΔyvcA strains after 15 days post-infection was only 25%. Collectively, this investigation strongly indicates that CchA, MidA, and YvcA play a role in A. fumigatus calcium homeostasis and virulence. PMID:25083783

  6. The role of interleukin-1 family members in the host defence against Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Gresnigt, Mark S; van de Veerdonk, Frank L

    2014-12-01

    The interleukin (IL)-1 family consists of 11 members, which all play significant roles in regulating inflammatory responses in the host. IL-1α and IL-1β exert potent pro-inflammatory effects and are key players in the recruitment of neutrophils to the site of inflammation. Protective anti-Aspergillus host responses during the early stages of invasive aspergillosis are critically dependent on neutrophil recruitment, and several lines of evidence support that there is an important role for IL-1 in this process. However, IL-1-mediated inflammation needs to be tightly regulated, since uncontrolled inflammation can result in inflammatory pathology and thereby be detrimental for the host. Aspergillus-induced IL-1-mediated inflammation could therefore be amendable for IL-1 blockade under specific circumstances. This review describes the current understanding of the role of IL-1 family members in the host response against Aspergillus fumigatus and highlights the importance of balanced IL-1 responses in aspergillosis.

  7. Genomic sequence of the aflatoxigenic filamentous fungus Aspergillus nomius

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Aspergillus nomius is an opportunistic pathogen and one of the three most important producers of aflatoxins in section Flavi. This fungus has been reported to contaminate agricultural commodities, but it has also been sampled in non-agricultural soils so the host range is not well known. Having a si...

  8. Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90): A novel antifungal target against Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Lamoth, Frédéric; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Steinbach, William J

    2016-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is a life-threatening and difficult to treat infection in immunosuppressed patients. The efficacy of current anti-Aspergillus therapies, targeting the cell wall or membrane, is limited by toxicity (polyenes), fungistatic activity and some level of basal resistance (echinocandins), or the emergence of acquired resistance (triazoles). The heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a conserved molecular chaperone involved in the rapid development of antifungal resistance in the yeast Candida albicans. Few studies have addressed its role in filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus, in which mechanisms of resistance may differ substantially. Hsp90 is at the center of a complex network involving calcineurin, lysine deacetylases (KDAC) and other client proteins, which orchestrate compensatory repair mechanisms of the cell wall in response to the stress induced by antifungals. In A. fumigatus, Hsp90 is a trigger for resistance to high concentrations of caspofungin, known as the paradoxical effect. Disrupting Hsp90 circuitry by different means (Hsp90 inhibitors, KDAC inhibitors and anti-calcineurin drugs) potentiates the antifungal activity of caspofungin, thus representing a promising novel antifungal approach. This review will discuss the specific features of A. fumigatus Hsp90 and the potential for antifungal strategies of invasive aspergillosis targeting this essential chaperone.

  9. Biochemical properties and primary structure of elastase inhibitor AFUEI from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Okumura, Yoshiyuki; Matsui, Takeshi; Ogawa, Kenji; Uchiya, Kei-ichi; Nikai, Toshiaki

    2008-07-01

    An elastase inhibitor from Aspergillus fumigatus (AFUEI) was isolated, and its biochemical properties and primary structure examined. The inhibitor was purified by column chromatography using DE52 cellulose and Sephadex G-75, and was found to be homogeneous as indicated by a single band following discontinuous PAGE and SDS-PAGE. A molecular mass of 7525.1 Da was observed by matrix-assisted desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectroscopy. The elastolytic activity of elastases from A. fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus and human leukocytes was inhibited by AFUEI. However, the elastolytic activity of porcine pancreas elastase, Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase and elastase from snake venom was not affected by AFUEI. No inhibitory effect of DTT or 2-mercaptoethanol on the elastase inhibitory activity of AFUEI was observed. The amino acid sequence of AFUEI peptides derived from digests utilizing clostripain was determined by Edman sequencing. AFUEI was composed of 68 aa and had a calculated molecular mass of 7526.2 Da. The search for amino acid homology with other proteins demonstrated that aa 1-68 of AFUEI are 100 % identical to aa 20-87 of the hypothetical protein AFUA 3G14940 of A. fumigatus.

  10. Myeloid derived hypoxia inducible factor 1-alpha is required for protection against pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Shepardson, Kelly M; Jhingran, Anupam; Caffrey, Alayna; Obar, Joshua J; Suratt, Benjamin T; Berwin, Brent L; Hohl, Tobias M; Cramer, Robert A

    2014-09-01

    Hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) is the mammalian transcriptional factor that controls metabolism, survival, and innate immunity in response to inflammation and low oxygen. Previous work established that generation of hypoxic microenvironments occurs within the lung during infection with the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we demonstrate that A. fumigatus stabilizes HIF1α protein early after pulmonary challenge that is inhibited by treatment of mice with the steroid triamcinolone. Utilizing myeloid deficient HIF1α mice, we observed that HIF1α is required for survival and fungal clearance early following pulmonary challenge with A. fumigatus. Unlike previously reported research with bacterial pathogens, HIF1α deficient neutrophils and macrophages were surprisingly not defective in fungal conidial killing. The increase in susceptibility of the myeloid deficient HIF1α mice to A. fumigatus was in part due to decreased early production of the chemokine CXCL1 (KC) and increased neutrophil apoptosis at the site of infection, resulting in decreased neutrophil numbers in the lung. Addition of recombinant CXCL1 restored neutrophil survival and numbers, murine survival, and fungal clearance. These results suggest that there are unique HIF1α mediated mechanisms employed by the host for protection and defense against fungal pathogen growth and invasion in the lung. Additionally, this work supports the strategy of exploring HIF1α as a therapeutic target in specific immunosuppressed populations with fungal infections.

  11. Caspofungin exposure alters the core septin AspB interactome of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Vargas-Muñiz, José M; Renshaw, Hilary; Waitt, Greg; Soderblom, Erik J; Moseley, M Arthur; Palmer, Jonathan M; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Keller, Nancy P; Steinbach, William J

    2017-04-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, the main etiological agent of invasive aspergillosis, is a leading cause of death in immunocompromised patients. Septins, a conserved family of GTP-binding proteins, serve as scaffolding proteins to recruit enzymes and key regulators to different cellular compartments. Deletion of the A. fumigatus septin aspB increases susceptibility to the echinocandin antifungal caspofungin. However, how AspB mediates this response to caspofungin is unknown. Here, we characterized the AspB interactome under basal conditions and after exposure to a clinically relevant concentration of caspofungin. While A. fumigatus AspB interacted with 334 proteins, including kinases, cell cycle regulators, and cell wall synthesis-related proteins under basal growth conditions, caspofungin exposure altered AspB interactions. A total of 69 of the basal interactants did not interact with AspB after exposure to caspofungin, and 54 new interactants were identified following caspofungin exposure. We generated A. fumigatus deletion strains for 3 proteins (ArpB, Cyp4, and PpoA) that only interacted with AspB following exposure to caspofungin that were previously annotated as induced after exposure to antifungal agents, yet only PpoA was implicated in the response to caspofungin. Taken together, we defined how the septin AspB interactome is altered in the presence of a clinically relevant antifungal.

  12. Elastase Activity in Aspergillus fumigatus Can Arise by Random, Spontaneous Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Pérez, Sergio; Blanco, Jose L.; López-Rodas, Victoria; Flores-Moya, Antonio; Costas, Eduardo; García, Marta E.

    2010-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus Fresenius has the capacity to degrade elastin (the principal protein of the lungs) and it is considered that elastase activity (EA) is among the most important pathogenicity factors of this mold. In particular, there is a strong correlation between EA in A. fumigatus and invasive aspergillosis. However, EA is not universal in this mold, and it is unknown whether the capacity to degrade elastin is the consequence of physiological mechanisms and/or genetic changes (putative adaptive mutations) induced after the exposure to this substrate or, on the contrary, it is due to random spontaneous mutations that occur under nonselective conditions. In order to discriminate between these possibilities, a Luria-Delbrück fluctuation analysis was carried out on an elastase-negative (EA−) A. fumigatus strain, using as selective factor a culture medium containing elastin as the sole source of nitrogen. Here we show that the EA− → EA+ transformation in A. fumigatus appears by rare, random mutations before the exposure of the strain to selective conditions. This work represents the first experimental evidence of pathogenicity factor acquisition in mycelial fungi by preselective mutation. PMID:21350652

  13. Whole-Genome Comparison of Aspergillus fumigatus Strains Serially Isolated from Patients with Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Hiroki; Watanabe, Akira; Takahashi-Nakaguchi, Azusa; Kawamoto, Susumu; Kamei, Katsuhiko; Gonoi, Tohru

    2014-01-01

    The emergence of azole-resistant strains of Aspergillus fumigatus during treatment for aspergillosis occurs by a mutation selection process. Understanding how antifungal resistance mechanisms evolve in the host environment during infection is of great clinical importance and biological interest. Here, we used next-generation sequencing (NGS) to identify mutations that arose during infection by A. fumigatus strains sequentially isolated from two patients, one with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) (five isolations) and the other with aspergilloma (three isolations). The serial isolates had identical microsatellite types, but their growth rates and conidia production levels were dissimilar. A whole-genome comparison showed that three of the five isolates from the IPA patient carried a mutation, while 22 mutations, including six nonsynonymous ones, were found among three isolates from the aspergilloma patient. One aspergilloma isolate carried the cyp51A mutation P216L, which is reported to confer azole resistance, and it displayed an MIC indicating resistance to itraconazole. This isolate harbored five other nonsynonymous mutations, some of which were found in the afyap1 and aldA genes. We further identified a large deletion in the aspergilloma isolate in a region containing 11 genes. This finding suggested the possibility that genomic deletions can occur during chronic infection with A. fumigatus. Overall, our results revealed dynamic alterations that occur in the A. fumigatus genome within its host during infection and treatment. PMID:25232160

  14. Systematic Global Analysis of Genes Encoding Protein Phosphatases in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Winkelströter, Lizziane K.; Dolan, Stephen K.; Fernanda dos Reis, Thaila; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Hagiwara, Daisuke; Alowni, Raneem; Jones, Gary W.; Doyle, Sean; Brown, Neil Andrew; Goldman, Gustavo H.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a fungal pathogen that causes several invasive and noninvasive diseases named aspergillosis. This disease is generally regarded as multifactorial, considering that several pathogenicity determinants are present during the establishment of this illness. It is necessary to obtain an increased knowledge of how, and which, A. fumigatus signal transduction pathways are engaged in the regulation of these processes. Protein phosphatases are essential to several signal transduction pathways. We identified 32 phosphatase catalytic subunit-encoding genes in A. fumigatus, of which we were able to construct 24 viable deletion mutants. The role of nine phosphatase mutants in the HOG (high osmolarity glycerol response) pathway was evaluated by measuring phosphorylation of the p38 MAPK (SakA) and expression of osmo-dependent genes. We were also able to identify 11 phosphatases involved in iron assimilation, six that are related to gliotoxin resistance, and three implicated in gliotoxin production. These results present the creation of a fundamental resource for the study of signaling in A. fumigatus and its implications in the regulation of pathogenicity determinants and virulence in this important pathogen. PMID:25943523

  15. Verruculogen production in airborne and clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus Fres.

    PubMed

    Kosalec, Ivan; Klarić, Maja Segvić; Pepeljnjak, Stjepan

    2005-12-01

    Among airborne aspergilli sampled in outdoor air of the Zagreb area (2002/2003), Aspergillus niger (v. Teigh.) and A. fumigatus (Fres.) were the most abundant species (20-30%), with low mean annual concentrations (0.21-1.04 CFU m-3). Higher concentrations of A. fumigatus were observed in autumn and winter (0.5-1.05 CFU m-3) than in spring and summer (0-0.4 CFU m-3). On the other hand, A. fumigatus was found to be the most frequent isolate from upper and/or lower respiratory tracts of imunocompromised patients in many studies. This species produces several mycotoxins, including the tremorgenic mycotoxin verruculogen that can be found in spores and during myceliar growth. Verruculogen production ability was tested on 30 airborne and 33 clinical isolates of A. fumigatus. In both groups, high percentage of verruculogen-producing strains was noticed (84% of airborne and 91% of clinical isolates). Verruculogen production was not significantly different in the groups of airborne isolates (0.34+/-0.16 mg mL-1), and clinical isolates (0.26+/-0.19 mg mL-1).

  16. High osmolarity glycerol response PtcB phosphatase is important for Aspergillus fumigatus virulence.

    PubMed

    Winkelströter, Lizziane K; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Goldman, Maria Helena S; Brown, Neil Andrew; Rajendran, Ranjith; Ramage, Gordon; Bovier, Elodie; Dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Savoldi, Marcela; Hagiwara, Daisuke; Goldman, Gustavo H

    2015-04-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a fungal pathogen that is capable of adapting to different host niches and to avoid host defenses. An enhanced understanding of how, and which, A. fumigatus signal transduction pathways are engaged in the regulation of these processes is essential for the development of improved disease control strategies. Protein phosphatases are central to numerous signal transduction pathways. To comprehend the functions of protein phosphatases in A. fumigatus, 32 phosphatase catalytic subunit encoding genes were identified. We have recognized PtcB as one of the phosphatases involved in the high osmolarity glycerol response (HOG) pathway. The ΔptcB mutant has both increased phosphorylation of the p38 MAPK (SakA) and expression of osmo-dependent genes. The ΔptcB strain was more sensitive to cell wall damaging agents, had increased chitin and β-1,3-glucan, and impaired biofilm formation. The ΔptcB strain was avirulent in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. These results stress the importance of the HOG pathway in the regulation of pathogenicity determinants and virulence in A. fumigatus.

  17. Aspergillus fumigatus contamination of lymphokine-activated killer cells infused into cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Arnow, P M; Houchins, S G; Richards, J M; Chudy, R

    1991-05-01

    Lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, prepared by incubating autologous lymphocytes in cell culture medium with interleukin-2, selectively lyse tumor cells and are effective immunotherapy of some cancers. During a 3-month period, two patients at our center were infused with LAK cells subsequently found to have been contaminated by Aspergillus fumigatus. Each case was investigated by obtaining environmental cultures and assessing aseptic practices during LAK cell preparation. Investigation of the first case demonstrated a malfunction of the laminar air flow hood, under which interleukin-2 and the patient's lymphocytes had been added to cell culture medium, and showed heavy A. fumigatus contamination of the hood, adjacent countertop, and cell culture incubator. Despite repair of the laminar air flow hood and cleaning of the laboratory, a second case occurred, and cultures at that time implicated the humidified cell culture incubators as the source of A. fumigatus. Following incubator sterilization and removal of the humidification apparatus from the incubators, weekly environmental cultures in the LAK cell laboratory were negative, and none of the LAK cell cultures from the 20 patients treated during the ensuing 15 months grew A. fumigatus. Our findings show that growth of fungi in humidified incubators, which previously has caused contamination problems in tissue culture and clinical microbiology laboratories, can result in patient infections when humidified incubators are used to prepare cells for reinfusion.

  18. A modified recombineering protocol for the genetic manipulation of gene clusters in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Alcazar-Fuoli, Laura; Cairns, Timothy; Lopez, Jordi F; Zonja, Bozo; Pérez, Sandra; Barceló, Damià; Igarashi, Yasuhiro; Bowyer, Paul; Bignell, Elaine

    2014-01-01

    Genomic analyses of fungal genome structure have revealed the presence of physically-linked groups of genes, termed gene clusters, where collective functionality of encoded gene products serves a common biosynthetic purpose. In multiple fungal pathogens of humans and plants gene clusters have been shown to encode pathways for biosynthesis of secondary metabolites including metabolites required for pathogenicity. In the major mould pathogen of humans Aspergillus fumigatus, multiple clusters of co-ordinately upregulated genes were identified as having heightened transcript abundances, relative to laboratory cultured equivalents, during the early stages of murine infection. The aim of this study was to develop and optimise a methodology for manipulation of gene cluster architecture, thereby providing the means to assess their relevance to fungal pathogenicity. To this end we adapted a recombineering methodology which exploits lambda phage-mediated recombination of DNA in bacteria, for the generation of gene cluster deletion cassettes. By exploiting a pre-existing bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of A. fumigatus genomic clones we were able to implement single or multiple intra-cluster gene replacement events at both subtelomeric and telomere distal chromosomal locations, in both wild type and highly recombinogenic A. fumigatus isolates. We then applied the methodology to address the boundaries of a gene cluster producing a nematocidal secondary metabolite, pseurotin A, and to address the role of this secondary metabolite in insect and mammalian responses to A. fumigatus challenge.

  19. A Modified Recombineering Protocol for the Genetic Manipulation of Gene Clusters in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Alcazar-Fuoli, Laura; Cairns, Timothy; Lopez, Jordi F.; Zonja, Bozo; Pérez, Sandra; Barceló, Damià; Igarashi, Yasuhiro; Bowyer, Paul; Bignell, Elaine

    2014-01-01

    Genomic analyses of fungal genome structure have revealed the presence of physically-linked groups of genes, termed gene clusters, where collective functionality of encoded gene products serves a common biosynthetic purpose. In multiple fungal pathogens of humans and plants gene clusters have been shown to encode pathways for biosynthesis of secondary metabolites including metabolites required for pathogenicity. In the major mould pathogen of humans Aspergillus fumigatus, multiple clusters of co-ordinately upregulated genes were identified as having heightened transcript abundances, relative to laboratory cultured equivalents, during the early stages of murine infection. The aim of this study was to develop and optimise a methodology for manipulation of gene cluster architecture, thereby providing the means to assess their relevance to fungal pathogenicity. To this end we adapted a recombineering methodology which exploits lambda phage-mediated recombination of DNA in bacteria, for the generation of gene cluster deletion cassettes. By exploiting a pre-existing bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of A. fumigatus genomic clones we were able to implement single or multiple intra-cluster gene replacement events at both subtelomeric and telomere distal chromosomal locations, in both wild type and highly recombinogenic A. fumigatus isolates. We then applied the methodology to address the boundaries of a gene cluster producing a nematocidal secondary metabolite, pseurotin A, and to address the role of this secondary metabolite in insect and mammalian responses to A. fumigatus challenge. PMID:25372385

  20. Histidine biosynthesis plays a crucial role in metal homeostasis and virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dietl, Anna-Maria; Amich, Jorge; Leal, Sixto; Beckmann, Nicola; Binder, Ulrike; Beilhack, Andreas; Pearlman, Eric; Haas, Hubertus

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent airborne fungal pathogen causing invasive fungal infections in immunosuppressed individuals. The histidine biosynthetic pathway is found in bacteria, archaebacteria, lower eukaryotes, and plants, but is absent in mammals. Here we demonstrate that deletion of the gene encoding imidazoleglycerol-phosphate dehydratase (HisB) in A. fumigatus causes (i) histidine auxotrophy, (ii) decreased resistance to both starvation and excess of various heavy metals, including iron, copper and zinc, which play a pivotal role in antimicrobial host defense, (iii) attenuation of pathogenicity in 4 virulence models: murine pulmonary infection, murine systemic infection, murine corneal infection, and wax moth larvae. In agreement with the in vivo importance of histidine biosynthesis, the HisB inhibitor 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole reduced the virulence of the A. fumigatus wild type and histidine supplementation partially rescued virulence of the histidine-auxotrophic mutant in the wax moth model. Taken together, this study reveals limited histidine availability in diverse A. fumigatus host niches, a crucial role for histidine in metal homeostasis, and the histidine biosynthetic pathway as being an attractive target for development of novel antifungal therapy approaches. PMID:26854126

  1. Aspergillus fumigatus contamination of lymphokine-activated killer cells infused into cancer patients.

    PubMed Central

    Arnow, P M; Houchins, S G; Richards, J M; Chudy, R

    1991-01-01

    Lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, prepared by incubating autologous lymphocytes in cell culture medium with interleukin-2, selectively lyse tumor cells and are effective immunotherapy of some cancers. During a 3-month period, two patients at our center were infused with LAK cells subsequently found to have been contaminated by Aspergillus fumigatus. Each case was investigated by obtaining environmental cultures and assessing aseptic practices during LAK cell preparation. Investigation of the first case demonstrated a malfunction of the laminar air flow hood, under which interleukin-2 and the patient's lymphocytes had been added to cell culture medium, and showed heavy A. fumigatus contamination of the hood, adjacent countertop, and cell culture incubator. Despite repair of the laminar air flow hood and cleaning of the laboratory, a second case occurred, and cultures at that time implicated the humidified cell culture incubators as the source of A. fumigatus. Following incubator sterilization and removal of the humidification apparatus from the incubators, weekly environmental cultures in the LAK cell laboratory were negative, and none of the LAK cell cultures from the 20 patients treated during the ensuing 15 months grew A. fumigatus. Our findings show that growth of fungi in humidified incubators, which previously has caused contamination problems in tissue culture and clinical microbiology laboratories, can result in patient infections when humidified incubators are used to prepare cells for reinfusion. PMID:2056038

  2. N-Myristoyltransferase Is a Cell Wall Target in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of filamentous fungal infections relies on a limited repertoire of antifungal agents. Compounds possessing novel modes of action are urgently required. N-myristoylation is a ubiquitous modification of eukaryotic proteins. The enzyme N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) has been considered a potential therapeutic target in protozoa and yeasts. Here, we show that the filamentous fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus possesses an active NMT enzyme that is essential for survival. Surprisingly, partial repression of the gene revealed downstream effects of N-myristoylation on cell wall morphology. Screening a library of inhibitors led to the discovery of a pyrazole sulphonamide compound that inhibits the enzyme and is fungicidal under partially repressive nmt conditions. Together with a crystallographic complex showing the inhibitor binding in the peptide substrate pocket, we provide evidence of NMT being a potential drug target in A. fumigatus. PMID:25706802

  3. The crystal structure of Aspergillus fumigatus cyclophilin reveals 3D domain swapping of a central element.

    PubMed

    Limacher, Andreas; Kloer, Daniel P; Flückiger, Sabine; Folkers, Gerd; Crameri, Reto; Scapozza, Leonardo

    2006-02-01

    The crystal structure of Aspergillus fumigatus cyclophilin (Asp f 11) was solved by the multiwavelength anomalous dispersion method and was refined to a resolution of 1.85 A with R and R(free) values of 18.9% and 21.4%, respectively. Many cyclophilin structures have been solved to date, all showing the same monomeric conformation. In contrast, the structure of A. fumigatus cyclophilin reveals dimerization by 3D domain swapping and represents one of the first proteins with a swapped central domain. The domain-swapped element consists of two beta strands and a subsequent loop carrying a conserved tryptophan. The tryptophan binds into the active site, inactivating cis-trans isomerization. This might be a means of biological regulation. The two hinge loops leave the protein prone to misfolding. In this context, alternative forms of 3D domain swapping that can lead to N- or C-terminally swapped dimers, oligomers, and aggregates are discussed.

  4. Mycotoxins of Aspergillus fumigatus in pure culture and in native bioaerosols from compost facilities.

    PubMed

    Fischer, G; Müller, T; Ostrowski, R; Dott, W

    1999-04-01

    Exposure to secondary metabolites of airborne fungi in waste handling facilities is discussed in regard to potential toxic impacts on human health. The relevance of mycotoxins has been intensely studied in connection with contamination of food and feed. Toxic secondary metabolites are expected to be present in airborne spores, but exposure to mycotoxins in bioaerosols has not been studied sufficiently. Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most frequent species in the air of compost plants. A wide range of secondary metabolites was found in pure cultures of freshly isolated strains of A. fumigatus. Tryptoquivaline, a compound with tremorgenic properties, and trypacidin, for which no toxic properties are described, were found in native bioaerosols in a compost facility. The highly toxic metabolites gliotoxin and verruculogen were not found in the bioaerosols.

  5. Effects of carboxymethylcellulose and carboxypolymethylene on morphology of Aspergillus fumigatus NRRL 2346 and fumagillin production.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen; Hartwieg, Erika A; Fang, Aiqi; Demain, Arnold L

    2003-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus NRRL 2346 is the producer of fumagillin, an antitumor antibiotic that inhibits angiogenesis. This strain is very difficult to grow reproducibly in shake flasks owing to an extreme form of pellet growth and extensive wall growth. The effects of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) and carboxypolymethylene (Carbopol) on growth and fumagillin production by A. fumigatus were investigated. By adding the polymers to the fermentation medium, the growth form of the mold was changed from a single large glob to small reproducible pellets, and wall growth was diminished to a minimum. Carbopol, at a lower concentration, was more effective than CMC in improving both morphology and production. Small pellets were produced which favored fumagillin biosynthesis. 1.5% (wt/vol) CMC and 0.3% (wt/vol) Carbopol were found to be the optimum concentrations; higher levels increased viscosity to an unacceptable level.

  6. Resistance to Voriconazole Due to a G448S Substitution in Aspergillus fumigatus in a Patient with Cerebral Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Pelaez, Teresa; Gijón, Paloma; Bunsow, Eleonora; Bouza, Emilio; Sánchez-Yebra, Waldo; Gama, Beatriz; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel; Mellado, Emilia

    2012-01-01

    A voriconazole-resistant isolate of Aspergillus fumigatus was recovered from an immunocompetent patient receiving long-term antifungal therapy for cerebral aspergillosis. A G448S amino acid substitution in the azole target (Cyp51A) was identified as the cause of the resistance phenotype. This article describes the first isolation of a voriconazole-resistant A. fumigatus isolate from an immunocompetent patient in Spain. PMID:22573589

  7. Pulmonary aspergillosis caused by a pan-azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus in a 10-year-old boy.

    PubMed

    Thors, Valtyr S; Bierings, Marc B; Melchers, Willem J G; Verweij, Paul E; Wolfs, Tom F W

    2011-03-01

    A 10-year-old boy with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation developed pulmonary aspergillosis while receiving prophylactic voriconazole. A transpleural aspirate culture revealed a pan-azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus. Treatment with liposomal amphotericin B resulted in complete recovery. As the frequency of azole resistance in A. fumigatus increases, invasive procedures to isolate fungi for species identification and susceptibility testing becomes even more important.

  8. Resistance to voriconazole due to a G448S substitution in Aspergillus fumigatus in a patient with cerebral aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Pelaez, Teresa; Gijón, Paloma; Bunsow, Eleonora; Bouza, Emilio; Sánchez-Yebra, Waldo; Valerio, Maricela; Gama, Beatriz; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel; Mellado, Emilia

    2012-07-01

    A voriconazole-resistant isolate of Aspergillus fumigatus was recovered from an immunocompetent patient receiving long-term antifungal therapy for cerebral aspergillosis. A G448S amino acid substitution in the azole target (Cyp51A) was identified as the cause of the resistance phenotype. This article describes the first isolation of a voriconazole-resistant A. fumigatus isolate from an immunocompetent patient in Spain.

  9. GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase is essential for cell wall integrity, morphogenesis and viability of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Hechun; Ouyang, Haomiao; Zhou, Hui; Jin, Cheng

    2008-09-01

    GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase (GMPP) catalyses the synthesis of GDP-mannose, which is the precursor for the mannose residues in glycoconjugates, using mannose 1-phosphate and GTP as substrates. Repression of GMPP in yeast leads to phenotypes including cell lysis, defective cell wall, and failure of polarized growth and cell separation. Although several GMPPs have been isolated and characterized in filamentous fungi, the physiological consequences of their actions are not clear. In this study, Afsrb1, which is a homologue of yeast SRB1/PSA1/VIG9, was identified in the Aspergillus fumigatus genome. The Afsrb1 gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and recombinant AfSrb1 was functionally confirmed as a GMPP. By the replacement of the native Afsrb1 promoter with an inducible Aspergillus nidulans alcA promoter, the conditional inactivation mutant strain YJ-gmpp was constructed. The presence of 3 % glucose completely blocked transcription of P(alcA)-Afsrb1, and was lethal to strain YJ-gmpp. Repression of Afsrb1 expression in strain YJ-gmpp led to phenotypes including hyphal lysis, defective cell wall, impaired polarity maintenance, and branching site selection. Also, rapid germination and reduced conidiation were documented. However, in contrast to yeast, strain YJ-gmpp retained the ability to direct polarity establishment and septation. Our results showed that the Afsrb1 gene is essential for cell wall integrity, morphogenesis and viability of Aspergillus fumigatus.

  10. Sph3 Is a Glycoside Hydrolase Required for the Biosynthesis of Galactosaminogalactan in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Bamford, Natalie C; Snarr, Brendan D; Gravelat, Fabrice N; Little, Dustin J; Lee, Mark J; Zacharias, Caitlin A; Chabot, Josée C; Geller, Alexander M; Baptista, Stefanie D; Baker, Perrin; Robinson, Howard; Howell, P Lynne; Sheppard, Donald C

    2015-11-13

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most virulent species within the Aspergillus genus and causes invasive infections with high mortality rates. The exopolysaccharide galactosaminogalactan (GAG) contributes to the virulence of A. fumigatus. A co-regulated five-gene cluster has been identified and proposed to encode the proteins required for GAG biosynthesis. One of these genes, sph3, is predicted to encode a protein belonging to the spherulin 4 family, a protein family with no known function. Construction of an sph3-deficient mutant demonstrated that the gene is necessary for GAG production. To determine the role of Sph3 in GAG biosynthesis, we determined the structure of Aspergillus clavatus Sph3 to 1.25 Å. The structure revealed a (β/α)8 fold, with similarities to glycoside hydrolase families 18, 27, and 84. Recombinant Sph3 displayed hydrolytic activity against both purified and cell wall-associated GAG. Structural and sequence alignments identified three conserved acidic residues, Asp-166, Glu-167, and Glu-222, that are located within the putative active site groove. In vitro and in vivo mutagenesis analysis demonstrated that all three residues are important for activity. Variants of Asp-166 yielded the greatest decrease in activity suggesting a role in catalysis. This work shows that Sph3 is a glycoside hydrolase essential for GAG production and defines a new glycoside hydrolase family, GH135.

  11. In Vitro Biochemical Study of CYP51-Mediated Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Warrilow, Andrew G. S.; Parker, Josie E.; Price, Claire L.; Nes, W. David

    2015-01-01

    The incidence of triazole-resistant Aspergillus infections is increasing worldwide, often mediated through mutations in the CYP51A amino acid sequence. New classes of azole-based drugs are required to combat the increasing resistance to existing triazole therapeutics. In this study, a CYP51 reconstitution assay is described consisting of eburicol, purified recombinant Aspergillus fumigatus CPR1 (AfCPR1), and Escherichia coli membrane suspensions containing recombinant A. fumigatus CYP51 proteins, allowing in vitro screening of azole antifungals. Azole-CYP51 studies determining the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) showed that A. fumigatus CYP51B (Af51B IC50, 0.50 μM) was 34-fold more susceptible to inhibition by fluconazole than A. fumigatus CYP51A (Af51A IC50, 17 μM) and that Af51A and Af51B were equally susceptible to inhibition by voriconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole (IC50s of 0.16 to 0.38 μM). Af51A-G54W and Af51A-M220K enzymes were 11- and 15-fold less susceptible to inhibition by itraconazole and 30- and 8-fold less susceptible to inhibition by posaconazole than wild-type Af51A, confirming the azole-resistant phenotype of these two Af51A mutations. Susceptibility to voriconazole of Af51A-G54W and Af51A-M220K was only marginally lower than that of wild-type Af51A. Susceptibility of Af51A-L98H to inhibition by voriconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole was only marginally lower (less than 2-fold) than that of wild-type Af51A. However, Af51A-L98H retained 5 to 8% residual activity in the presence of 32 μM triazole, which could confer azole resistance in A. fumigatus strains that harbor the Af51A-L98H mutation. The AfCPR1/Af51 assay system demonstrated the biochemical basis for the increased azole resistance of A. fumigatus strains harboring G54W, L98H, and M220K Af51A point mutations. PMID:26459890

  12. Characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates from Air and Surfaces of the International Space Station

    PubMed Central

    Knox, Benjamin P.; Blachowicz, Adriana; Romsdahl, Jillian; Huttenlocher, Anna; Wang, Clay C. C.; Keller, Nancy P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT One mission of the Microbial Observatory Experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) is to examine the traits and diversity of fungal isolates to gain a better understanding of how fungi may adapt to microgravity environments and how this may affect interactions with humans in a closed habitat. Here, we report an initial characterization of two isolates, ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4, of Aspergillus fumigatus collected from the ISS and a comparison to the experimentally established clinical isolates Af293 and CEA10. Whole-genome sequencing of ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4 showed 54,960 and 52,129 single nucleotide polymorphisms, respectively, compared to Af293, which is consistent with observed genetic heterogeneity among sequenced A. fumigatus isolates from diverse clinical and environmental sources. Assessment of in vitro growth characteristics, secondary metabolite production, and susceptibility to chemical stresses revealed no outstanding differences between ISS and clinical strains that would suggest special adaptation to life aboard the ISS. Virulence assessment in a neutrophil-deficient larval zebrafish model of invasive aspergillosis revealed that both ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4 were significantly more lethal than Af293 and CEA10. Taken together, these genomic, in vitro, and in vivo analyses of two A. fumigatus strains isolated from the ISS provide a benchmark for future investigations of these strains and for continuing research on specific microbial isolates from manned space environments. IMPORTANCE As durations of manned space missions increase, it is imperative to understand the long-term consequence of microbial exposure on human health in a closed human habitat. To date, studies aimed at bacterial and fungal contamination of space vessels have highlighted species compositions biased toward hardy, persistent organisms capable of withstanding harsh conditions. In the current study, we assessed traits of two independent Aspergillus fumigatus strains

  13. Characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates from Air and Surfaces of the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Knox, Benjamin P; Blachowicz, Adriana; Palmer, Jonathan M; Romsdahl, Jillian; Huttenlocher, Anna; Wang, Clay C C; Keller, Nancy P; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2016-01-01

    One mission of the Microbial Observatory Experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) is to examine the traits and diversity of fungal isolates to gain a better understanding of how fungi may adapt to microgravity environments and how this may affect interactions with humans in a closed habitat. Here, we report an initial characterization of two isolates, ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4, of Aspergillus fumigatus collected from the ISS and a comparison to the experimentally established clinical isolates Af293 and CEA10. Whole-genome sequencing of ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4 showed 54,960 and 52,129 single nucleotide polymorphisms, respectively, compared to Af293, which is consistent with observed genetic heterogeneity among sequenced A. fumigatus isolates from diverse clinical and environmental sources. Assessment of in vitro growth characteristics, secondary metabolite production, and susceptibility to chemical stresses revealed no outstanding differences between ISS and clinical strains that would suggest special adaptation to life aboard the ISS. Virulence assessment in a neutrophil-deficient larval zebrafish model of invasive aspergillosis revealed that both ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4 were significantly more lethal than Af293 and CEA10. Taken together, these genomic, in vitro, and in vivo analyses of two A. fumigatus strains isolated from the ISS provide a benchmark for future investigations of these strains and for continuing research on specific microbial isolates from manned space environments. IMPORTANCE As durations of manned space missions increase, it is imperative to understand the long-term consequence of microbial exposure on human health in a closed human habitat. To date, studies aimed at bacterial and fungal contamination of space vessels have highlighted species compositions biased toward hardy, persistent organisms capable of withstanding harsh conditions. In the current study, we assessed traits of two independent Aspergillus fumigatus strains isolated

  14. Functional characterization of the copper transcription factor AfMac1 from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Park, Yong-Sung; Kim, Tae-Hyoung; Yun, Cheol-Won

    2017-07-03

    Although copper functions as a cofactor in many physiological processes, copper overload leads to harmful effects in living cells. Thus, copper homeostasis is tightly regulated. However, detailed copper metabolic pathways have not yet been identified in filamentous fungi. In this report, we investigated the copper transcription factor AfMac1 ( Aspergillus fumigatusMac1 homolog) and identified its regulatory mechanism in A. fumigatus AfMac1 has domains homologous to the DNA-binding and copper-binding domains of Mac1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and AfMac1 efficiently complemented Mac1 in S. cerevisiae Expression of Afmac1 resulted in CTR1 up-regulation, and mutation of the DNA-binding domain of Afmac1 failed to activate CTR1 expression in S. cerevisiae The Afmac1 deletion strain of A. fumigatus failed to grow in copper-limited media, and its growth was restored by introducing ctrC We found that AfMac1 specifically bound to the promoter region of ctrC based on EMSA. The AfMac1-binding motif 5'-TGTGCTCA-3' was identified from the promoter region of ctrC, and the addition of mutant ctrC lacking the AfMac1-binding motif failed to up-regulate ctrC in A. fumigatus Furthermore, deletion of Afmac1 significantly reduced strain virulence and activated conidial killing activity by neutrophils and macrophages. Taken together, these results suggest that AfMac1 is a copper transcription factor that regulates cellular copper homeostasis in A. fumigatus. © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  15. Development and validation of a High Resolution Melting Assay to detect azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Bernal-Martínez, L; Gil, H; Rivero-Menéndez, O; Gago, S; Cuenca-Estrella, M; Mellado, E; Alastruey-Izquierdo, A

    2017-09-11

    The global emergence of azole resistant Aspergillus fumigatus strains is a growing public health concern. Different patterns of azole resistance are linked to mutations in cyp51A. Therefore, an accurate characterization of the mechanisms underlying azole resistance is critical to guide selection of the most appropriate antifungal agent in patients with aspergillosis. This study describes a new sequencing-free molecular screening tool for the early detection of the most frequent mutations known to be associated with azole resistance in A. fumigatus PCRs targeting cyp51A mutations at positions G54, Y121, G448 and M220 and the promoter region targeting the different tandem repeats (TR) were designed. All PCRs were simultaneously performed using the same cycling conditions. Amplicons were then distinguished using a High Resolution Melting assay. For standardization, 30 well-characterized azole resistant A. fumigatus strains were used, obtaining melting curve clusters for different resistance mechanisms in each target and detecting the most frequent azole-resistance mutations: G54E, G54V, G54R, G54W, Y121F, M220V, M220I, M220T, M220K, G448S and the tandem repeats, TR34, TR46 and TR53 Validation of the method was performed using a blind panel of 80 A. fumigatus azole susceptible and resistant strains. All strains included in the blind panel were properly classified as susceptible or resistant by the developed method. The implementation of this screening method can reduce the time for the detection of azole resistant A. fumigatus isolates and therefore facilitate the selection of the best antifungal therapy in patients with aspergillosis. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  16. Gβ-Like CpcB Plays a Crucial Role for Growth and Development of Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Qing; Wang, Long; Liu, Zengran; Kwon, Nak-Jung; Kim, Sun Chang; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2013-01-01

    Growth, development, virulence and secondary metabolism in fungi are governed by heterotrimeric G proteins (G proteins). A Gβ-like protein called Gib2 has been shown to function as an atypical Gβ in Gpa1-cAMP signaling in Cryptococcus neoformans. We found that the previously reported CpcB (cross pathway control B) protein is the ortholog of Gib2 in Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus. In this report, we further characterize the roles of CpcB in governing growth, development and toxigenesis in the two aspergilli. The deletion of cpcB results in severely impaired cellular growth, delayed spore germination, and defective asexual sporulation (conidiation) in both aspergilli. Moreover, CpcB is necessary for proper expression of the key developmental activator brlA during initiation and progression of conidiation in A. nidulans and A. fumigatus. Somewhat in accordance with the previous study, the absence of cpcB results in the formation of fewer, but not micro-, cleistothecia in A. nidulans in the presence of wild type veA, an essential activator of sexual development. However, the cpcB deletion mutant cleistothecia contain no ascospores, validating that CpcB is required for progression and completion of sexual fruiting including ascosporogenesis. Furthermore, unlike the canonical GβSfaD, CpcB is not needed for the biosynthesis of the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin (ST) as the cpcB null mutant produced reduced amount of ST with unaltered STC gene expression. However, in A. fumigatus, the deletion of cpcB results in the blockage of gliotoxin (GT) production. Further genetic analyses in A. nidulans indicate that CpcB may play a central role in vegetative growth, which might be independent of FadA- and GanB-mediated signaling. A speculative model summarizing the roles of CpcB in conjunction with SfaD in A. nidulans is presented. PMID:23936193

  17. Gβ-like CpcB plays a crucial role for growth and development of Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Kong, Qing; Wang, Long; Liu, Zengran; Kwon, Nak-Jung; Kim, Sun Chang; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2013-01-01

    Growth, development, virulence and secondary metabolism in fungi are governed by heterotrimeric G proteins (G proteins). A Gβ-like protein called Gib2 has been shown to function as an atypical Gβ in Gpa1-cAMP signaling in Cryptococcus neoformans. We found that the previously reported CpcB (cross pathway control B) protein is the ortholog of Gib2 in Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus. In this report, we further characterize the roles of CpcB in governing growth, development and toxigenesis in the two aspergilli. The deletion of cpcB results in severely impaired cellular growth, delayed spore germination, and defective asexual sporulation (conidiation) in both aspergilli. Moreover, CpcB is necessary for proper expression of the key developmental activator brlA during initiation and progression of conidiation in A. nidulans and A. fumigatus. Somewhat in accordance with the previous study, the absence of cpcB results in the formation of fewer, but not micro-, cleistothecia in A. nidulans in the presence of wild type veA, an essential activator of sexual development. However, the cpcB deletion mutant cleistothecia contain no ascospores, validating that CpcB is required for progression and completion of sexual fruiting including ascosporogenesis. Furthermore, unlike the canonical GβSfaD, CpcB is not needed for the biosynthesis of the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin (ST) as the cpcB null mutant produced reduced amount of ST with unaltered STC gene expression. However, in A. fumigatus, the deletion of cpcB results in the blockage of gliotoxin (GT) production. Further genetic analyses in A. nidulans indicate that CpcB may play a central role in vegetative growth, which might be independent of FadA- and GanB-mediated signaling. A speculative model summarizing the roles of CpcB in conjunction with SfaD in A. nidulans is presented.

  18. The contribution of Aspergillus fumigatus stress responses to virulence and antifungal resistance.

    PubMed

    Brown, Neil A; Goldman, Gustavo H

    2016-03-01

    Invasive aspergillosis has emerged as one of the most common life-threatening fungal disease of humans. The emergence of antifungal resistant pathogens represents a current and increasing threat to society. In turn, new strategies to combat fungal infection are urgently required. Fungal adaptations to stresses experienced within the human host are a prerequisite for the survival and virulence strategies of the pathogen. Here, we review the latest information on the signalling pathways in Aspergillus fumigatus that contribute to stress adaptations and virulence, while highlighting their potential as targets for the development of novel combinational antifungal therapies.

  19. Primary vocal cord aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and molecular identification of the isolate.

    PubMed

    Ran, Yuping; Yang, Baiyan; Liu, Suling; Dai, Yaling; Pang, Zongguo; Fan, Jiayu; Bai, Haoru; Liu, Shixi

    2008-08-01

    This is a case of vocal cord aspergillosis in a 36-year-old woman whose chief complaint was progressive hoarseness and vocal fatigue of one month duration. These symptoms followed the use of systemic administration of penicillin, cefotaxime natrium and dexamethasone to treat her rhinitis and asthma. Fiberoptic laryngoscopy revealed whitish plaques involving both vocal cords. Microscopic examination of KOH preparations and histopathology studies of tissue revealed dichotomously branching, hyaline, septate hyphae. Morphological and molecular biological identification of the fungal growth in cultures inoculated with clinical specimens from the patient indicated that the etiologic agent was Aspergillus fumigatus. The patient was cured with oral itraconazole without any side effects.

  20. A single aspergillus fumigatus intracranial abscess in an immunocompetent patient with parietal lobe tumorectomy.

    PubMed

    Bao, Zhao-Shi; You, Gan; Li, Wen-Bin; Jiang, Tao

    2014-06-07

    Aspergillosis of the central nervous system is a rare fungal infection that is mainly reported in patients with immune deficiency, such as AIDS patients and organ transplant patients treated with immunosuppressive agents, and is uncommon among patients with intact immune function. We report here a rare case of intracranial aspergillosis in a patient who had previously undergone a parietal lobe tumorectomy. Aspergillus fumigatus was confirmed by histopathology, and susceptibility tests reported that this infection should respond to voriconazole. We believe the immunosuppression resulting from surgical trauma and glucocorticosteroid treatment may be contributing to the infection, and therefore management of these two factors may improve the prognosis.

  1. Methods for reducing particle concentrations of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and mouldy hay dust.

    PubMed

    Edwards, J H; Trotman, D M; Mason, O F

    1985-08-01

    The effectiveness of commercially available domestic air purifiers to reduce airborne Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and mouldy hay dust was investigated. It was found that the rate of particle clearance is a function of the volume of air passing through the purifiers but that the low throughflow of air makes their use of little value in clearing particles from a normal sized room. Vacuum cleaners were more effective than air purifiers because of their higher air throughput, so too were high volume fan systems in conjunction with simple filtration units. Ionizers had no effect but steam condensation was very efficient at clearing airborne particles.

  2. Phosphate uptake and involvement of binding protein in Tween-80 supplemented culture of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Rao, K K; Mehta, A M; Gupta, A R

    1977-01-01

    Tween-80 supplementation in submerged culture of Aspergillus fumigatus resulted in an increase of phosphate uptake. The uptake system was characterized as saturable, energy-dependent and operating against the concentration gradient. Control and Tween 80 cultures showed similar Km values for phosphate uptake (50 micrometer). Cold osmotic shock treatment of the cultures was found to cause considerable reduction in the ability to take up phosphorus with concomitant release of the binding protein into the shock fluid. Binding protein preparation from Tween-80 supplemented cells showed more activity than that from control cells.

  3. Anthraquinone derivatives from Rumex plants and endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus and their effects on diabetic nephropathy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Yan, Yong-Ming; Wei, Wei; Luo, Jie; Zhang, Lan-Sheng; Zhou, Xiao-Jiang; Wang, Peng-Cheng; Yang, Yong-Xun; Cheng, Yong-Xian

    2013-07-01

    Two new oxanthrone C-glycosides, patientosides A (14) and B (15), together with three known ones (11-13), were isolated from Rumex patientia. Their structures were identified on the basis of spectroscopic methods. The absolute configuration for 14 and 15 were deduced by analysis of their CD spectra and comparison with those of known similar compounds. Compounds 11-15, and 14 known anthraquinones (1-4, 6-10, 16-20) previously isolated from Rumex nepalensis, Rumex hastatus, and endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus, respectively, as well as a commercially available compound rhein (5) were evaluated for their inhibitory effects on IL-6 and extracellular matrix production in mesangial cells.

  4. Comparison of two highly discriminatory molecular fingerprinting assays for analysis of multiple Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from patients with invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    de Valk, Hanneke A; Meis, Jacques F G M; de Pauw, Ben E; Donnelly, Peter J; Klaassen, Corné H W

    2007-05-01

    Two highly discriminatory fingerprinting assays, short tandem repeat typing and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), were compared to determine the genetic relatedness between 55 isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus obtained from 15 different patients suffering from proven invasive aspergillosis. Both techniques showed that interpatient isolates belonged to different genotypes and that intrapatient isolates from deep sites were all of the same genotype. By contrast, multiple genotypes were found among isolates originating from respiratory samples. Both techniques have specific advantages and disadvantages. AFLP is more universally applicable, but short tandem repeat analysis offers better discriminatory power and should be the preferred method for standardizing typing of clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus.

  5. Temperature during conidiation affects stress tolerance, pigmentation, and trypacidin accumulation in the conidia of the airborne pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Hagiwara, Daisuke; Sakai, Kanae; Suzuki, Satoshi; Umemura, Myco; Nogawa, Toshihiko; Kato, Naoki; Osada, Hiroyuki; Watanabe, Akira; Kawamoto, Susumu; Gonoi, Tohru; Kamei, Katsuhiko

    2017-01-01

    Asexual spores (conidia) are reproductive structures that play a crucial role in fungal distribution and survival. As fungal conidia are, in most cases, etiological agents of plant diseases and fungal lung disease, their stress resistance and interaction with their hosts have drawn increasing attention. In the present study, we investigated whether environmental temperature during conidiation affects the stress tolerance of the conidia of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Conidia from a 25°C culture showed a lower tolerance to heat (60°C) and oxidative (H2O2) stresses and a marked resistance to ultraviolet radiation exposure, compared with those produced at 37 and 45°C. The accumulation of trehalose was lower in the conidia from the 25°C culture. Furthermore, the conidia from the 25°C culture showed darker pigmentation and increased transcripts of dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthesis-related genes (i.e., pksP, arp1, and arp2). An RNA-sequencing analysis revealed that the transcription level of the trypacidin (tpc) gene cluster, which contains 13 genes, was sharply and coordinately activated in the conidia from the 25°C culture. Accordingly, trypacidin was abundant in the conidia from the 25°C culture, whereas there was little trypacidin in the conidia from the 37°C culture. Taken together, these data show that the environmental temperature during conidiation affects conidial properties such as stress tolerance, pigmentation, and mycotoxin accumulation. To enhance our knowledge, we further explored the temperature-dependent production of DHN-melanin and trypacidin in clinical A. fumigatus isolates. Some of the isolates showed temperature-independent production of DHN-melanin and/or trypacidin, indicating that the conidia-associated secondary metabolisms differed among the isolates.

  6. Temperature during conidiation affects stress tolerance, pigmentation, and trypacidin accumulation in the conidia of the airborne pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Sakai, Kanae; Suzuki, Satoshi; Umemura, Myco; Nogawa, Toshihiko; Kato, Naoki; Osada, Hiroyuki; Watanabe, Akira; Kawamoto, Susumu; Gonoi, Tohru; Kamei, Katsuhiko

    2017-01-01

    Asexual spores (conidia) are reproductive structures that play a crucial role in fungal distribution and survival. As fungal conidia are, in most cases, etiological agents of plant diseases and fungal lung disease, their stress resistance and interaction with their hosts have drawn increasing attention. In the present study, we investigated whether environmental temperature during conidiation affects the stress tolerance of the conidia of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Conidia from a 25°C culture showed a lower tolerance to heat (60°C) and oxidative (H2O2) stresses and a marked resistance to ultraviolet radiation exposure, compared with those produced at 37 and 45°C. The accumulation of trehalose was lower in the conidia from the 25°C culture. Furthermore, the conidia from the 25°C culture showed darker pigmentation and increased transcripts of dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthesis-related genes (i.e., pksP, arp1, and arp2). An RNA-sequencing analysis revealed that the transcription level of the trypacidin (tpc) gene cluster, which contains 13 genes, was sharply and coordinately activated in the conidia from the 25°C culture. Accordingly, trypacidin was abundant in the conidia from the 25°C culture, whereas there was little trypacidin in the conidia from the 37°C culture. Taken together, these data show that the environmental temperature during conidiation affects conidial properties such as stress tolerance, pigmentation, and mycotoxin accumulation. To enhance our knowledge, we further explored the temperature-dependent production of DHN-melanin and trypacidin in clinical A. fumigatus isolates. Some of the isolates showed temperature-independent production of DHN-melanin and/or trypacidin, indicating that the conidia-associated secondary metabolisms differed among the isolates. PMID:28486558

  7. Effects of Iron Chelators on the Formation and Development of Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilm

    PubMed Central

    Nazik, Hasan; Penner, John C.; Ferreira, Jose A.; Haagensen, Janus A. J.; Cohen, Kevin; Spormann, Alfred M.; Martinez, Marife; Chen, Vicky; Hsu, Joe L.; Clemons, Karl V.

    2015-01-01

    Iron acquisition is crucial for the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus. A. fumigatus biofilm formation occurs in vitro and in vivo and is associated with physiological changes. In this study, we assessed the effects of Fe chelators on biofilm formation and development. Deferiprone (DFP), deferasirox (DFS), and deferoxamine (DFM) were tested for MIC against a reference isolate via a broth macrodilution method. The metabolic effects (assessed by XTT [2,3-bis[2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl]-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide inner salt]) on biofilm formation by conidia were studied upon exposure to DFP, DFM, DFP plus FeCl3, or FeCl3 alone. A preformed biofilm was exposed to DFP with or without FeCl3. The DFP and DFS MIC50 against planktonic A. fumigatus was 1,250 μM, and XTT gave the same result. DFM showed no planktonic inhibition at concentrations of ≤2,500 μM. By XTT testing, DFM concentrations of <1,250 μM had no effect, whereas 2,500 μM increased biofilms forming in A. fumigatus or preformed biofilms (P < 0.01). DFP at 156 to 2,500 μM inhibited biofilm formation (P < 0.01 to 0.001) in a dose-responsive manner. Biofilm formation with 625 μM DFP plus any concentration of FeCl3 was lower than that in the controls (P < 0.05 to 0.001). FeCl3 at ≥625 μM reversed the DFP inhibitory effect (P < 0.05 to 0.01), but the reversal was incomplete compared to the controls (P < 0.05 to 0.01). For preformed biofilms, DFP in the range of ≥625 to 1,250 μM was inhibitory compared to the controls (P < 0.01 to 0.001). FeCl3 at ≥625 μM overcame inhibition by 625 μM DFP (P < 0.001). FeCl3 alone at ≥156 μM stimulated biofilm formation (P < 0.05 to 0.001). Preformed A. fumigatus biofilm increased with 2,500 μM FeCl3 only (P < 0.05). In a strain survey, various susceptibilities of biofilms of A. fumigatus clinical isolates to DFP were noted. In conclusion, iron stimulates biofilm formation and preformed biofilms. Chelators can inhibit or enhance biofilms. Chelation may be a

  8. Proteomic analyses reveal the key roles of BrlA and AbaA in biogenesis of gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, Kwang-Soo; Kim, Young Hwan; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2015-07-31

    The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus primarily reproduces by forming a large number of asexual spores (conidia). Sequential activation of the central regulators BrlA, AbaA and WetA is necessary for the fungus to undergo asexual development. In this study, to address the presumed roles of these key developmental regulators during proliferation of the fungus, we analyzed and compared the proteomes of vegetative cells of wild type (WT) and individual mutant strains. Approximately 1300 protein spots were detectable from 2-D electrophoresis gels. Among these, 13 proteins exhibiting significantly altered accumulation levels were further identified by ESI-MS/MS. Markedly, we found that the GliM and GliT proteins associated with gliotoxin (GT) biosynthesis and self-protection of the fungus from GT were significantly down-regulated in the ΔabaA and ΔbrlA mutants. Moreover, mRNA levels of other GT biosynthetic genes including gliM, gliP, gliT, and gliZ were significantly reduced in both mutant strains, and no and low levels of GT were detectable in the ΔbrlA and ΔabaA mutant strains, respectively. As GliT is required for the protection of the fungus from GT, growth of the ΔbrlA mutant with reduced levels of GliT was severely impaired by exogenous GT. Our studies demonstrate that AbaA and BrlA positively regulate expression of the GT biosynthetic gene cluster in actively growing vegetative cells, and likely bridge morphological and chemical development during the life-cycle of A. fumigatus. - Highlights: • Proteome analyses of WT and mutants reveal 13 differentially expressed proteins. • The GliT and GliM proteins are significantly down-regulated by ΔabaA and ΔbrlA. • Expression of other gliotoxin biosynthetic genes is lowered by ΔabaA and ΔbrlA. • Growth of ΔbrlA strain lacking GliT is completely inhibited by exogenous gliotoxin. • BrlA and AbaA play key roles in biogenesis of gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus.

  9. Activation of vitamin D regulates response of human bronchial epithelial cells to Aspergillus fumigatus in an autocrine fashion.

    PubMed

    Li, Pei; Wu, Ting; Su, Xin; Shi, Yi

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is one of the most common fungi to cause diseases in humans. Recent evidence has demonstrated that airway epithelial cells play an important role in combating A. fumigatus through inflammatory responses. Human airway epithelial cells have been proven to synthesize the active vitamin D, which plays a key role in regulating inflammation. The present study was conducted to investigate the impact of A. fumigatus infection on the activation of vitamin D and the role of vitamin D activation in A. fumigatus-elicited antifungal immunity in normal human airway epithelial cells. We found that A. fumigatus swollen conidia (SC) induced the expression of 1α-hydroxylase, the enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of active vitamin D, and vitamin D receptor (VDR) in 16HBE cells and led to increased local generation of active vitamin D. Locally activated vitamin D amplified SC-induced expression of antimicrobial peptides in 16HBE cells but attenuated SC-induced production of cytokines in an autocrine fashion. Furthermore, we identified β-glucan, the major A. fumigatus cell wall component, as the causative agent for upregulation of 1α-hydroxylase and VDR in 16HBE cells. Therefore, activation of vitamin D is inducible and provides a bidirectional regulation of the responses to A. fumigatus in 16HBE cells.

  10. Deciphering metabolic traits of the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus: redundancy vs. essentiality

    PubMed Central

    Amich, Jorge; Krappmann, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Incidence rates of infections caused by environmental opportunistic fungi have risen over recent decades. Aspergillus species have emerged as serious threat for the immunecompromised, and detailed knowledge about virulence-determining traits is crucial for drug target identification. As a prime saprobe, A. fumigatus has evolved to efficiently adapt to various stresses and to sustain nutritional supply by osmotrophy, which is characterized by extracellular substrate digestion followed by efficient uptake of breakdown products that are then fed into the fungal primary metabolism. These intrinsic metabolic features are believed to be related with its virulence ability. The plethora of genes that encode underlying effectors has hampered their in-depth analysis with respect to pathogenesis. Recent developments in Aspergillus molecular biology allow conditional gene expression or comprehensive targeting of gene families to cope with redundancy. Furthermore, identification of essential genes that are intrinsically connected to virulence opens accurate perspectives for novel targets in antifungal therapy. PMID:23264772

  11. Proteomic analyses reveal the key roles of BrlA and AbaA in biogenesis of gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Shin, Kwang-Soo; Kim, Young Hwan; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2015-07-31

    The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus primarily reproduces by forming a large number of asexual spores (conidia). Sequential activation of the central regulators BrlA, AbaA and WetA is necessary for the fungus to undergo asexual development. In this study, to address the presumed roles of these key developmental regulators during proliferation of the fungus, we analyzed and compared the proteomes of vegetative cells of wild type (WT) and individual mutant strains. Approximately 1300 protein spots were detectable from 2-D electrophoresis gels. Among these, 13 proteins exhibiting significantly altered accumulation levels were further identified by ESI-MS/MS. Markedly, we found that the GliM and GliT proteins associated with gliotoxin (GT) biosynthesis and self-protection of the fungus from GT were significantly down-regulated in the ΔabaA and ΔbrlA mutants. Moreover, mRNA levels of other GT biosynthetic genes including gliM, gliP, gliT, and gliZ were significantly reduced in both mutant strains, and no and low levels of GT were detectable in the ΔbrlA and ΔabaA mutant strains, respectively. As GliT is required for the protection of the fungus from GT, growth of the ΔbrlA mutant with reduced levels of GliT was severely impaired by exogenous GT. Our studies demonstrate that AbaA and BrlA positively regulate expression of the GT biosynthetic gene cluster in actively growing vegetative cells, and likely bridge morphological and chemical development during the life-cycle of A. fumigatus.

  12. Typing clinical and animal environment Aspergillus fumigatus gliotoxin producer strains isolated from Brazil by PCR-RFLP markers.

    PubMed

    Soleiro, C A; Pena, G A; Cavaglieri, L R; Coelho, I; Keller, L M; Dalcero, A M; Rosa, C A R

    2013-12-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, a well-known human and animal pathogen causing aspergillosis, has been historically identified by morphological and microscopic features. However, recent studies have shown that species identification on the basis of morphology alone is problematic. The aim of this work was to confirm the taxonomic state at specie level of a set of clinical (human and animal) and animal environment A. fumigatus strains identified by morphological criteria applying a PCR-RFLP assay by an in silico and in situ analysis with three restriction enzymes. The A. fumigatus gliotoxin-producing ability was also determined. Previous to the in situ PCR-RFLP analysis, an in silico assay with BccI, MspI and Sau3AI restriction enzymes was carried out. After that, these enzymes were used for in situ assay. All A. fumigatus strains isolated from corn silage, human aspergillosis and bovine mastitis and high per cent of the strains isolated from cereals, animal feedstuff and sorghum silage were able to produce high gliotoxin levels. Also, all these strains identified by morphological criteria as A. fumigatus, regardless of its isolation source, had band patterns according to A. fumigatus sensu stricto by PCR-RFLP markers. Aspergillus fumigatus is a well-known human and animal pathogen causing aspergillosis. In this study, clinical (human and animal) and animal environment strains were able to produce high gliotoxin levels and had band profiles according to A. fumigatus sensu stricto by PCR-RFLP markers. The results obtained here suggest that strains involved in human and animal aspergillosis could come from the animal environment in which A. fumigatus is frequently found. Its presence in animal environments could affect animal health and productivity; in addition, there are risks of contamination for rural workers during handling and storage of animal feedstuffs. © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. Detection of antibodies against Aspergillus fumigatus: comparison between double immunodiffusion, ELISA and immunoblot analysis.

    PubMed

    Brouwer, J

    1988-01-01

    The performance of ELISA to detect IgG and IgM antibodies to Aspergillus fumigatus has been evaluated in strongly precipitin-positive, weakly precipitin-positive and precipitin-negative patient sera, with immunoblot analysis as the confirmatory test. All strongly precipitin-positive sera contained increased IgG titers and showed clearly positive immunoblot patterns. Most of the weakly precipitin-positive sera contained ELISA titers within the normal range established with sera of healthy blood donors and showed normal immunoblot patterns. Increased titers of IgG and/or IgM were measured in one-sixth of the precipitin-negative patient sera. Immunoblot analysis confirmed the presence of antibodies to A. fumigatus in 55% of the precipitin-negative sera with increased antibody titers. ELISAs for A. fumigatus-specific IgG and IgM are sensitive tests for screening of patient sera. However, positive results with ELISA should be confirmed by means of immunoblot analysis.

  14. Functional Investigation of Iron-Responsive Microsomal Proteins, including MirC, in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Mulvihill, Eoin D.; Moloney, Nicola M.; Owens, Rebecca A.; Dolan, Stephen K.; Russell, Lauren; Doyle, Sean

    2017-01-01

    The functionality of many microsome-associated proteins which exhibit altered abundance in response to iron limitation in Aspergillus fumigatus is unknown. Here, we generate and characterize eight gene deletion strains, and of most significance reveal that MirC (AFUA_2G05730) contributes to the maintenance of intracellular siderophore [ferricrocin (FC)] levels, augments conidiation, confers protection against oxidative stress, exhibits an intracellular localization and contributes to fungal virulence in the Galleria mellonella animal model system. FC levels were unaffected following deletion of all other genes encoding microsome-associated proteins. MirC does not appear to play a role in either siderophore export from, or uptake into, A. fumigatus. Label-free quantitative proteomic analysis unexpectedly revealed increased abundance of siderophore biosynthetic enzymes. In addition, increased expression of hapX (7.2 and 13.8-fold at 48 and 72 h, respectively; p < 0.001) was observed in ΔmirC compared to wild-type under iron-replete conditions by qRT-PCR. This was complemented by significantly elevated extracellular triacetylfusarinine C (TAFC; p < 0.01) and fusarinine C (FSC; p < 0.05) siderophore secretion. We conclude that MirC plays an important role in FC biosynthesis and contributes to the maintenance of iron homeostasis in A. fumigatus. PMID:28367141

  15. HapX-Mediated Adaption to Iron Starvation Is Crucial for Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Schrettl, Markus; Beckmann, Nicola; Varga, John; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Jöchl, Christoph; Moussa, Tarek A.; Wang, Shaohua; Gsaller, Fabio; Blatzer, Michael; Werner, Ernst R.; Niermann, William C.; Brakhage, Axel A.; Haas, Hubertus

    2010-01-01

    Iron is essential for a wide range of cellular processes. Here we show that the bZIP-type regulator HapX is indispensable for the transcriptional remodeling required for adaption to iron starvation in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. HapX represses iron-dependent and mitochondrial-localized activities including respiration, TCA cycle, amino acid metabolism, iron-sulfur-cluster and heme biosynthesis. In agreement with the impact on mitochondrial metabolism, HapX-deficiency decreases resistance to tetracycline and increases mitochondrial DNA content. Pathways positively affected by HapX include production of the ribotoxin AspF1 and siderophores, which are known virulence determinants. Iron starvation causes a massive remodeling of the amino acid pool and HapX is essential for the coordination of the production of siderophores and their precursor ornithine. Consistent with HapX-function being limited to iron depleted conditions and A. fumigatus facing iron starvation in the host, HapX-deficiency causes significant attenuation of virulence in a murine model of aspergillosis. Taken together, this study demonstrates that HapX-dependent adaption to conditions of iron starvation is crucial for virulence of A. fumigatus. PMID:20941352

  16. Functional Investigation of Iron-Responsive Microsomal Proteins, including MirC, in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mulvihill, Eoin D; Moloney, Nicola M; Owens, Rebecca A; Dolan, Stephen K; Russell, Lauren; Doyle, Sean

    2017-01-01

    The functionality of many microsome-associated proteins which exhibit altered abundance in response to iron limitation in Aspergillus fumigatus is unknown. Here, we generate and characterize eight gene deletion strains, and of most significance reveal that MirC (AFUA_2G05730) contributes to the maintenance of intracellular siderophore [ferricrocin (FC)] levels, augments conidiation, confers protection against oxidative stress, exhibits an intracellular localization and contributes to fungal virulence in the Galleria mellonella animal model system. FC levels were unaffected following deletion of all other genes encoding microsome-associated proteins. MirC does not appear to play a role in either siderophore export from, or uptake into, A. fumigatus. Label-free quantitative proteomic analysis unexpectedly revealed increased abundance of siderophore biosynthetic enzymes. In addition, increased expression of hapX (7.2 and 13.8-fold at 48 and 72 h, respectively; p < 0.001) was observed in ΔmirC compared to wild-type under iron-replete conditions by qRT-PCR. This was complemented by significantly elevated extracellular triacetylfusarinine C (TAFC; p < 0.01) and fusarinine C (FSC; p < 0.05) siderophore secretion. We conclude that MirC plays an important role in FC biosynthesis and contributes to the maintenance of iron homeostasis in A. fumigatus.

  17. Trypacidin, a Spore-Borne Toxin from Aspergillus fumigatus, Is Cytotoxic to Lung Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gauthier, Thierry; Wang, Xiaodi; Sifuentes Dos Santos, Joice; Fysikopoulos, Athanasios; Tadrist, Souria; Canlet, Cécile; Artigot, Marie Pierre; Loiseau, Nicolas; Oswald, Isabelle P.; Puel, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    Inhalation of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia can cause severe aspergillosis in immunosuppressed people. A. fumigatus produces a large number of secondary metabolites, some of which are airborne by conidia and whose toxicity to the respiratory tract has not been investigated. We found that spores of A. fumigatus contain five main compounds, tryptoquivaline F, fumiquinazoline C, questin, monomethylsulochrin and trypacidin. Fractionation of culture extracts using RP-HPLC and LC-MS showed that samples containing questin, monomethylsulochrin and trypacidin were toxic to the human A549 lung cell line. These compounds were purified and their structure verified using NMR in order to compare their toxicity against A549 cells. Trypacidin was the most toxic, decreasing cell viability and triggering cell lysis, both effects occurring at an IC50 close to 7 µM. Trypacidin toxicity was also observed in the same concentration range on human bronchial epithelial cells. In the first hour of exposure, trypacidin initiates the intracellular formation of nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This oxidative stress triggers necrotic cell death in the following 24 h. The apoptosis pathway, moreover, was not involved in the cell death process as trypacidin did not induce apoptotic bodies or a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential. This is the first time that the toxicity of trypacidin to lung cells has been reported. PMID:22319557

  18. Possible environmental origin of resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus to medical triazoles.

    PubMed

    Snelders, Eveline; Huis In 't Veld, Robert A G; Rijs, Anthonius J M M; Kema, Gert H J; Melchers, Willem J G; Verweij, Paul E

    2009-06-01

    We reported the emergence of resistance to medical triazoles of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from patients with invasive aspergillosis. A dominant resistance mechanism was found, and we hypothesized that azole resistance might develop through azole exposure in the environment rather than in azole-treated patients. We investigated if A. fumigatus isolates resistant to medical triazoles are present in our environment by sampling the hospital indoor environment and soil from the outdoor environment. Antifungal susceptibility, resistance mechanisms, and genetic relatedness were compared with those of azole-resistant clinical isolates collected in a previous study. Itraconazole-resistant A. fumigatus (five isolates) was cultured from the indoor hospital environment as well as from soil obtained from flower beds in proximity to the hospital (six isolates) but never from natural soil. Additional samples of commercial compost, leaves, and seeds obtained from a garden center and a plant nursery were also positive (four isolates). Cross-resistance was observed for voriconazole, posaconazole, and the azole fungicides metconazole and tebuconazole. Molecular analysis showed the presence of the dominant resistance mechanism, which was identical to that found in clinical isolates, in 13 of 15 environmental isolates, and it showed that environmental and clinical isolates were genetically clustered apart from nonresistant isolates. Patients with azole-resistant aspergillosis might have been colonized with azole-resistant isolates from the environment.

  19. Characterization of a New β(1–3)-Glucan Branching Activity of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Gastebois, Amandine; Mouyna, Isabelle; Simenel, Catherine; Clavaud, Cécile; Coddeville, Bernadette; Delepierre, Muriel; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Fontaine, Thierry

    2010-01-01

    A new HPLC method was developed to separate linear from β(1–6)-branched β(1–3)-glucooligosaccharides. This methodology has permitted the isolation of the first fungal β(1–6)/β(1–3)-glucan branching transglycosidase using a cell wall autolysate of Aspergillus fumigatus (Af). The encoding gene, AfBGT2 is an ortholog of AfBGT1, another transglycosidase of A. fumigatus previously analyzed (Mouyna, I., Hartland, R. P., Fontaine, T., Diaquin, M., Simenel, C., Delepierre, M., Henrissat, B., and Latgé, J. P. (1998) Microbiology 144, 3171–3180). Both enzymes release laminaribiose from the reducing end of a β(1–3)-linked oligosaccharide and transfer the remaining chain to another molecule of the original substrate. The AfBgt1p transfer occurs at C-6 of the non-reducing end group of the acceptor, creating a kinked β(1–3;1–6) linear molecule. The AfBgt2p transfer takes place at the C-6 of an internal group of the acceptor, resulting in a β(1–3)-linked product with a β(1–6)-linked side branch. The single Afbgt2 mutant and the double Afbgt1/Afbgt2 mutant in A. fumigatus did not display any cell wall phenotype showing that these activities were not responsible for the construction of the branched β(1–3)-glucans of the cell wall. PMID:19948732

  20. RbdB, a Rhomboid Protease Critical for SREBP Activation and Virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dhingra, Sourabh; Kowlaski, Caitlin H.; Thammahong, Arsa; Beattie, Sarah R.; Bultman, Katherine M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT SREBP transcription factors play a critical role in fungal virulence; however, the mechanisms of sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) activation in pathogenic fungi remains ill-defined. Screening of the Neurospora crassa whole-genome deletion collection for genes involved in hypoxia responses identified a gene for an uncharacterized rhomboid protease homolog, rbdB, required for growth under hypoxic conditions. Loss of rbdB in Aspergillus fumigatus also inhibited growth under hypoxic conditions. In addition, the A. fumigatus ΔrbdB strain also displayed phenotypes consistent with defective SREBP activity, including increased azole drug susceptibility, reduced siderophore production, and full loss of virulence. Expression of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) DNA binding domain of the SREBP SrbA in ΔrbdB restored all of the phenotypes linking RdbB activity with SrbA function. Furthermore, the N-terminal domain of SrbA containing the bHLH DNA binding region was absent from ΔrbdB under inducing conditions, suggesting that RbdB regulates the protein levels of this important transcription factor. As SrbA controls clinically relevant aspects of fungal pathobiology in A. fumigatus, understanding the mechanisms of SrbA activation provides opportunities to target this pathway for therapeutic development. IMPORTANCE Aspergillus fumigatus causes life-threatening infections, and treatment options remain limited. Thus, there is an urgent need to find new therapeutic targets to treat this deadly disease. Previously, we have shown that SREBP transcription factors and their regulatory components are critical for the pathobiology of A. fumigatus. Here we identify a role for RbdB, a rhomboid protease, as an essential component of SREBP activity. Our results indicate that mutants lacking rbdB have growth defects under hypoxic conditions, are hypersusceptible to voriconazole, lack extracellular siderophore production, and fail to cause disease in a murine

  1. Aspergillus fumigatus Trehalose-Regulatory Subunit Homolog Moonlights To Mediate Cell Wall Homeostasis through Modulation of Chitin Synthase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Thammahong, Arsa; Caffrey-Card, Alayna K.; Dhingra, Sourabh; Obar, Joshua J.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Trehalose biosynthesis is found in fungi but not humans. Proteins involved in trehalose biosynthesis are essential for fungal pathogen virulence in humans and plants through multiple mechanisms. Loss of canonical trehalose biosynthesis genes in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus significantly alters cell wall structure and integrity, though the mechanistic link between these virulence-associated pathways remains enigmatic. Here we characterize genes, called tslA and tslB, which encode proteins that contain domains similar to those corresponding to trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase but lack critical catalytic residues for phosphatase activity. Loss of tslA reduces trehalose content in both conidia and mycelia, impairs cell wall integrity, and significantly alters cell wall structure. To gain mechanistic insights into the role that TslA plays in cell wall homeostasis, immunoprecipitation assays coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were used to reveal a direct interaction between TslA and CsmA, a type V chitin synthase enzyme. TslA regulates not only chitin synthase activity but also CsmA sub-cellular localization. Loss of TslA impacts the immunopathogenesis of murine invasive pulmonary aspergillosis through altering cytokine production and immune cell recruitment. In conclusion, our data provide a novel model whereby proteins in the trehalose pathway play a direct role in fungal cell wall homeostasis and consequently impact fungus-host interactions. PMID:28442603

  2. Aspergillus fumigatus spore proteomics and genetics reveal that VeA represses DefA-mediated DNA damage response.

    PubMed

    Shin, Kwang-Soo; Park, Hee-Soo; Kim, Young; Heo, In-Beom; Kim, Young Hwan; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2016-10-04

    Aspergillus fumigatus reproduces and infects host by forming a high number of small asexual spores (conidia). The velvet proteins are global transcriptional regulators governing the complex process of conidiogenesis in this fungus. Here, to further understand the velvet-mediated regulation, we carried out comparative proteomic analyses of conidia of wild type (WT) and three velvet mutants (ΔveA, ΔvelB and ΔvosA). Cluster analysis of 184 protein spots showing at least 1.5-fold differential accumulation between WT and mutants reveal the clustering of WT- ΔveA and ΔvelB-ΔvosA. Among 43 proteins identified by Nano-LC-ESI-MS/MS, 23 including several heat shock proteins showed more than two-fold reduction in both the ∆velB and ∆vosA conidia. On the contrary, three proteins exhibited more than five-fold increase in ∆veA only, including the putative RNA polymerase II degradation factor DefA. The deletion of defA resulted in a reduced number of conidia and restricted colony growth. In addition, the defA deletion mutant conidia showed hypersensitivity against the DNA damaging agents NQO and MMS, while the ΔveA mutant conidia were more resistant against to NQO. Taken together, we propose that VeA controls protein level of DefA in conidia, which are dormant and equipped with multiple layers of protection against environmental cues.

  3. Interlaboratory reproducibility of a single-locus sequence-based method for strain typing of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Hurst, S F; Kidd, S E; Morrissey, C O; Snelders, E; Melchers, W J G; Castelli, M V; Mellado, E; Simmon, K; Petti, C A; Richardson, S; Zhang, S; Romanelli, A M; Wickes, B L; de Valk, H A; Klaassen, C H W; Balajee, S Arunmozhi

    2009-05-01

    Seven international laboratories tested the recently proposed single-locus typing strategy for Aspergillus fumigatus subtyping for interlaboratory reproducibility. Comparative sequence analyses of portions of the locus AFUA_3G08990, encoding a putative cell surface protein (denoted CSP), was performed with a panel of Aspergillus isolates. Each laboratory followed very different protocols for extraction of DNA, PCR, and sequencing. Results revealed that the CSP typing method was a reproducible and portable strain typing method.

  4. Phytase production through response surface methodology and molecular characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus NF191.

    PubMed

    Gangoliya, Shivraj Singh; Gupta, Raj Kishor; Singh, Nand Kumar

    2015-06-01

    Phytase play an important role in phytic acid catalysis that act as a food inhibitor in cereals. Here, we isolated high phytase producing isolates NF191 closely related to Aspergillus fumigatus sp. from piggery soil. DNA was isolated from the fungal culture and amplified the ITS region using ITS1 and ITS4 primer using PCR. The 400-900 bp amplicon was gel eluted and subjected to sequencing. The sequencing results were assembled and compared with NCBI data base which showed the 99% identity of Aspergillus fumigatus. Different carbon sources viz., fructose, galactose, lactose, dextrose, sucrose, maltose and different nitrogen sources (organic & inorganic) NH4Cl, NH4NO3, (NH4)2SO4, KNO3, NaNO3, urea, yeast extract, peptone, beef extract were tested for optimal production. The 0.3% dextrose, 0.5% NH4NO3 and 96 h incubation time showed the best production and enzyme activity at 45 degrees C incubation temperature. The selected parameters, dextrose, ammonium sulphate and incubation time, when employed with statistical optimization approach involving response surface optimization using Box Behnken Design, gave a 1.3 fold increase in phytase production compared to unoptimized condition.

  5. Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles by a new strain of Streptomyces sp. compared with Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Alani, Faiez; Moo-Young, Murray; Anderson, William

    2012-03-01

    Locally isolated strains of a thermoalkalotolerant Streptomyces sp. and Aspergillus fumigatus were used for the in vitro biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles from AgNO(3) solutions. An autolysed cell-free culture filtrate from each strain was used, indicating that the formation mechanism depends on intra-cellular components for both organisms, since culture broths had no significant nanoparticle formation potential. Nanoparticle formation was indicated by a change of the solution from colourless or light brown to dark brown after 24 h or more, and UV-visible spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction analysis confirmed the formation by both organisms. The initial formation kinetics were faster with Aspergillus, but formation continued for a longer period with Streptomyces, resulting in higher concentrations after 48 h. Transmission electron microscope images revealed well dispersed nanoparticles with diameters ranging from 15 to 45 nm from A. fumigatus, while those from Streptomyces sp. had a narrower size distribution of 15-25 nm. The higher productivity and preferred narrower size distribution of Streptomyces, together with its well established industrial use, may make it the preferred choice for further optimization studies.

  6. NETs formed by human neutrophils inhibit growth of the pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    McCormick, Allison; Heesemann, Leonie; Wagener, Johannes; Marcos, Veronica; Hartl, Dominik; Loeffler, Jürgen; Heesemann, Jürgen; Ebel, Frank

    2010-11-01

    Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) represent a distinct mechanism to control and eliminate microbial infections. Our results show that conidia and germ tubes of the human pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus are able to trigger the formation of NETs. Viable fungal cells are not essentially required for this host-pathogen interaction. Neutrophils engulf conidia and thereby inhibit their germination, a process that is independent of NETosis. In the experimental set-up used in this study neutrophils do not kill germ tubes, but reduce their polar growth and this inhibition depends on NETs as it can be overcome by the addition of DNase-1. The Zn(2+) chelator calprotectin is associated with the Aspergillus-induced NETs and addition of Zn(2+) abrogates the NET-mediated growth inhibition. In summary, our data provide evidence that NETs are not sufficient to kill A. fumigatus, but might be a valuable tool to confine infection. Copyright © 2010 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Single tracheal inoculation of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia induced aspergillosis in juvenile falcons (Falco spp.).

    PubMed

    Fischer, Dominik; Van Waeyenberghe, Lieven; Failing, Klaus; Martel, An; Lierz, Michael

    2017-09-01

    Aspergillosis is a common and life-threatening respiratory disease in raptors with acute and chronic courses. Among raptors, gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) and their hybrids are often declared to be highly susceptible with juvenile individuals being the most susceptible. However, species- and age-specific experimental studies are lacking and minimal infective doses (IDs) for Aspergillus spp. conidia are unknown.Therefore, 8-week-old, healthy gyr-hybrid falcons (F. rusticolus X F. cherrug) (N = 18) were experimentally infected with Aspergillus fumigatus using a single intratracheal inoculation with varying dosages of conidia (10(2) to 10(7) conidia). Over 28 days, clinical signs were monitored as well as haematological and serological parameters. Following euthanasia, necropsy, histopathology, bacteriology, and mycology were performed. Re-isolated fungi were compared to the inoculum using microsatellite length polymorphisms. During the trial, clinical signs and dyspnoea correlated significantly with the ID. Necropsy revealed fungal lesions in the upper and lower airways of 10/18 inoculated falcons, but not in the control birds. In 9/18 inoculated falcons, fungal granulomas were confirmed in histopathology and A. fumigatus was re-isolated from these granulomas. Except one nasal isolate all re-isolated fungal strains were identical to the inoculum strain. Based on mycology and histopathology a minimal ID of 50% was calculated to be MID50% (±S.E.) = 10(4.52±0.67) for a single tracheal inoculation of A. fumigatus conidia. This study demonstrates for the first time that a single exposure is able to cause acute aspergillosis in juvenile falcons.

  8. Aspergillus fumigatus evades immune recognition during germination through loss of toll-like receptor-4-mediated signal transduction.

    PubMed

    Netea, Mihai G; Warris, Adilia; Van der Meer, Jos W M; Fenton, Matthew J; Verver-Janssen, Trees J G; Jacobs, Liesbeth E H; Andresen, Tonje; Verweij, Paul E; Kullberg, Bart Jan

    2003-07-15

    Peritoneal macrophages from Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4-deficient ScCr mice produced less tumor necrosis factor, interleukin (IL)-1alpha, and IL-1beta than did macrophages of control mice, when stimulated with conidia, but not with hyphae, of Aspergillus fumigatus, a finding suggesting that TLR4-mediated signals are lost during germination. This hypothesis was confirmed by use of a TLR4-specific fibroblast reporter cell line (3E10) that responded to the conidia, but not to the hyphae, of A. fumigatus. In contrast, macrophages from TLR2-knockout mice had a decreased production of proinflammatory cytokines in response to both Aspergillus conidia and Aspergillus hyphae, and these results were confirmed in 3E10 cells transfected with human TLR2. In addition, Aspergillus hyphae, but not Aspergillus conidia, stimulated production of IL-10 through TLR2-dependent mechanisms. In conclusion, TLR4-mediated proinflammatory signals, but not TLR2-induced anti-inflammatory signals, are lost on Aspergillus germination to hyphae. Therefore, phenotypic switching during germination may be an important escape mechanism of A. fumigatus that results in counteracting the host defense.

  9. Identification of possible targets of the Aspergillus fumigatus CRZ1 homologue, CrzA

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Calcineurin, a serine/threonine-specific protein phosphatase, plays an important role in the control of cell morphology and virulence in fungi. Calcineurin regulates localization and activity of a transcription factor called CRZ1. Recently, we characterize Aspergillus fumigatus CRZ1 homologue, AfCrzA. Here, we investigate which pathways are influenced by A. fumigatus AfCrzA during a short pulse of calcium by comparatively determining the transcriptional profile of A. fumigatus wild type and ΔAfcrzA mutant strains. Results We were able to observe 3,622 genes modulated in at least one timepoint in the mutant when compared to the wild type strain (3,211 and 411 at 10 and 30 minutes, respectively). Decreased mRNA abundance in the ΔcrzA was seen for genes encoding calcium transporters, transcription factors and genes that could be directly or indirectly involved in calcium metabolism. Increased mRNA accumulation was observed for some genes encoding proteins involved in stress response. AfCrzA overexpression in A. fumigatus increases the expression of several of these genes. The deleted strain of one of these genes, AfRcnA, belonging to a class of endogenous calcineurin regulators, calcipressins, had more calcineurin activity after exposure to calcium and was less sensitive to menadione 30 μM, hydrogen peroxide 2.5 mM, EGTA 25 mM, and MnCl2 25 mM. We constructed deletion, overexpression, and GFP fusion protein for the closely related A. nidulans AnRcnA. GFP::RcnA was mostly detected along the germling, did not accumulate in the nuclei and its location is not affected by the cellular response to calcium chloride. Conclusion We have performed a transcriptional profiling analysis of the A. fumigatus ΔAfcrzA mutant strain exposed to calcium stress. This provided an excellent opportunity to identify genes and pathways that are under the influence of AfCrzA. AfRcnA, one of these selected genes, encodes a modulator of calcineurin activity. Concomitantly with A

  10. Emergence of Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus and Spread of a Single Resistance Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Snelders, Eveline; van der Lee, Henrich A. L; Kuijpers, Judith; Rijs, Anthonius J. M. M; Varga, János; Samson, Robert A; Mellado, Emilia; Donders, A. Rogier T; Melchers, Willem J. G; Verweij, Paul E

    2008-01-01

    Background Resistance to triazoles was recently reported in Aspergillus fumigatus isolates cultured from patients with invasive aspergillosis. The prevalence of azole resistance in A. fumigatus is unknown. We investigated the prevalence and spread of azole resistance using our culture collection that contained A. fumigatus isolates collected between 1994 and 2007. Methods and Findings We investigated the prevalence of itraconazole (ITZ) resistance in 1,912 clinical A. fumigatus isolates collected from 1,219 patients in our University Medical Centre over a 14-y period. The spread of resistance was investigated by analyzing 147 A. fumigatus isolates from 101 patients, from 28 other medical centres in The Netherlands and 317 isolates from six other countries. The isolates were characterized using phenotypic and molecular methods. The electronic patient files were used to determine the underlying conditions of the patients and the presence of invasive aspergillosis. ITZ-resistant isolates were found in 32 of 1,219 patients. All cases were observed after 1999 with an annual prevalence of 1.7% to 6%. The ITZ-resistant isolates also showed elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations of voriconazole, ravuconazole, and posaconazole. A substitution of leucine 98 for histidine in the cyp51A gene, together with two copies of a 34-bp sequence in tandem in the gene promoter (TR/L98H), was found to be the dominant resistance mechanism. Microsatellite analysis indicated that the ITZ-resistant isolates were genetically distinct but clustered. The ITZ-sensitive isolates were not more likely to be responsible for invasive aspergillosis than the ITZ-resistant isolates. ITZ resistance was found in isolates from 13 patients (12.8%) from nine other medical centres in The Netherlands, of which 69% harboured the TR/L98H substitution, and in six isolates originating from four other countries. Conclusions Azole resistance has emerged in A. fumigatus and might be more prevalent than currently

  11. Aspergillus fumigatus and other thermophilic fungi in nests of wetland birds.

    PubMed

    Korniłłowicz-Kowalska, Teresa; Kitowski, Ignacy

    2013-02-01

    A study was performed on the numbers and species diversity of thermophilic fungi (growing at 45 °C in vitro) in 38 nests of 9 species of wetland birds, taking into account the physicochemical properties of the nests and the bird species. It was found that in nests with the maximum weight (nests of Mute Swan), the number and diversity of thermophilic fungi were significantly greater than in other nests, with lower weight. The diversity of the thermophilic biota was positively correlated with the individual mass of bird and with the level of phosphorus in the nests. The dominant species within the mycobiota under study was Aspergillus fumigatus which inhabited 95% of the nests under study, with average frequency of ca. 650 cfu g(-1) of dry mass of the nest material. In a majority of the nests studied (nests of 7 bird species), the share of A. fumigatus exceeded 50% of the total fungi growing at 45 °C. Significantly higher frequencies of the fungal species were characteristic of the nests of small and medium-sized piscivorous species, compared with the other bird species. The number of A. fumigatus increased with increase in the moisture level of the nests, whereas the frequency of occurrence of that opportunistic pathogen, opposite to the general frequency of thermophilic mycobiota, was negatively correlated with the level of phosphorus in the nest material, and with the body mass and length of the birds. The authors indicate the causes of varied growth of thermophilic fungi in nests of wetland birds and, in particular, present a discussion of the causes of accumulation of A. fumigatus, the related threats to the birds, and its role as a source of transmission in the epidemiological chain of aspergillosis.

  12. A Proteomic Approach to Investigating Gene Cluster Expression and Secondary Metabolite Functionality in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Rebecca A.; Hammel, Stephen; Sheridan, Kevin J.; Jones, Gary W.; Doyle, Sean

    2014-01-01

    A combined proteomics and metabolomics approach was utilised to advance the identification and characterisation of secondary metabolites in Aspergillus fumigatus. Here, implementation of a shotgun proteomic strategy led to the identification of non-redundant mycelial proteins (n = 414) from A. fumigatus including proteins typically under-represented in 2-D proteome maps: proteins with multiple transmembrane regions, hydrophobic proteins and proteins with extremes of molecular mass and pI. Indirect identification of secondary metabolite cluster expression was also achieved, with proteins (n = 18) from LaeA-regulated clusters detected, including GliT encoded within the gliotoxin biosynthetic cluster. Biochemical analysis then revealed that gliotoxin significantly attenuates H2O2-induced oxidative stress in A. fumigatus (p>0.0001), confirming observations from proteomics data. A complementary 2-D/LC-MS/MS approach further elucidated significantly increased abundance (p<0.05) of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), NADH-quinone oxidoreductase and the gliotoxin oxidoreductase GliT, along with significantly attenuated abundance (p<0.05) of a heat shock protein, an oxidative stress protein and an autolysis-associated chitinase, when gliotoxin and H2O2 were present, compared to H2O2 alone. Moreover, gliotoxin exposure significantly reduced the abundance of selected proteins (p<0.05) involved in de novo purine biosynthesis. Significantly elevated abundance (p<0.05) of a key enzyme, xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase Xpt1, utilised in purine salvage, was observed in the presence of H2O2 and gliotoxin. This work provides new insights into the A. fumigatus proteome and experimental strategies, plus mechanistic data pertaining to gliotoxin functionality in the organism. PMID:25198175

  13. Ergot cluster-encoded catalase is required for synthesis of chanoclavine-I in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Goetz, Kerry E; Coyle, Christine M; Cheng, Johnathan Z; O'Connor, Sarah E; Panaccione, Daniel G

    2011-06-01

    Genes required for ergot alkaloid biosynthesis are clustered in the genomes of several fungi. Several conserved ergot cluster genes have been hypothesized, and in some cases demonstrated, to encode early steps of the pathway shared among fungi that ultimately make different ergot alkaloid end products. The deduced amino acid sequence of one of these conserved genes (easC) indicates a catalase as the product, but a role for a catalase in the ergot alkaloid pathway has not been established. We disrupted easC of Aspergillus fumigatus by homologous recombination with a truncated copy of that gene. The resulting mutant (ΔeasC) failed to produce the ergot alkaloids typically observed in A. fumigatus, including chanoclavine-I, festuclavine, and fumigaclavines B, A, and C. The ΔeasC mutant instead accumulated N-methyl-4-dimethylallyltryptophan (N-Me-DMAT), an intermediate recently shown to accumulate in Claviceps purpurea strains mutated at ccsA (called easE in A. fumigatus) (Lorenz et al. Appl Environ Microbiol 76:1822-1830, 2010). A ΔeasE disruption mutant of A. fumigatus also failed to accumulate chanoclavine-I and downstream ergot alkaloids and, instead, accumulated N-Me-DMAT. Feeding chanoclavine-I to the ΔeasC mutant restored ergot alkaloid production. Complementation of either ΔeasC or ΔeasE mutants with the respective wild-type allele also restored ergot alkaloid production. The easC gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and the protein product displayed in vitro catalase activity with H(2)O(2) but did not act, in isolation, on N-Me-DMAT as substrate. The data indicate that the products of both easC (catalase) and easE (FAD-dependent oxidoreductase) are required for conversion of N-Me-DMAT to chanoclavine-I.

  14. Evaluation of exposure of pemphigus vulgaris patients to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Ali, R A; Elsherif, R H; Saleh, M A; Ismail, M H

    2016-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to screen pemphigus vulgaris (PV) (autoimmune bullous skin disease) for the presence of immunoglobulin G against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Aspergillus fumigatus. The sera of 60 PV patients and 28 controls were screened for the presence of immunoglobulin G against M. tuberculosis and A. fumigatus by enzyme-linked immune-sorbent assay. Forty patients were females and 20 were males. The range of IgG against M. tuberculosis was from 0.9 to 152.6 (median = 2.95) in the patients and was from 0 to 2.2 (median = 1.6) in the controls. Seven (11.7 %) patients and none of the controls exceeded the cut-off value. Four patients were on systemic steroids and azathioprine and three did not receive treatment before. The results showed that PV patients had significantly more IgG against M. tuberculosis than the controls; the p value was 0.006. The range of IgG against A. fumigatus was from 1.3 to 76.3 (median = 4.9) in the patients and was from 1 to 105.3 (median = 5.25) in the controls. Six (10 %) patients and eight (28.6 %) controls exceeded the cut-off value. The six patients were on systemic steroids and azathioprine. No significant difference was detected between PV patients and controls regarding exposure to A. fumigatus; the p value was 0.308. PV patients showed significantly more exposure to the M. tuberculosis than the controls. This suggests that M. tuberculosis may contribute to the pathogenesis of PV.

  15. Transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of the Aspergillus fumigatus hypoxia response using an oxygen-controlled fermenter

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus is a mold responsible for the majority of cases of aspergillosis in humans. To survive in the human body, A. fumigatus must adapt to microenvironments that are often characterized by low nutrient and oxygen availability. Recent research suggests that the ability of A. fumigatus and other pathogenic fungi to adapt to hypoxia contributes to their virulence. However, molecular mechanisms of A. fumigatus hypoxia adaptation are poorly understood. Thus, to better understand how A. fumigatus adapts to hypoxic microenvironments found in vivo during human fungal pathogenesis, the dynamic changes of the fungal transcriptome and proteome in hypoxia were investigated over a period of 24 hours utilizing an oxygen-controlled fermenter system. Results Significant increases in transcripts associated with iron and sterol metabolism, the cell wall, the GABA shunt, and transcriptional regulators were observed in response to hypoxia. A concomitant reduction in transcripts was observed with ribosome and terpenoid backbone biosynthesis, TCA cycle, amino acid metabolism and RNA degradation. Analysis of changes in transcription factor mRNA abundance shows that hypoxia induces significant positive and negative changes that may be important for regulating the hypoxia response in this pathogenic mold. Growth in hypoxia resulted in changes in the protein levels of several glycolytic enzymes, but these changes were not always reflected by the corresponding transcriptional profiling data. However, a good correlation overall (R2 = 0.2, p < 0.05) existed between the transcriptomic and proteomics datasets for all time points. The lack of correlation between some transcript levels and their subsequent protein levels suggests another regulatory layer of the hypoxia response in A. fumigatus. Conclusions Taken together, our data suggest a robust cellular response that is likely regulated both at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level in response to hypoxia

  16. Effects of retinoic acid receptor-γ on the Aspergillus fumigatus induced innate immunity response in human corneal epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiao-Chen; Zhao, Gui-Qiu; Lin, Jing; Li, Cui; Jiang, Nan; Zhang, Jie

    2016-01-01

    AIM To explore the effects of retinoic acid receptor-γ (RARγ) on innate immune responses against Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) in cultured human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs). METHODS The HCECs were stimulated with A. fumigatus hyphae for 0, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16h. RARγ mRNA and protein levels were tested by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot. Then HCECs were pretreated with or without BMS961 (RARγ agonist, 1 µg/mL). The mRNA and protein expression of Dectin-1 and the downstream cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6) were determined by qRT-PCR, Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS The expression of RARγ was upregulated after stimulation with A. fumigatus. RARγ mRNA began to rise at 4h and peaked at 8h (P<0.001). The protein of RARγ reached to the peak at 16h (P<0.001). Pretreated with BMS961 before A. fumigatus hyphae stimulation, expression of Dectin-1, TNF-α and IL-6 decreased dramatically at mRNA and protein levels. CONCLUSION HCECs can express RARγ and A. fumigatus hyphae infection can increase RARγ expression. BMS961 can inhibit the expression of Dectin-1 and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and play an anti-inflammatory role in innate immune responses against A. fumigatus. PMID:28003968

  17. Comparison of the crystal structures of the human manganese superoxide dismutase and the homologous Aspergillus fumigatus allergen at 2-A resolution.

    PubMed

    Flückiger, Sabine; Mittl, Peer R E; Scapozza, Leonardo; Fijten, Helmi; Folkers, Gerd; Grütter, Markus G; Blaser, Kurt; Crameri, Reto

    2002-02-01

    Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) of Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus involved in many pulmonary complications, has been identified as IgE-binding protein. It has been shown also that MnSODs from other organisms, including human, are recognized by IgE Abs from individuals sensitized to A. fumigatus MnSOD. Comparison of the fungal and the human crystal structure should allow the identification of structural similarities responsible for IgE-mediated cross-reactivity. The three-dimensional structure of A. fumigatus MnSOD has been determined at 2-A resolution by x-ray diffraction analysis. Crystals belonged to space group P2(1)2(1)2(1) with unit cell dimensions of a = 65.88 A, b = 98.7 A, and c = 139.28 A. The structure was solved by molecular replacement using the structure of the human MnSOD as a search model. The final refined model included four chains of 199-200 amino acids, four manganese ions, and 745 water molecules, with a crystallographic R-factor of 19.4% and a free R-factor of 23.3%. Like MnSODs of other eukaryotic organisms, A. fumigatus MnSOD forms a homotetramer with the manganese ions coordinated by three histidines, one aspartic acid, and one water molecule. The fungal and the human MnSOD share high similarity on the level of both primary and tertiary structure. We identified conserved amino acids that are solvent exposed in the fungal and the human crystal structure and are therefore potentially involved in IgE-mediated cross-reactivity.

  18. Identification and Characterization of a Novel Aspergillus fumigatus Rhomboid Family Putative Protease, RbdA, Involved in Hypoxia Sensing and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Vaknin, Yakir; Hillmann, Falk; Iannitti, Rossana; Ben Baruch, Netali; Sandovsky-Losica, Hana; Shadkchan, Yona; Romani, Luigina; Brakhage, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common pathogenic mold infecting humans and a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. In invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, A. fumigatus spores are inhaled into the lungs, undergoing germination and invasive hyphal growth. The fungus occludes and disrupts the blood vessels, leading to hypoxia and eventual tissue necrosis. The ability of this mold to adapt to hypoxia is regulated in part by the sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) SrbA and the DscA to DscD Golgi E3 ligase complex critical for SREBP activation by proteolytic cleavage. Loss of the genes encoding these proteins results in avirulence. To identify novel regulators of hypoxia sensing, we screened the Neurospora crassa gene deletion library under hypoxia and identified a novel rhomboid family protease essential for hypoxic growth. Deletion of the A. fumigatus rhomboid homolog rbdA resulted in an inability to grow under hypoxia, hypersensitivity to CoCl2, nikkomycin Z, fluconazole, and ferrozine, abnormal swollen tip morphology, and transcriptional dysregulation—accurately phenocopying deletion of srbA. In vivo, rbdA deletion resulted in increased sensitivity to phagocytic killing, a reduced inflammatory Th1 and Th17 response, and strongly attenuated virulence. Phenotypic rescue of the ΔrbdA mutant was achieved by expression and nuclear localization of the N terminus of SrbA, including its HLH domain, further indicating that RbdA and SrbA act in the same signaling pathway. In summary, we have identified RbdA, a novel putative rhomboid family protease in A. fumigatus that mediates hypoxia adaptation and fungal virulence and that is likely linked to SrbA cleavage and activation. PMID:27068092

  19. Interplay between Gliotoxin Resistance, Secretion, and the Methyl/Methionine Cycle in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Rebecca A.; O'Keeffe, Grainne; Smith, Elizabeth B.; Dolan, Stephen K.; Hammel, Stephen; Sheridan, Kevin J.; Fitzpatrick, David A.; Keane, Thomas M.

    2015-01-01

    Mechanistic studies on gliotoxin biosynthesis and self-protection in Aspergillus fumigatus, both of which require the gliotoxin oxidoreductase GliT, have revealed a rich landscape of highly novel biochemistries, yet key aspects of this complex molecular architecture remain obscure. Here we show that an A. fumigatus ΔgliA strain is completely deficient in gliotoxin secretion but still retains the ability to efflux bisdethiobis(methylthio)gliotoxin (BmGT). This correlates with a significant increase in sensitivity to exogenous gliotoxin because gliotoxin trapped inside the cell leads to (i) activation of the gli cluster, as disabling gli cluster activation, via gliZ deletion, attenuates the sensitivity of an A. fumigatus ΔgliT strain to gliotoxin, thus implicating cluster activation as a factor in gliotoxin sensitivity, and (ii) increased methylation activity due to excess substrate (dithiol gliotoxin) for the gliotoxin bis-thiomethyltransferase GtmA. Intracellular dithiol gliotoxin is oxidized by GliT and subsequently effluxed by GliA. In the absence of GliA, gliotoxin persists in the cell and is converted to BmGT, with levels significantly higher than those in the wild type. Similarly, in the ΔgliT strain, gliotoxin oxidation is impeded, and methylation occurs unchecked, leading to significant S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) depletion and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) overproduction. This in turn significantly contributes to the observed hypersensitivity of gliT-deficient A. fumigatus to gliotoxin. Our observations reveal a key role for GliT in preventing dysregulation of the methyl/methionine cycle to control intracellular SAM and SAH homeostasis during gliotoxin biosynthesis and exposure. Moreover, we reveal attenuated GliT abundance in the A. fumigatus ΔgliK strain, but not the ΔgliG strain, following exposure to gliotoxin, correlating with relative sensitivities. Overall, we illuminate new systems interactions that have evolved in gliotoxin-producing, compared

  20. Aspergillus fumigatus densities in relation to forest succession and edge effects: implications for wildlife health in modified environments.

    PubMed

    Perrott, John K; Armstrong, Doug P

    2011-09-01

    The hihi (or stitchbird, Notiomystis cincta) is a New Zealand endemic nectivorous forest bird now restricted to one pristine island. Relocation to establish viable hihi populations on other islands has been the main conservation action since the early 1980s. To date, hihi reintroductions to young growth islands have had poor success despite the absence of mammalian predators. It was thought that past failures were due to food limitation, but research suggests that food limitation alone cannot account for their poor survivorship. Post-mortems of dead hihi has shown that aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus is a major mortality factor and there is current concern regarding their susceptibility to this fungal disease. In this paper we develop and assess the hypothesis that A. fumigatus limits hihi population viability on modified islands, and suggest that A. fumigatus is a potential indicator species for habitat disturbance. We report that the prevalence of A. fumigatus spores in the soil is much higher in young growth forests and forest edge habitats. Results suggest that hihi mortality rates between islands are potentially due to differential exposure to A. fumigatus spores. We assess relationships between habitat disturbance, A. fumigatus contamination and hihi mortality rates by testing the following predictions: (1) that densities of A. fumigatus spores will be higher on modified islands, (2) that densities of A. fumigatus spores on islands will be correlated with hihi mortality rates and (3) that densities of A. fumigatus spores will be higher at the forest edge than in the interior. We test each of these predictions using soil samples, air samples and samples of nectar from plant species fed on by hihi.

  1. Aspergillus fumigatus Intrinsic Fluconazole Resistance Is Due to the Naturally Occurring T301I Substitution in Cyp51Ap

    PubMed Central

    Leonardelli, Florencia; Macedo, Daiana; Dudiuk, Catiana; Cabeza, Matias S.; Gamarra, Soledad

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus intrinsic fluconazole resistance has been demonstrated to be linked to the CYP51A gene, although the precise molecular mechanism has not been elucidated yet. Comparisons between A. fumigatus Cyp51Ap and Candida albicans Erg11p sequences showed differences in amino acid residues already associated with fluconazole resistance in C. albicans. The aim of this study was to analyze the role of the natural polymorphism I301 in Aspergillus fumigatus Cyp51Ap in the intrinsic fluconazole resistance phenotype of this pathogen. The I301 residue in A. fumigatus Cyp51Ap was replaced with a threonine (analogue to T315 at Candida albicans fluconazole-susceptible Erg11p) by changing one single nucleotide in the CYP51A gene. Also, a CYP51A knockout strain was obtained using the same parental strain. Both mutants' antifungal susceptibilities were tested. The I301T mutant exhibited a lower level of resistance to fluconazole (MIC, 20 μg/ml) than the parental strain (MIC, 640 μg/ml), while no changes in MIC were observed for other azole- and non-azole-based drugs. These data strongly implicate the A. fumigatus Cyp51Ap I301 residue in the intrinsic resistance to fluconazole. PMID:27381395

  2. Dataset of differentially regulated proteins in HUVECs challenged with wild type and UGM1 mutant Aspergillus fumigatus strains.

    PubMed

    Neves, Gabriela Westerlund Peixoto; Curty, Nathália; Kubitschek-Barreira, Paula Helena; Fontaine, Thierry; Souza, Gustavo Henrique Martins Ferreira; Cunha, Marcel Lyra; Goldman, Gustavo H; Beauvais, Anne; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila M

    2016-12-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is the primary opportunistic invasive fungal infection described in neutropenic hematologic patients, caused by the angioinvasive pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The molecular mechanisms associated with A. fumigatus infection in the vascular endothelium are poorly understood. In this context, we used a high-throughput proteomic approach to unveil the proteins modulated in HUVECs after interaction with a wild type strain and the UGM1 mutant (Δugm1) of A. fumigatus. The proteomic analysis was also performed in HUVECs challenged with a galactosaminogalactan (GAG) purified from A. fumigatus cell wall. The dataset presented here correspond to all proteins identified that fit a 2-fold change criteria (log 2 ratio ≥ 1 or ≤ -1), disregarding the statistical validation cut off, in order to supplement the research article entitled "Modifications to the composition of the hyphal outer layer of Aspergillus fumigatus modulates the HUVEC proteins associated with inflammatory and stress responses" (G.W.P. Neves, N.A. Curty, P.H. Kubitschek-Barreira, T. Fontaine, G.H.M.F. Souza, M. Lyra Cunha, G.H. Goldman, A. Beauvais, J.P. Latgé, L.M. Lopes-Bezerra, 2016) [1]. The mass spectrometry proteomic data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE partner repository with the dataset identifier PRIDE: PXD002823.

  3. Cyclophilin and enolase are the most prevalent conidial antigens of Lomentospora prolificans recognized by healthy human salivary IgA and cross-react with Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Buldain, Idoia; Ramirez-Garcia, Andoni; Pellon, Aize; Antoran, Aitziber; Sevilla, Maria Jesus; Rementeria, Aitor; Hernando, Fernando L

    2016-10-01

    The study of the immunocompetent airways immune response may provide important information to improve the therapeutic efficacy against Lomentospora (Scedosporium) prolificans. So, this study aimed to identify the most prevalent conidial antigens of this multiresistant fungus recognized by healthy human salivary immunoglobulin A, and to study their expression and cross-reactivity with other fungal species. Twenty saliva from immunocompetent donors were used to detect and identify the immunoreactive proteins by 2D immunoblotting and LC-MS/MS. Moreover, anti-Aspergillus antibodies were purified to study their cross-reactivity. Ten proteins of L. prolificans conidia showed reactivity with more than 50% of the saliva samples. Among them, cyclophilin and enolase were the most prevalent antigens recognized by 85 and 80% of the samples, respectively. These enzymes were also identified on the cell wall surface of L. prolificans and on the immunomes of Scedosporium apiospermum and Scedosporium aurantiacum. Additionally, they showed cross-reactivity with the most common pathogenic filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. These results show that the immunocompetent immune response might offer a pan-fungal recognition of conserved antigens such as enolase and cyclophilins, making them potential candidates for study as therapeutic targets. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Biological activities of ophiobolin K and 6-epi-ophiobolin K produced by the endophytic fungus Aspergillus calidoustus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The endophytic fungus, Aspergillus calidoustus, was isolated from the plant species Acanthospermum australe (Asteraceae). A dichloromethane extract of the fungus displayed antifungal, antiprotozoal, and cytotoxic activities. Aspergillus calidoustus was identified using molecular, physiological and m...

  5. Unraveling the nanoscale surface properties of chitin synthase mutants of Aspergillus fumigatus and their biological implications.

    PubMed

    Alsteens, David; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Hegde, Pushpa; Pire, Stéphane; Beau, Rémi; Bayry, Jagadeesh; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Dufrêne, Yves F

    2013-07-16

    Understanding the surface properties of the human opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus conidia is essential given the important role they play during the fungal interactions with the human host. Although chitin synthases with myosin motor-like domain (CSM) play a major role in cell wall biosynthesis, the extent to which deletion of the CSM genes alter the surface structural and biophysical-biological properties of conidia is not fully characterized. We used three complementary atomic force microscopy techniques-i.e., structural imaging, chemical force microscopy with hydrophobic tips, and single-molecule force spectroscopy with lectin tips-to gain detailed insights into the nanoscale surface properties (ultrastructure, hydrophobicity) and polysaccharide composition of the wild-type and the chitin synthase mutant (ΔcsmA, ΔcsmB, and ΔcsmA/csmB) conidia of A. fumigatus. Wild-type conidia were covered with a highly hydrophobic layer of rodlet nanostructures. By contrast, the surface of the ΔcsmA mutant was almost completely devoid of rodlets, leading to loss of hydrophobicity and exposure of mannan and chitin polysaccharides. The ΔcsmB and ΔcsmA/csmB mutants showed a different behavior, i.e., the surfaces featured poorly organized rodlet layers, yet with a low hydrophobicity and substantial amounts of exposed mannan and chitin at the surface. As the rodlet layer is important for masking recognition of immunogenic fungal cell wall components by innate immune cells, disappearance of rodlet layers in all three chitin synthase mutant conidia was associated with an activation of human dendritic cells. These nanoscale analyses emphasize the important and distinct roles that the CSMA and CSMB genes play in modulating the surface properties and immune interactions of A. fumigatus and demonstrate the power of atomic force microscopy in fungal genetic studies for assessing the phenotypic characteristics of mutants altered in cell surface organization. Copyright

  6. Establishing in vitro-in vivo correlations for Aspergillus fumigatus: the challenge of azoles versus echinocandins.

    PubMed

    Arendrup, Maiken Cavling; Perkhofer, Susanne; Howard, Susan J; Garcia-Effron, Guillermo; Vishukumar, Aimanianda; Perlin, David; Lass-Flörl, Cornelia

    2008-10-01

    Two clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus, designated AT and DK, were recently obtained from patients failing caspofungin and itraconazole therapy, respectively. The isolates were tested by microdilution for susceptibility to itraconazole, voriconazole, posaconazole, ravuconazole, and caspofungin and by Etest for susceptibility to amphotericin B and caspofungin. Susceptibility testing documented that the DK isolate was azole resistant (itraconazole and posaconazole MICs, >4 microg/ml; voriconazole MIC, 2 microg/ml; ravuconazole MIC, 4 microg/ml), and the resistance was confirmed in a hematogenous mouse model, with mortality and the galactomannan index as the primary and secondary end points. Sequencing of the cyp51A gene revealed the M220K mutation, conferring multiazole resistance. The Etest, but not microdilution, suggested that the AT isolate was resistant to caspofungin (MIC, >32 microg/ml). In the animal model, this isolate showed reduced susceptibility to caspofungin. Sequencing of the FKS1 gene revealed no mutations; the enzyme retained full sensitivity in vitro; and investigation of the polysaccharide composition showed that the beta-(1,3)-glucan proportion was unchanged. However, gene expression profiling by Northern blotting and real-time PCR demonstrated that the FKS gene was expressed at a higher level in the AT isolate than in the susceptible control isolate. To our knowledge, this is the first report to document the presence of multiazole-resistant clinical isolates in Denmark and to demonstrate reduced susceptibility to caspofungin in a clinical A. fumigatus isolate with increased expression of the FKS gene. Further research to determine the prevalence of resistance in A. fumigatus worldwide, and to develop easier and reliable tools for the identification of such isolates in routine laboratories, is warranted.

  7. Aspergillus fumigatus RasA Regulates Asexual Development and Cell Wall Integrity▿

    PubMed Central

    Fortwendel, Jarrod R.; Fuller, Kevin K.; Stephens, Timothy J.; Bacon, W. Clark; Askew, David S.; Rhodes, Judith C.

    2008-01-01

    The Ras family of proteins is a large group of monomeric GTPases. Members of the fungal Ras family act as molecular switches that transduce signals from the outside of the cell to signaling cascades inside the cell. A. fumigatus RasA is 94% identical to the essential RasA gene of Aspergillus nidulans and is the Ras family member sharing the highest identity to Ras homologs studied in many other fungi. In this study, we report that rasA is not essential in A. fumigatus, but its absence is associated with slowed germination and a severe defect in radial growth. The ΔrasA hyphae were more than two times the diameter of wild-type hyphae, and they displayed repeated changes in the axis of polarity during hyphal growth. The deformed hyphae accumulated numerous nuclei within each hyphal compartment. The ΔrasA mutant conidiated poorly, but this phenotype could be ameliorated by growth on osmotically stabilized media. The ΔrasA mutant also showed increased susceptibility to cell wall stressors, stained more intensely with calcofluor white, and was refractory to lysing enzymes used to make protoplasts, suggesting an alteration of the cell wall. All phenotypes associated with deletion of rasA could be corrected by reinsertion of the wild-type gene. These data demonstrate a crucial role for RasA in both hyphal growth and asexual development in A. fumigatus and provide evidence that RasA function is linked to cell wall integrity. PMID:18606827

  8. Early neutrophil recruitment and aggregation in the murine lung inhibit germination of Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia.

    PubMed

    Bonnett, Colin R; Cornish, E Jean; Harmsen, Allen G; Burritt, James B

    2006-12-01

    Several types of polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) deficiency are a predisposing condition for fatal Aspergillus fumigatus infection. In order to study the defensive role of PMNs in the lungs, with particular reference to PMN recruitment and antimicrobial oxidant activity, responses to pulmonary instillation of A. fumigatus conidia were examined. Responses in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were compared with those in CXCR2(-/-) and gp91(phox-/-) mice, which are known to have delayed recruitment of PMN to the lungs in response to inflammatory stimuli and inactive NADPH oxidase, respectively. In BALB/c mice, PMNs were recruited to the lungs and formed oxidase-active aggregates with conidia, which inhibited germination. In C57BL/6, gp91(phox-/-), and CXCR2(-/-) mice, PMN recruitment was slower and there was increased germination compared to that in BALB/c mice at 6 and 12 h. In gp91(phox-/-) mice, germination was extensive in PMN aggregates but negligible in alveolar macrophages (AM). Lung sections taken at 6 and 48 h from BALB/c mice showed PMN accumulation at peribronchiolar sites but no germinating conidia. Those from C57BL/6 and CXCR2(-/-) mice showed germinating conidia at 6 h but not at 48 h and few inflammatory cells. In contrast, those from gp91(phox-/-) mice showed germination at 6 h with more-extensive hyphal proliferation and tissue invasion at 48 h. These results indicate that when the lungs are exposed to large numbers of conidia, in addition to the phagocytic activity of AM, early PMN recruitment and formation of oxidative-active aggregates are essential in preventing germination of A. fumigatus conidia.

  9. A proteomics strategy to discover beta-glucosidases from Aspergillus fumigatus with two-dimensional page in-gel activity assay and tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kee-Hong; Brown, Kimberly M; Harris, Paul V; Langston, James A; Cherry, Joel R

    2007-12-01

    Economically competitive production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass by enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation is currently limited, in part, by the relatively high cost and low efficiency of the enzymes required to hydrolyze cellulose to fermentable sugars. Discovery of novel cellulases with greater activity could be a critical step in overcoming this cost barrier. beta-Glucosidase catalyzes the final step in conversion of glucose polymers to glucose. Despite the importance, only a few beta-glucosidases are commercially available, and more efficient ones are clearly needed. We developed a proteomics strategy aiming to discover beta-glucosidases present in the secreted proteome of the cellulose-degrading fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. With the use of partial or complete protein denaturing conditions, the secretory proteome was fractionated in a 2DGE format and beta-glucosidase activity was detected in the gel after infusion with a substrate analogue that fluoresces upon hydrolysis. Fluorescing spots were subjected to tryptic-digestion, and identification as beta-glucosidases was confirmed by tandem mass spectrometry. Two novel beta-glucosidases of A. fumigatus were identified by this in situ activity staining method, and the gene coding for a novel beta-glucosidase ( EAL88289 ) was cloned and heterologously expressed. The expressed beta-glucosidase showed far superior heat stability to the previously characterized beta-glucosidases of Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae. Improved heat stability is important for development of the next generation of saccharifying enzymes capable of performing fast cellulose hydrolysis reactions at elevated temperatures, thereby lowering the cost of bioethanol production. The in situ activity staining approach described here would be a useful tool for cataloguing and assessing the efficiency of beta-glucosidases in a high throughput fashion.

  10. Identification of a Putative Crf Splice Variant and Generation of Recombinant Antibodies for the Specific Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Schütte, Mark; Thullier, Philippe; Pelat, Thibaut; Wezler, Xenia; Rosenstock, Philip; Hinz, Dominik; Kirsch, Martina Inga; Hasenberg, Mike; Frank, Ronald; Schirrmann, Thomas; Gunzer, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus is a common airborne fungal pathogen for humans. It frequently causes an invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised patients with poor prognosis. Potent antifungal drugs are very expensive and cause serious adverse effects. Their correct application requires an early and specific diagnosis of IA, which is still not properly achievable. This work aims to a specific detection of A. fumigatus by immunofluorescence and the generation of recombinant antibodies for the detection of A. fumigatus by ELISA. Results The A. fumigatus antigen Crf2 was isolated from a human patient with proven IA. It is a novel variant of a group of surface proteins (Crf1, Asp f9, Asp f16) which belong to the glycosylhydrolase family. Single chain fragment variables (scFvs) were obtained by phage display from a human naive antibody gene library and an immune antibody gene library generated from a macaque immunized with recombinant Crf2. Two different selection strategies were performed and shown to influence the selection of scFvs recognizing the Crf2 antigen in its native conformation. Using these antibodies, Crf2 was localized in growing hyphae of A. fumigatus but not in spores. In addition, the antibodies allowed differentiation between A. fumigatus and related Aspergillus species or Candida albicans by immunofluorescence microscopy. The scFv antibody clones were further characterized for their affinity, the nature of their epitope, their serum stability and their detection limit of Crf2 in human serum. Conclusion Crf2 and the corresponding recombinant antibodies offer a novel approach for the early diagnostics of IA caused by A. fumigatus. PMID:19675673

  11. Human Platelets Damage Aspergillus fumigatus Hyphae and May Supplement Killing by Neutrophils

    PubMed Central

    Christin, Laurent; Wysong, Deborah R.; Meshulam, Tova; Hastey, Ryan; Simons, Elizabeth R.; Diamond, Richard D.

    1998-01-01

    Neutropenia is considered a significant risk factor for invasive aspergillosis but is almost always associated with concurrent thrombocytopenia. Studies determined that platelets, like neutrophils, attached to cell walls of the invasive hyphal form of Aspergillus fumigatus. Organisms were damaged as shown by loss of cell wall integrity in scanning laser confocal microscopy and release of defined hyphal surface glycoproteins. Rapid expression appearance of surface antigen CD63 and release of markers of platelet degranulation confirmed activation during attachment to hyphae. Optimal platelet activation required opsonization of hyphae with fresh or heat-inactivated whole plasma. These effects of opsonization with whole plasma could not be duplicated by pooled human serum, immunoglobulin G, or fibrinogen, whether used separately or combined. Thus, platelets in the presence of whole plasma have the potential to play an important role in normal host defenses against invasive aspergillosis. PMID:9488412

  12. The biosynthesis of 4-hydroxycoumarin and dicoumarol by Aspergillus fumigatus Fresenius

    PubMed Central

    Bye, A.; King, H. K.

    1970-01-01

    A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus Fresenius, isolated from spoiled hay, converts melilotic acid (o-hydroxyphenylpropionic acid) and o-coumaric acid into 4-hydroxycoumarin and dicoumarol. The sequence is shown to be melilotic acid (I) [Formula: see text] coumaric acid (IV) [Formula: see text] β-hydroxymelilotic acid (II) [Formula: see text] β-oxomelilotic acid (III) [Formula: see text] 4-hydroxycoumarin (VI), on the basis of (1) studies on the formation of postulated intermediates, (2) experiments with isotopically labelled materials and (3) sequential enzyme induction. In the presence of semicarbazide, o-coumaraldehyde is formed from o-coumaric acid: there is no evidence, however, that this lies on the normal metabolic pathway. PMID:4192639

  13. Accumulation of gliotoxin, a cytotoxic mycotoxin from Aspergillus fumigatus, in blue mussel (Mytilus edulis).

    PubMed

    Grovel, Olivier; Pouchus, Yves François; Verbist, Jean-François

    2003-09-01

    A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus has been isolated from sediments of a mussel bed. When cultured in hyper saline conditions (with sea-water), it produces a cytotoxic and immunosuppressive toxin, gliotoxin, which is excreted in an exudate. In order to know if this toxin could represent a risk for shellfish consumers, an experiment of bioaccumulation of gliotoxin in mussel has been carried out. After 6 days of contamination, toxin was accumulated in the meat of the mussels, at a level up to 2.9 microg/mg of extract weight, with a mode of contamination different to the classical digestive process described for a majority of marine toxins, but similar to the contamination mode of domoic acid.

  14. Cell wall alpha1-3glucans induce the aggregation of germinating conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Thierry; Beauvais, Anne; Loussert, Céline; Thevenard, Benoît; Fulgsang, Claus C; Ohno, Naohito; Clavaud, Cécile; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2010-08-01

    The germination of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia can be divided into four stages: breaking of dormancy, isotropic swelling, establishment of cell polarity, and formation of a germ tube. Swelling of conidia is associated in liquid medium with a multi-cellular aggregation that produced large clumps of conidia. Conidial aggregation can be specifically prevented by the addition of alpha1-3glucanase. Swollen conidia specifically adhere to insoluble alpha1-3glucan chains. Electron microscopy studies showed that cell wall alpha1-3glucan chains became exposed at the cell surface during the swelling. These results demonstrate that cell wall alpha1-3glucans play an essential role in the aggregation between swollen conidia. Experiments with alpha1-3glucan coated latex beads show that alpha1-3glucan chains interacted between them without the requirement of any other cell wall component suggesting that biophysical properties of alpha1-3glucans are solely responsible for conidial aggregation.

  15. Structure of an Aspergillus fumigatus old yellow enzyme (EasA) involved in ergot alkaloid biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Chilton, Annemarie S.; Ellis, Ashley L.; Lamb, Audrey L.

    2014-01-01

    The Aspergillus fumigatus old yellow enzyme (OYE) EasA reduces chano­clavine-I aldehyde to dihydrochanoclavine aldehyde and works in conjunction with festuclavine synthase at the branchpoint for ergot alkaloid pathways. The crystal structure of the FMN-loaded EasA was determined to 1.8 Å resolution. The active-site amino acids of OYE are conserved, supporting a similar mechanism for reduction of the α/β-unsaturated aldehyde. The C-terminal tail of one monomer packs into the active site of a monomer in the next asymmetric unit, which is most likely to be a crystallization artifact and not a mechanism of self-regulation. PMID:25286934

  16. Nanoscale biophysical properties of the cell surface galactosaminogalactan from the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaussart, Audrey; El-Kirat-Chatel, Sofiane; Fontaine, Thierry; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Dufrêne, Yves F.

    2015-09-01

    Many fungal pathogens produce cell surface polysaccharides that play essential roles in host-pathogen interactions. In Aspergillus fumigatus, the newly discovered polysaccharide galactosaminogalactan (GAG) mediates adherence to a variety of substrates through molecular mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here we use atomic force microscopy to unravel the localization and adhesion of GAG on living fungal cells. Using single-molecule imaging with tips bearing anti-GAG antibodies, we found that GAG is massively exposed on wild-type (WT) germ tubes, consistent with the notion that this glycopolymer is secreted by the mycelium of A. fumigatus, while it is lacking on WT resting conidia and on germ tubes from a mutant (Δuge3) deficient in GAG. Imaging germ tubes with tips bearing anti-β-glucan antibodies shows that exposure of β-glucan is strongly increased in the Δuge3 mutant, indicating that this polysaccharide is masked by GAG during hyphal growth. Single-cell force measurements show that expression of GAG on germ tubes promotes specific adhesion to pneumocytes and non-specific adhesion to hydrophobic substrates. These results provide a molecular foundation for the multifunctional adhesion properties of GAG, thus suggesting it could be used as a potential target in anti-adhesion therapy and immunotherapy. Our methodology represents a powerful approach for characterizing the nanoscale organization and adhesion of cell wall polysaccharides during fungal morphogenesis, thereby contributing to increase our understanding of their role in biofilm formation and immune responses.

  17. Anti-Aspergillus fumigatus Efficacy of Pentraxin 3 Alone and in Combination with Antifungals

    PubMed Central

    Gaziano, Roberta; Bozza, Silvia; Bellocchio, Silvia; Perruccio, Katia; Montagnoli, Claudia; Pitzurra, Lucia; Salvatori, Giovanni; De Santis, Rita; Carminati, Paolo; Mantovani, Alberto; Romani, Luigina

    2004-01-01

    The collectin pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is an essential component of host resistance to pulmonary aspergillosis. Here we examined the protective effects of administration of PTX3 alone or together with deoxycholate amphotericin B (Fungizone) or liposomal amphotericin B (AmBisome) against invasive aspergillosis in a murine model of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. PTX3, alone or in combination with the polyenes, was given intranasally or parenterally either before, in concomitance with, or after the intranasal infection with Aspergillus fumigatus conidia. Mice were monitored for resistance to infection and parameters of innate and adaptive T-helper immunity. The results showed the following: (i) complete resistance to infection and reinfection was observed in mice treated with PTX3 alone; (ii) the protective effect of PTX3 was similar or superior to that observed with liposomal amphotericin B or deoxycholate amphotericin B, respectively; (iii) protection was associated with accelerated recovery of lung phagocytic cells and T-helper-1 lymphocytes and concomitant decrease of inflammatory pathology; and (iv) PTX3 potentiated the therapeutic efficacy of suboptimal doses of either antimycotic drug. Together, these data suggest the potential therapeutic use of PTX3 either alone or as an adjunctive therapy in A. fumigatus infections. PMID:15504871

  18. Structural, mechanistic and functional insight into gliotoxin bis-thiomethylation in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Stephen K.; Bock, Tobias; Hering, Vanessa; Owens, Rebecca A.; Jones, Gary W.

    2017-01-01

    Gliotoxin is an epipolythiodioxopiperazine (ETP) class toxin, contains a disulfide bridge that mediates its toxic effects via redox cycling and is produced by the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Self-resistance against gliotoxin is effected by the gliotoxin oxidase GliT, and attenuation of gliotoxin biosynthesis is catalysed by gliotoxin S-methyltransferase GtmA. Here we describe the X-ray crystal structures of GtmA-apo (1.66 Å), GtmA complexed to S-adenosylhomocysteine (1.33 Å) and GtmA complexed to S-adenosylmethionine (2.28 Å), providing mechanistic insights into this important biotransformation. We further reveal that simultaneous elimination of the ability of A. fumigatus to dissipate highly reactive dithiol gliotoxin, via deletion of GliT and GtmA, results in the most significant hypersensitivity to exogenous gliotoxin observed to date. Indeed, quantitative proteomic analysis of ΔgliT::ΔgtmA reveals an uncontrolled over-activation of the gli-cluster upon gliotoxin exposure. The data presented herein reveal, for the first time, the extreme risk associated with intracellular dithiol gliotoxin biosynthesis—in the absence of an efficient dismutation capacity. Significantly, a previously concealed protective role for GtmA and functionality of ETP bis-thiomethylation as an ancestral protection strategy against dithiol compounds is now evident. PMID:28179499

  19. Ergothioneine Biosynthesis and Functionality in the Opportunistic Fungal Pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Sheridan, Kevin J.; Lechner, Beatrix Elisabeth; Keeffe, Grainne O’; Keller, Markus A.; Werner, Ernst R.; Lindner, Herbert; Jones, Gary W.; Haas, Hubertus; Doyle, Sean

    2016-01-01

    Ergothioneine (EGT; 2-mercaptohistidine trimethylbetaine) is a trimethylated and sulphurised histidine derivative which exhibits antioxidant properties. Here we report that deletion of Aspergillus fumigatus egtA (AFUA_2G15650), which encodes a trimodular enzyme, abrogated EGT biosynthesis in this opportunistic pathogen. EGT biosynthetic deficiency in A. fumigatus significantly reduced resistance to elevated H2O2 and menadione, respectively, impaired gliotoxin production and resulted in attenuated conidiation. Quantitative proteomic analysis revealed substantial proteomic remodelling in ΔegtA compared to wild-type under both basal and ROS conditions, whereby the abundance of 290 proteins was altered. Specifically, the reciprocal differential abundance of cystathionine γ-synthase and β-lyase, respectively, influenced cystathionine availability to effect EGT biosynthesis. A combined deficiency in EGT biosynthesis and the oxidative stress response regulator Yap1, which led to extreme oxidative stress susceptibility, decreased resistance to heavy metals and production of the extracellular siderophore triacetylfusarinine C and increased accumulation of the intracellular siderophore ferricrocin. EGT dissipated H2O2 in vitro, and elevated intracellular GSH levels accompanied abrogation of EGT biosynthesis. EGT deficiency only decreased resistance to high H2O2 levels which suggests functionality as an auxiliary antioxidant, required for growth at elevated oxidative stress conditions. Combined, these data reveal new interactions between cellular redox homeostasis, secondary metabolism and metal ion homeostasis. PMID:27748436

  20. Transcriptomic analysis of the exit from dormancy of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia

    PubMed Central

    Lamarre, Claude; Sokol, Sergueï; Debeaupuis, Jean-Paul; Henry, Christine; Lacroix, Céline; Glaser, Philippe; Coppée, Jean-Yves; François, Jean-Marie; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2008-01-01

    Background Establishment of aspergillosis is depending upon the exit from dormancy and germination of the conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus in the lung. To gain an understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the early steps of conidial germination, we undertook a transcriptomic analysis using macroarrays constructed with PCR fragments from > 3,000 genes (around one third of the annotated A. fumigatus genome). Results Major results of this analysis are the following: (i) conidia stored pre-packaged mRNAs transcripts (27% of genes have transcripts in the resting conidia; (ii) incubation at 37°C in a nutritive medium induced up- and down-regulation of genes: 19% of the total number of genes deposited on the array were up-regulated whereas 22% of the genes with pre-packaged mRNA in the resting conidia were down-regulated; (iii) most modifications were seen during the first 30 min of germination whereas very little modification of gene expression occurred during the following hour; (iv) one-year old conidia and one-week old conidia behaved similarly at transcriptional level. Conclusion Transcriptomic data indicate that the exit from dormancy is associated with a shift from a fermentative metabolism to a respiratory metabolism as well as a trend toward immediate protein synthesis. PMID:18796135

  1. Ergothioneine Biosynthesis and Functionality in the Opportunistic Fungal Pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Sheridan, Kevin J; Lechner, Beatrix Elisabeth; Keeffe, Grainne O'; Keller, Markus A; Werner, Ernst R; Lindner, Herbert; Jones, Gary W; Haas, Hubertus; Doyle, Sean

    2016-10-17

    Ergothioneine (EGT; 2-mercaptohistidine trimethylbetaine) is a trimethylated and sulphurised histidine derivative which exhibits antioxidant properties. Here we report that deletion of Aspergillus fumigatus egtA (AFUA_2G15650), which encodes a trimodular enzyme, abrogated EGT biosynthesis in this opportunistic pathogen. EGT biosynthetic deficiency in A. fumigatus significantly reduced resistance to elevated H2O2 and menadione, respectively, impaired gliotoxin production and resulted in attenuated conidiation. Quantitative proteomic analysis revealed substantial proteomic remodelling in ΔegtA compared to wild-type under both basal and ROS conditions, whereby the abundance of 290 proteins was altered. Specifically, the reciprocal differential abundance of cystathionine γ-synthase and β-lyase, respectively, influenced cystathionine availability to effect EGT biosynthesis. A combined deficiency in EGT biosynthesis and the oxidative stress response regulator Yap1, which led to extreme oxidative stress susceptibility, decreased resistance to heavy metals and production of the extracellular siderophore triacetylfusarinine C and increased accumulation of the intracellular siderophore ferricrocin. EGT dissipated H2O2 in vitro, and elevated intracellular GSH levels accompanied abrogation of EGT biosynthesis. EGT deficiency only decreased resistance to high H2O2 levels which suggests functionality as an auxiliary antioxidant, required for growth at elevated oxidative stress conditions. Combined, these data reveal new interactions between cellular redox homeostasis, secondary metabolism and metal ion homeostasis.

  2. Efficacy of voriconazole in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) experimentally infected with Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Tell, Lisa A; Clemons, Karl V; Kline, Yvonne; Woods, Leslie; Kass, Philip H; Martinez, Marife; Stevens, David A

    2010-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus causes disease in birds. Our objectives were to determine pharmacokinetic parameters and evaluate efficacy of voriconazole (VCZ) in a novel experimental quail model. After a single oral VCZ dose of 20 or 40 mg/kg, plasma concentrations peaked 2 h postdose (5.8 and 6.9 microg/ml) and remained above 0.5 microg/ml for 4 and 12 h postdose, respectively. For the efficacy study, ten-day-old Japanese quail (n = 60) were infected intratracheally with A. fumigatus conidia. Daily oral VCZ at 20 or 40 mg/kg was initiated 24 h postinfection (PI); infected diluent-treated birds were given de-ionized water orally. Preassigned birds were euthanized on days 5 or 10 PI. VCZ at 40 mg/kg prolonged survival compared to 20 mg/kg or diluent-treatment (P < 0.05) and lungs from birds given VCZ at 40 mg/kg had fewer colony forming units (CFU) than diluent-treated (P = 0.03). At day 10 PI, birds treated with VCZ at 20 mg/kg had significantly fewer fungi in the lungs as demonstrated by methenamine silver stain (P = 0.017) or immunohistochemistry, as compared to diluent-treated (P = 0.034). Histopathologically, VCZ-treated birds did not have necrotic lesions and showed a trend toward fewer with acute inflammatory changes. VCZ at 40 mg/kg was efficacious in quail with experimental pulmonary aspergillosis.

  3. Tremorgenic mycotoxins from Aspergillus fumigatus as a possible occupational health problem in sawmills.

    PubMed

    Land, C J; Hult, K; Fuchs, R; Hagelberg, S; Lundström, H

    1987-04-01

    Wood-trimmers' disease, generally called extrinsic allergic alveolitis, which affects workers in sawmills, is thought to be caused by fungal diaspores. The importance of Aspergillus fumigatus on the surface of wood dried in kilns is accentuated by its ability to produce tremorgenic mycotoxins. Eight strains of A. fumigatus from five different sawmills were isolated and cultivated on liquid media, and one of the strains was also cultivated on wood blocks. Extracts were prepared, and the tremorgenic reactions were induced by oral administration of extracts to rats. Extracts of the strain grown in liquid medium and on wood blocks induced very strong tremorgenic reactions when administered orally to rats. Four other strains induced mild tremorgenic reactions. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed two tremorgenic mycotoxins, verruculogen and fumitremorgen C, in the five toxic strains. One nontoxic strain produced detectable levels of verruculogen. These results, coupled with the known resemblance of the acutely toxic phase of wood-trimmers' disease to the symptoms produced by these tremorgens, imply that wood-trimmers' disease and similar occupational diseases are, at least in part, mycotoxicoses.

  4. Tremorgenic mycotoxins from Aspergillus fumigatus as a possible occupational health problem in sawmills.

    PubMed Central

    Land, C J; Hult, K; Fuchs, R; Hagelberg, S; Lundström, H

    1987-01-01

    Wood-trimmers' disease, generally called extrinsic allergic alveolitis, which affects workers in sawmills, is thought to be caused by fungal diaspores. The importance of Aspergillus fumigatus on the surface of wood dried in kilns is accentuated by its ability to produce tremorgenic mycotoxins. Eight strains of A. fumigatus from five different sawmills were isolated and cultivated on liquid media, and one of the strains was also cultivated on wood blocks. Extracts were prepared, and the tremorgenic reactions were induced by oral administration of extracts to rats. Extracts of the strain grown in liquid medium and on wood blocks induced very strong tremorgenic reactions when administered orally to rats. Four other strains induced mild tremorgenic reactions. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed two tremorgenic mycotoxins, verruculogen and fumitremorgen C, in the five toxic strains. One nontoxic strain produced detectable levels of verruculogen. These results, coupled with the known resemblance of the acutely toxic phase of wood-trimmers' disease to the symptoms produced by these tremorgens, imply that wood-trimmers' disease and similar occupational diseases are, at least in part, mycotoxicoses. PMID:3555338

  5. Interactions of Aspergillus fumigatus with endothelial cells: internalization, injury, and stimulation of tissue factor activity.

    PubMed

    Lopes Bezerra, Leila M; Filler, Scott G

    2004-03-15

    Invasive aspergillosis causes significant mortality among patients with hematologic malignancies. This infection is characterized by vascular invasion and thrombosis. To study the pathogenesis of invasive aspergillosis, we investigated the interactions of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and hyphae with endothelial cells in vitro. We found that both forms of the organism induced endothelial cell microfilament rearrangement and subsequent endocytosis. Conidia were endocytosed 2-fold more avidly than hyphae, and endocytosis was independent of fungal viability. Endocytosed conidia and hyphae caused progressive endothelial cell injury after 4 hours of infection. Live conidia induced more endothelial cell injury than did live hyphae. However, endothelial cell injury caused by conidia was dependent on fungal viability, whereas injury caused by hyphae was not, indicating that conidia and hyphae injure endothelial cells by different mechanisms. Neither live nor killed conidia increased tissue factor activity of endothelial cells. In contrast, both live and killed hyphae stimulated significant endothelial cell tissue factor activity, as well as the expression of tissue factor antigen on the endothelial cell surface. These results suggest that angioinvasion and thrombosis caused by A fumigatus hyphae in vivo may be due in part to endothelial cell invasion, induction of injury, and stimulation of tissue factor activity.

  6. Chemical and immunological characterization of the extracellular galactomannan of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Latgé, J P; Kobayashi, H; Debeaupuis, J P; Diaquin, M; Sarfati, J; Wieruszeski, J M; Parra, E; Bouchara, J P; Fournet, B

    1994-01-01

    The galactomannan (GM) produced extracellularly by Aspergillus fumigatus has been purified by a double sequential hydrazine-nitrous acid treatment of the ethanol precipitate of the culture filtrate. Nuclear magnetic resonance and gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis have been performed on intact GM, acid-hydrolyzed GM, and oligomers resulting from the acetolysis of the acid-hydrolyzed GM. Results show that A. fumigatus GM is composed of a linear mannan core with an alpha-(1-2)-linked mannotetraose repeating unit attached via alpha-(1-6) linkage. Side chains composed of an average of 4 to 5 beta-(1-5)-galactofuranose units are linked to C-6 and C-3 positions of alpha-(1-2)-linked mannose units of the mannan. The immunoreactivity of GM and HCl-hydrolyzed GM was studied by use of human sera from aspergillosis patients and an antigalactofuran monoclonal antibody. The alpha-(1-2) (1-6)-mannan core is not antigenic. The immunogenic galactofuran is found amongst several exocellular glycoproteins. According to a direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with GM as the detector antigen, only 26% of the serum samples from aspergilloma patients (all positive by immunodiffusion assays) give optical density values superior to a cutoff estimated as the mean +/- 3 standard deviations of values obtained with control sera. Images PMID:7960122

  7. Aspergillus fumigatus and other thermotolerant fungi generated by hospital building demolition.

    PubMed Central

    Streifel, A J; Lauer, J L; Vesley, D; Juni, B; Rhame, F S

    1983-01-01

    On 13 September 1981, a 51-year-old seven-story building within our hospital complex was demolished by explosives. The concern that this event might release large numbers of thermotolerant fungi (TF), potentially hazardous to immunosuppressed patients, led us to seal hospital windows and doors. The air-handling systems were also manipulated. Concentrations of airborne TF, especially Aspergillus fumigatus, were determined before and after demolition, using Andersen and Cassella air samplers with inhibitory mold agar plates. Two outdoor and two hospital ward locations were sampled. The plates were incubated at 37 degrees C; the CFU per cubic meter were counted at 72 h. The outdoor concentration of TF increased at one site by an average of 1.8 log10 (10(2) to 10(5] over the predemolition level. A. fumigatus increased 3.3 log10 (10(0) to 10(4] at the other outdoor site. The indoor TF concentrations increased about 1 log10 (10(1) to 10(2] after demolition. Counts on the hospital wards were not remarkable when compared with previous surveillance air sampling. Protective measures apparently minimized the infiltration of TF during explosive demolition. PMID:6354086

  8. Chemical and immunological characterization of the extracellular galactomannan of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Latgé, J P; Kobayashi, H; Debeaupuis, J P; Diaquin, M; Sarfati, J; Wieruszeski, J M; Parra, E; Bouchara, J P; Fournet, B

    1994-12-01

    The galactomannan (GM) produced extracellularly by Aspergillus fumigatus has been purified by a double sequential hydrazine-nitrous acid treatment of the ethanol precipitate of the culture filtrate. Nuclear magnetic resonance and gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis have been performed on intact GM, acid-hydrolyzed GM, and oligomers resulting from the acetolysis of the acid-hydrolyzed GM. Results show that A. fumigatus GM is composed of a linear mannan core with an alpha-(1-2)-linked mannotetraose repeating unit attached via alpha-(1-6) linkage. Side chains composed of an average of 4 to 5 beta-(1-5)-galactofuranose units are linked to C-6 and C-3 positions of alpha-(1-2)-linked mannose units of the mannan. The immunoreactivity of GM and HCl-hydrolyzed GM was studied by use of human sera from aspergillosis patients and an antigalactofuran monoclonal antibody. The alpha-(1-2) (1-6)-mannan core is not antigenic. The immunogenic galactofuran is found amongst several exocellular glycoproteins. According to a direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with GM as the detector antigen, only 26% of the serum samples from aspergilloma patients (all positive by immunodiffusion assays) give optical density values superior to a cutoff estimated as the mean +/- 3 standard deviations of values obtained with control sera.

  9. Passive Surveillance for Azole-Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus, United States, 2011–2013

    PubMed Central

    Reiss, Errol; Hagen, Ferry; Meis, Jacques F.; Lockhart, Shawn R.

    2014-01-01

    Emergence of Aspergillus fumigatus strains containing mutations that lead to azole resistance has become a serious public health threat in many countries. Nucleotide polymorphisms leading to amino acid substitutions in the lanosterol demethylase gene (cyp51A) are associated with reduced susceptibility to azole drugs. The most widely recognized mutation is a lysine to histidine substitution at aa 98 (L98H) and a duplication of the untranscribed promoter region, together known as TR34/L98H. This mechanism of resistance has been reported in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and is associated with resistance to all azole drugs and subsequent treatment failures. To determine whether isolates with this mutation are spreading into the United States, we conducted a passive surveillance–based study of 1,026 clinical isolates of A. fumigatus from 22 US states during 2011–2013. No isolates harboring the TR34/L98H mutation were detected, and MICs of itraconazole were generally low. PMID:25148217

  10. Production of the immunosuppressant cyclosporin A by a new soil isolate, Aspergillus fumigatus, in submerged culture.

    PubMed

    Ismaiel, Ahmed A

    2017-04-01

    Cyclosporin A (CyA) has received meticulous attention owing to its immunosuppressive and biological activities. In this study, a soil isolate, capable of producing CyA, was named Zag1 strain and identified as Aspergillus fumigatus based on macroscopic and microscopic characteristics, 18S rDNA sequence, and phylogenetic characteristic analysis. To maximize the production of CyA, the fungal culture was grown under various fermentation conditions including selection of the cultivation medium, agitation rate, fermentation time, incubation temperature, pH value, inoculum nature, and medium volume. A simple medium (pH 5.0) containing 5% maltose as a carbon source and 2% potassium nitrate as a nitrogen source favored the highest CyA production when the fermentation process was maintained at 120 rpm for 9 days and at 30 °C using 3% standard inoculum of 5-day-old. The final CyA titer under these conditions was intensified to 2.23-3.31-fold, as compared with the amount obtained with seven types of basal media. A. fumigatus Zag1 appears to possess a good biotechnological potential for CyA production under favorable culture conditions.

  11. Adsorption characteristics and preparative separation of chaetominine from Aspergillus fumigatus mycelia by macroporous resin.

    PubMed

    Liu, Changqing; Jiao, Ruihua; Yao, Lingyun; Zhang, Yupeng; Lu, Yanhua; Tan, Renxiang

    2016-03-15

    Chaetominine (CHA) is a quinazolinone alkaloid with strong anti-cancer activity produced by Aspergillus fumigatus CY018. For recovering CHA from A. fumigates efficiently, adsorption and desorption capacities of eight macroporous resins were tested in this work. Based on batch experiments, XAD-16 resin was revealed the best adsorption and desorption performance among all the tested resins. Then, adsorption kinetics and adsorption isotherms were constructed on XAD-16 resin, and the experimental data were fitted well to the pseudo first-order kinetics and Freundlick isotherm model. In the dynamic adsorption and desorption, the purity of CHA increased from 0.0314% (w/w) in the crude extract to 57.86% in the final product with recovery yield of 70.56% by a one-step treatment. Moreover, the experiments were also performed in a lab scale-up scale, in which the purity and recovery of CHA were 56.12% (w/w) and 68.02%, respectively. In addition, XAD-16 resin could be recycled 3 times for CHA separation after regeneration without adverse effects on adsorption/desorption performance. These results suggested that XAD-16 resin adsorption could act as a useful and economic method for recovering CHA from A. fumigatus.

  12. Gliotoxin promotes Aspergillus fumigatus internalization into type II human pneumocyte A549 cells by inducing host phospholipase D activation.

    PubMed

    Jia, Xiaodong; Chen, Fangyan; Pan, Weihua; Yu, Rentao; Tian, Shuguang; Han, Gaige; Fang, Haiqin; Wang, Shuo; Zhao, Jingya; Li, Xianping; Zheng, Dongyu; Tao, Sha; Liao, Wanqing; Han, Xuelin; Han, Li

    2014-06-01

    The internalization of Aspergillus fumigatus into lung epithelial cells is critical for the infection process in the host. Gliotoxin is the most potent toxin produced by A. fumigatus. However, its role in A. fumigatus internalization into the lung epithelial cells is still largely unknown. In the present study, the deletion of the gliP gene regulating the production of gliotoxin in A. fumigatus suppressed the internalization of conidia into the A549 lung epithelial cells, and this suppression could be rescued by the exogenous addition of gliotoxin. At lower concentrations, gliotoxin enhanced the internalization of the conidia of A. fumigatus into A549 cells; in contrast, it inhibited the phagocytosis of J774 macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. Under a concentration of 100 ng/ml, gliotoxin had no effect on A549 cell viability but attenuated ROS production in a dose-dependent manner. Gliotoxin significantly stimulated the phospholipase D activity in the A549 cells at a concentration of 50 ng/ml. This stimulation was blocked by the pretreatment of host cells with PLD1- but not PLD2-specific inhibitor. Morphological cell changes induced by gliotoxin were observed in the A549 cells accompanying with obvious actin cytoskeleton rearrangement and a moderate alteration of phospholipase D distribution. Our data indicated that gliotoxin might be responsible for modulating the A. fumigatus internalization into epithelial cells through phospholipase D1 activation and actin cytoskeleton rearrangement.

  13. Effects of Iron Chelators on the Formation and Development of Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilm.

    PubMed

    Nazik, Hasan; Penner, John C; Ferreira, Jose A; Haagensen, Janus A J; Cohen, Kevin; Spormann, Alfred M; Martinez, Marife; Chen, Vicky; Hsu, Joe L; Clemons, Karl V; Stevens, David A

    2015-10-01

    Iron acquisition is crucial for the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus. A. fumigatus biofilm formation occurs in vitro and in vivo and is associated with physiological changes. In this study, we assessed the effects of Fe chelators on biofilm formation and development. Deferiprone (DFP), deferasirox (DFS), and deferoxamine (DFM) were tested for MIC against a reference isolate via a broth macrodilution method. The metabolic effects (assessed by XTT [2,3-bis[2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl]-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide inner salt]) on biofilm formation by conidia were studied upon exposure to DFP, DFM, DFP plus FeCl3, or FeCl3 alone. A preformed biofilm was exposed to DFP with or without FeCl3. The DFP and DFS MIC50 against planktonic A. fumigatus was 1,250 μM, and XTT gave the same result. DFM showed no planktonic inhibition at concentrations of ≤2,500 μM. By XTT testing, DFM concentrations of <1,250 μM had no effect, whereas DFP at 2,500 μM increased biofilms forming in A. fumigatus or preformed biofilms (P < 0.01). DFP at 156 to 2,500 μM inhibited biofilm formation (P < 0.01 to 0.001) in a dose-responsive manner. Biofilm formation with 625 μM DFP plus any concentration of FeCl3 was lower than that in the controls (P < 0.05 to 0.001). FeCl3 at ≥625 μM reversed the DFP inhibitory effect (P < 0.05 to 0.01), but the reversal was incomplete compared to the controls (P < 0.05 to 0.01). For preformed biofilms, DFP in the range of ≥625 to 1,250 μM was inhibitory compared to the controls (P < 0.01 to 0.001). FeCl3 at ≥625 μM overcame inhibition by 625 μM DFP (P < 0.001). FeCl3 alone at ≥156 μM stimulated biofilm formation (P < 0.05 to 0.001). Preformed A. fumigatus biofilm increased with 2,500 μM FeCl3 only (P < 0.05). In a strain survey, various susceptibilities of biofilms of A. fumigatus clinical isolates to DFP were noted. In conclusion, iron stimulates biofilm formation and preformed biofilms. Chelators can inhibit or enhance biofilms. Chelation

  14. Bayesian development of a dose-response model for Aspergillus fumigatus and invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Leleu, Christopher; Menotti, Jean; Meneceur, Pascale; Choukri, Firas; Sulahian, Annie; Garin, Yves Jean-François; Denis, Jean-Baptiste; Derouin, Francis

    2013-08-01

    Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a major cause of mortality in immunocompromized hosts, most often consecutive to the inhalation of spores of Aspergillus. However, the relationship between Aspergillus concentration in the air and probability of IA is not quantitatively known. In this study, this relationship was examined in a murine model of IA. Immunosuppressed Balb/c mice were exposed for 60 minutes at day 0 to an aerosol of A. fumigatus spores (Af293 strain). At day 10, IA was assessed in mice by quantitative culture of the lungs and galactomannan dosage. Fifteen separate nebulizations with varying spore concentrations were performed. Rates of IA ranged from 0% to 100% according to spore concentrations. The dose-response relationship between probability of infection and spore exposure was approximated using the exponential model and the more flexible beta-Poisson model. Prior distributions of the parameters of the models were proposed then updated with data in a Bayesian framework. Both models yielded close median dose-responses of the posterior distributions for the main parameter of the model, but with different dispersions, either when the exposure dose was the concentration in the nebulized suspension or was the estimated quantity of spores inhaled by a mouse during the experiment. The median quantity of inhaled spores that infected 50% of mice was estimated at 1.8 × 10(4) and 3.2 × 10(4) viable spores in the exponential and beta-Poisson models, respectively. This study provides dose-response parameters for quantitative assessment of the relationship between airborne exposure to the reference A. fumigatus strain and probability of IA in immunocompromized hosts.

  15. Distinct Roles of Myosins in Aspergillus fumigatus Hyphal Growth and Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Renshaw, Hilary; Vargas-Muñiz, José M.; Richards, Amber D.; Asfaw, Yohannes G.; Juvvadi, Praveen R.

    2016-01-01

    Myosins are a family of actin-based motor proteins found in many organisms and are categorized into classes based on their structures. Class II and V myosins are known to be important for critical cellular processes, including cytokinesis, endocytosis, exocytosis, and organelle trafficking, in the model fungi Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Aspergillus nidulans. However, the roles of myosins in the growth and virulence of the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus are unknown. We constructed single- and double-deletion strains of the class II and class V myosins in A. fumigatus and found that while the class II myosin (myoB) is dispensable for growth, the class V myosin (myoE) is required for proper hyphal extension; deletion of myoE resulted in hyperbranching and loss of hyphal polarity. Both myoB and myoE are necessary for proper septation, conidiation, and conidial germination, but only myoB is required for conidial viability. Infection with the ΔmyoE strain in the invertebrate Galleria mellonella model and also in a persistently immunosuppressed murine model of invasive aspergillosis resulted in hypovirulence, while analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid revealed that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) release and cellular infiltration were similar compared to those of the wild-type strain. The ΔmyoE strain showed fungal growth in the murine lung, while the ΔmyoB strain exhibited little fungal burden, most likely due to the reduced conidial viability. These results show, for the first time, the important role these cytoskeletal components play in the growth of and disease caused by a known pathogen, prompting future studies to understand their regulation and potential targeting for novel antifungal therapies. PMID:26953327

  16. Modified release itraconazole amorphous solid dispersion to treat Aspergillus fumigatus: importance of the animal model selection.

    PubMed

    Maincent, Julien P; Najvar, Laura K; Kirkpatrick, William R; Huang, Siyuan; Patterson, Thomas F; Wiederhold, Nathan P; Peters, Jay I; Williams, Robert O

    2017-02-01

    Previously, modified release itraconazole in the form of a melt-extruded amorphous solid dispersion based on a pH dependent enteric polymer combined with hydrophilic additives (HME-ITZ), exhibited improved in vitro dissolution properties. These properties agreed with pharmacokinetic results in rats showing high and sustained itraconazole (ITZ) systemic levels. The objective of the present study was to better understand the best choice of rodent model for evaluating the pharmacokinetic and efficacy of this orally administered modified release ITZ dosage form against invasive Aspergillus fumigatus. A mouse model and a guinea pig model were investigated and compared to results previously published. In the mouse model, despite similar levels as previously reported values, plasma and lung levels were variable and fungal burden was not statistically different for placebo controls, HME-ITZ and Sporanox(®) (ITZ oral solution). This study demonstrated that the mouse model is a poor choice for studying modified release ITZ dosage forms based on pH dependent enteric polymers due to low fluid volume available for dissolution and low intestinal pH. To the contrary, guinea pig was a suitable model to evaluate modified release ITZ dosage forms. Indeed, a significant decrease in lung fungal burden as a result of high and sustained ITZ tissue levels was measured. Sufficiently high intestinal pH and fluids available for dissolution likely facilitated the dissolution process. Despite high ITZ tissue level, the primary therapeutic agent voriconazole exhibited an even more pronounced decrease in fungal burden due to its reported higher clinical efficacy specifically against Aspergillus fumigatus.

  17. Aspergillus fumigatus responds to natural killer (NK) cells with upregulation of stress related genes and inhibits the immunoregulatory function of NK cells

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Andreas; Blatzer, Michael; Posch, Wilfried; Schubert, Ralf; Lass-Flörl, Cornelia; Schmidt, Stanislaw; Lehrnbecher, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Natural Killer (NK) cells are active against Aspergillus fumigatus, which in turn is able to impair the host defense. Unfortunately, little is known on the mutual interaction of NK cells and A. fumigatus. We coincubated human NK cells with A. fumigatus hyphae and assessed the gene expression and protein concentration of selected molecules. We found that A. fumigatus up-regulates the gene expression of pro-inflammatory molecules in NK cells, but inhibited the release of these molecules resulting in intracellular accumulation and limited extracellular availability. A. fumigatus down-regulatedmRNA levels of perforin in NK cells, but increased its intra- and extracellular protein concentration. The gene expression of stress related molecules of A. fumigatus such as heat shock protein hsp90 was up-regulated by human NK cells. Our data characterize for the first time the immunosuppressive effect of A. fumigatus on NK cells and may help to develop new therapeutic antifungal strategies. PMID:27738337

  18. Analysis of glycosylinositol phosphorylceramides expressed by the opportunistic mycopathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Toledo, Marcos S; Levery, Steven B; Bennion, Beau; Guimaraes, Luciana L; Castle, Sherry A; Lindsey, Rebecca; Momany, Michelle; Park, Chaeho; Straus, Anita H; Takahashi, Helio K

    2007-08-01

    Acidic glycosphingolipid components were extracted from the opportunistic mycopathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and identified as inositol phosphorylceramide and glycosylinositol phosphorylceramides (GIPCs). Using nuclear magnetic resonance sppectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and other techniques, the structures of six major components were elucidated as Ins-P-Cer (Af-0), Manp(alpha1-->3)Manp(alpha1-->2)Ins-P-Cer (Af-2), Manp(alpha1-->2)Manp(alpha1-->3)Manp(alpha1-->2)Ins-P-Cer (Af-3a), Manp(alpha1-->3)[Galf(beta1-->6)]Manp(alpha1-->2)-Ins-P-Cer (Af-3b), Manp(alpha1-->2)-Manp(alpha1-->3)[Galf(beta1-->6)]Manp(alpha1-->2)Ins-P-Cer (Af-4), and Manp(alpha1-->3)Manp(alpha1-->6)GlcpN(alpha1-->2)Ins-P-Cer (Af-3c) (where Ins = myo-inositol and P = phosphodiester). A minor A. fumigatus GIPC was also identified as the N-acetylated version of Af-3c (Af-3c*), which suggests that formation of the GlcNalpha1-->2Ins linkage may proceed by a two-step process, similar to the GlcNalpha1-->6Ins linkage in glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors (transfer of GlcNAc, followed by enzymatic de-N-acetylation). The glycosylinositol of Af-3b, which bears a distinctive branching Galf(beta1-->6) residue, is identical to that of a GIPC isolated previously from the dimorphic mycopathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis (designated Pb-3), but components Af-3a and Af-4 have novel structures. Overlay immunostaining of A. fumigatus GIPCs separated on thin-layer chromatograms was used to assess their reactivity against sera from a patient with aspergillosis and against a murine monoclonal antibody (MEST-1) shown previously to react with the Galf(beta1-->6) residue in Pb-3. These results are discussed in relation to pathogenicity and potential approaches to the immunodiagnosis of A. fumigatus.

  19. Mutant characterization and in vivo conditional repression identify aromatic amino acid biosynthesis to be essential for Aspergillus fumigatus virulence

    PubMed Central

    Sasse, Anna; Hamer, Stefanie N; Amich, Jorge; Binder, Jasmin; Krappmann, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenicity of the saprobe Aspergillus fumigatus strictly depends on nutrient acquisition during infection, as fungal growth determines colonisation and invasion of a susceptible host. Primary metabolism has to be considered as a valid target for antimycotic therapy, based on the fact that several fungal anabolic pathways are not conserved in higher eukaryotes. To test whether fungal proliferation during invasive aspergillosis relies on endogenous biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids, defined auxotrophic mutants of A. fumigatus were generated and assessed for their infectious capacities in neutropenic mice and found to be strongly attenuated in virulence. Moreover, essentiality of the complete biosynthetic pathway could be demonstrated, corroborated by conditional gene expression in infected animals and inhibitor studies. This brief report not only validates the aromatic amino acid biosynthesis pathway of A. fumigatus to be a promising antifungal target but furthermore demonstrates feasibility of conditional gene expression in a murine infection model of aspergillosis. PMID:26605426

  20. Insights from the genome of a high alkaline cellulase producing Aspergillus fumigatus strain obtained from Peruvian Amazon rainforest.

    PubMed

    Paul, Sujay; Zhang, Angel; Ludeña, Yvette; Villena, Gretty K; Yu, Fengan; Sherman, David H; Gutiérrez-Correa, Marcel

    2017-06-10

    Here, we report the complete genome sequence of a high alkaline cellulase producing Aspergillus fumigatus strain LMB-35Aa isolated from soil of Peruvian Amazon rainforest. The genome is ∼27.5mb in size, comprises of 228 scaffolds with an average GC content of 50%, and is predicted to contain a total of 8660 protein-coding genes. Of which, 6156 are with known function; it codes for 607 putative CAZymes families potentially involved in carbohydrate metabolism. Several important cellulose degrading genes, such as endoglucanase A, endoglucanase B, endoglucanase D and beta-glucosidase, are also identified. The genome of A. fumigatus strain LMB-35Aa represents the first whole sequenced genome of non-clinical, high cellulase producing A. fumigatus strain isolated from forest soil. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Aspergillus fumigatus in cystic fibrosis: An update on immune interactions and molecular diagnostics in allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Carsin, A; Romain, T; Ranque, S; Reynaud-Gaubert, M; Dubus, J-C; Mège, J-L; Vitte, J

    2017-05-17

    A wide spectrum of pathological conditions may result from the interaction of Aspergillus fumigatus and the immune system of its human host. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is one of the most severe A. fumigatus-related diseases due to possible evolution toward pleuropulmonary fibrosis and respiratory failure. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis occurs almost exclusively in cystic fibrosis or asthmatic patients. An estimated 8%-10% of patients with cystic fibrosis experience this condition. The diagnosis of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis relies on criteria first established in 1977. Progress in the understanding of host-pathogen interactions in A. fumigatus and patients with cystic fibrosis and the ongoing validation of novel laboratory tools concur to update and improve the diagnosis of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. © 2017 EAACI and John Wiley and Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

  2. Ergosterol biosynthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus: its relevance as an antifungal target and role in antifungal drug resistance.

    PubMed

    Alcazar-Fuoli, Laura; Mellado, Emilia

    2012-01-01

    Ergosterol, the major sterol of fungal membranes, is essential for developmental growth and the main target of antifungals that are currently used to treat fatal fungal infections. Emergence of resistance to existing antifungals is a current problem and several secondary resistance mechanisms have been described in Aspergillus fumigatus clinical isolates. A full understanding of ergosterol biosynthetic control therefore appears to be essential for improvement of antifungal efficacy and to prevent antifungal resistance. An ergosterol biosynthesis pathway in A. fumigatus has been proposed with 14 sterol intermediates resulting in ergosterol and another secondary final compound C-24 ethyl sterol. Transcriptomic analysis of the A. fumigatus response to host-imposed stresses or antifungal agents is expanding our understanding of both sterol biosynthesis and the modes of action of antifungal drugs. Ultimately, the identification of new targets for novel drug design, or the study of combinatorial effects of targeting sterol biosynthesis together with other metabolic pathways, is warranted.

  3. Ergosterol biosynthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus: its relevance as an antifungal target and role in antifungal drug resistance

    PubMed Central

    Alcazar-Fuoli, Laura; Mellado, Emilia

    2013-01-01

    Ergosterol, the major sterol of fungal membranes, is essential for developmental growth and the main target of antifungals that are currently used to treat fatal fungal infections. Emergence of resistance to existing antifungals is a current problem and several secondary resistance mechanisms have been described in Aspergillus fumigatus clinical isolates. A full understanding of ergosterol biosynthetic control therefore appears to be essential for improvement of antifungal efficacy and to prevent antifungal resistance. An ergosterol biosynthesis pathway in A. fumigatus has been proposed with 14 sterol intermediates resulting in ergosterol and another secondary final compound C-24 ethyl sterol. Transcriptomic analysis of the A. fumigatus response to host-imposed stresses or antifungal agents is expanding our understanding of both sterol biosynthesis and the modes of action of antifungal drugs. Ultimately, the identification of new targets for novel drug design, or the study of combinatorial effects of targeting sterol biosynthesis together with other metabolic pathways, is warranted. PMID:23335918

  4. Aspergillus fumigatus MADS-Box Transcription Factor rlmA Is Required for Regulation of the Cell Wall Integrity and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Marina Campos; Fabri, João Henrique Tadini Marilhano; Franco de Godoy, Krissia; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Hori, Juliana Issa; Ferreira da Cunha, Anderson; Arentshorst, Mark; Ram, Arthur F. J.; van den Hondel, Cees A. M. J. J.; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique; Malavazi, Iran

    2016-01-01

    The Cell Wall Integrity (CWI) pathway is the primary signaling cascade that controls the de novo synthesis of the fungal cell wall, and in Saccharomyces cerevisiae this event is highly dependent on the RLM1 transcription factor. Here, we investigated the function of RlmA in the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. We show that the ΔrlmA strain exhibits an altered cell wall organization in addition to defects related to vegetative growth and tolerance to cell wall-perturbing agents. A genetic analysis indicated that rlmA is positioned downstream of the pkcA and mpkA genes in the CWI pathway. As a consequence, rlmA loss-of-function leads to the altered expression of genes encoding cell wall-related proteins. RlmA positively regulates the phosphorylation of MpkA and is induced at both protein and transcriptional levels during cell wall stress. The rlmA was also involved in tolerance to oxidative damage and transcriptional regulation of genes related to oxidative stress adaptation. Moreover, the ΔrlmA strain had attenuated virulence in a neutropenic murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Our results suggest that RlmA functions as a transcription factor in the A. fumigatus CWI pathway, acting downstream of PkcA-MpkA signaling and contributing to the virulence of this fungus. PMID:27473315

  5. Binding of live conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus activates in vitro-generated human Langerhans cells via a lectin of galactomannan specificity

    PubMed Central

    PERSAT, F; NOIREY, N; DIANA, J; GARIAZZO, M-J; SCHMITT, D; PICOT, S; VINCENT, C

    2003-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common aetiological fungus responsible for human pulmonary aspergilloses. This study investigated the primary contact between Langerhans cells (LC), corresponding to dendritic cells present in pulmonary mucosa and live conidia of A. fumigatus. LC play a key role in antigen presentation for initiation of the primary T cell response. In vitro-generated LC (iLC) were differentiated from cultured human cord blood CD34+ cells and incubated at 4°C or 37°C with fluorescein-isothiocyanate (FITC)-stained conidia or control latex beads. In vitro, conidia were shown by microscopy and cytometry to adhere to iLC in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This adhesion was not limited to iLC because interstitial dendritic and other cells also fluoresced in the presence of conidia-FITC. A lectin other than mannose receptor-type lectin was demonstrated to be responsible of conidial binding. Inhibition of binding was observed with heterologous galactomannan and EDTA, indicating a C-lectin-like receptor with galactomannan structure specificity. After binding only a few conidia were internalized in acidic vesicles, as indicated by the cessation of conidial fluorescence. Conidial binding was followed by activation and maturation of iLC, suggesting that LC present in the lung may play a role in cellular host defence against aspergilloses. PMID:12930363

  6. The MAP kinase MpkA controls cell wall integrity, oxidative stress response, gliotoxin production and iron adaptation in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Jain, Radhika; Valiante, Vito; Remme, Nicole; Docimo, Teresa; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Hertweck, Christian; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Haas, Hubertus; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-10-01

    The saprophytic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen. The cell wall of A. fumigatus has been studied intensively as a potential target for development of effective antifungal agents. A major role in maintaining cell wall integrity is played by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) MpkA. To gain a comprehensive insight into this central signal transduction pathway, we performed a transcriptome analysis of the ΔmpkA mutant under standard and cell wall stress conditions. Besides genes involved in cell wall remodelling, protection against ROS and secondary metabolism such as gliotoxin, pyomelanin and pseurotin A, also genes involved in siderophore biosynthesis were regulated by MpkA. Consistently, northern and western blot analyses indicated that iron starvation triggers phosphorylation and thus activation of MpkA. Furthermore, localization studies indicated that MpkA accumulates in the nucleus under iron depletion. Hence, we report the first connection between a MAPK pathway and siderophore biosynthesis. The measurement of amino acid pools and of the pools of polyamines indicated that arginine was continuously converted into ornithine to fuel the siderophore pool in the ΔmpkA mutant strain. Based on our data, we propose that MpkA fine-tunes the balance between stress response and energy consuming cellular processes.

  7. Secretome diversity and quantitative analysis of cellulolytic Aspergillus fumigatus Z5 in the presence of different carbon sources

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus Z5 has a strong ability to decompose lignocellulose biomass, and its extracellular protein secretion has been reported in earlier studies employing traditional techniques. However, a comprehensive analysis of its secretion in the presence of different carbon sources is still lacking. The goal of this work was to identify, quantify and compare the secretome of A. fumigatus Z5 in the presence of different carbon sources to understand in more details the mechanisms of lignocellulose decomposition by Aspergillus fumigatus Z5. Results Cellulolytic A. fumigatus Z5 was grown in the presence of glucose (Gl), Avicel (Av) and rice straw (RS), and the activities of several lignocellulosic enzymes were determined with chromatometry method. The maximum activities of endoglucanase, exoglucanase, β-glucosidase, laminarinase, lichenase, xylanase and pectin lyase were 12.52, 0.59, 2.30, 2.37, 1.68, 15.02 and 11.40 U·ml-1, respectively. A total of 152, 125 and 61 different proteins were identified in the presence of RS, Av and Gl, respectively, and the proteins were functionally divided into glycoside hydrolases, lipases, peptidases, peroxidases, esterases, protein translocating transporters and hypothetical proteins. A total of 49 proteins were iTRAQ-quantified in all the treatments, and the quantification results indicated that most of the cellulases, hemicellulases and glycoside hydrolases were highly upregulated when rice straw and Avicel were used as carbon sources (compared with glucose). Conclusions The proteins secreted from A. fumigatus Z5 in the present of different carbon source conditions were identified by LC-MS/MS and quantified by iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomics. The results indicated that A. fumigatus Z5 could produce considerable cellulose-, hemicellulose-, pectin- and lignin-degrading enzymes that are valuable for the lignocellulosic bioenergy industry. PMID:24131596

  8. Clinical-scale isolation of the total Aspergillus fumigatus-reactive T-helper cell repertoire for adoptive transfer.

    PubMed

    Bacher, Petra; Jochheim-Richter, Andrea; Mockel-Tenbrink, Nadine; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Wingenfeld, Eva; Alex, Regina; Ortigao, Alice; Karpova, Darja; Lehrnbecher, Thomas; Ullmann, Andrew J; Hamprecht, Axel; Cornely, Oliver; Brakhage, Axel A; Assenmacher, Mario; Bonig, Halvard; Scheffold, Alexander

    2015-10-01

    Evidence of the criticality of the adaptive immune response for controlling invasive aspergillosis has been provided. This observation is supported by the fact that invasive aspergillosis, a grave complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation, occurs long after myeloid reconstitution in patients with low T-cell engraftment and/or on immunosuppressants. Adoptive T-cell transfer might be beneficial, but idiosyncrasies of Aspergillus fumigatus and the anti-Aspergillus immune response render established selection technologies ineffective. We developed a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-compliant protocol for preparation of A. fumigatus-specific CD4+ cells by sequentially depleting regulatory and cytotoxic T cells, activating A. fumigatus-specific T-helper cells with GMP-grade A. fumigatus lysate, and immuno-magnetically isolating them via the transiently up-regulated activation marker, CD137. In 13 full-scale runs, we demonstrate robustness and feasibility of the approach. From 2 × 10(9) peripheral blood mononuclear cells, we isolated 27 × 10(3)-318 × 10(3)Aspergillus-specific T-helper cells. Frequency among total T cells was increased, on average, by 200-fold. Specific studies indicate specificity and functionality: After non-specific in vitro expansion and re-stimulation with different antigens, we observed strong cytokine responses to A. fumigatus and some other fungi including Candida albicans, but none to unrelated antigens. Our technology isolates naturally occurring Aspergillus-specific T-helper cells within 2 days of identifying the clinical indication. Rapid adoptive transfer of Aspergillus-specific T cells may be quite feasible; the clinical benefit remains to be demonstrated. A manufacturing license as an advanced-therapy medicinal product was received and a clinical trial in post-transplantation invasive aspergillosis patients approved. The product is dosed at 5 × 10E3/kg T cells (single intravenous injection), of which at least 10

  9. Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus: Can We Retain the Clinical Use of Mold-Active Antifungal Azoles?

    PubMed Central

    Verweij, Paul E.; Chowdhary, Anuradha; Melchers, Willem J. G.; Meis, Jacques F.

    2016-01-01

    Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus has emerged as a global health problem. Although the number of cases of azole-resistant aspergillosis is still limited, resistance mechanisms continue to emerge, thereby threatening the role of the azole class in the management of diseases caused by Aspergillus. The majority of cases of azole-resistant disease are due to resistant A. fumigatus originating from the environment. Patient management is difficult due to the absence of patient risk factors, delayed diagnosis, and limited treatment options, resulting in poor treatment outcome. International and collaborative efforts are required to understand how resistance develops in the environment to allow effective measures to be implemented aimed at retaining the use of azoles both for food production and human medicine. PMID:26486705

  10. [Native valve Aspergillus fumigatus endocarditis with blood culture positive and negative for galactomannan antigen. Case report and literature review].

    PubMed

    Pemán, Javier; Ortiz, Rebeca; Osseyran, Faisa; Pérez-Bellés, Carmen; Crespo, Marisa; Chirivella, Melitina; Frasquet, Juan; Quesada, Anastasio; Cantón, Emilia; Gobernado, Miguel

    2007-06-01

    Native valve endocarditis caused by Aspergillus spp. is an uncommon disease with a high mortality rate. Generally, Aspergillus is isolated from affected valve in post-mortem or biopsy specimens. However, its isolation from blood cultures is exceedingly rare. We report a case of fungal endocarditis in a native mitral valve with the isolation of Aspergillus fumigatus both in valve vegetation and in blood culture bottles. The patient underwent valve replacement and antifungal treatment with voriconazole and caspofungin, but he died on post-operative day 45 with disseminated aspergillosis confirmed by necropsy. Paradoxically, galactomannan antigen detection in serum was negative. This is the third case of Aspergillus endocarditis with positive blood culture reported in the literature.

  11. Immunoblotting technique for the detection of allergens of Aspergillus fumigatus: influence of Nonidet P-40 on the sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Wijnands, L M; Deisz, W D; van Leusden, F M

    1999-01-01

    Immunoblotting provides a useful technique for the study of antigens, antibodies and allergens. To overcome problems regarding the loss of antigenic properties during the blotting and developing procedures, several solutions have been described. The inclusion of Nonidet P-40, recommended to increase the sensitivity of developing procedures for immunoblots, in an existing procedure for the detection of allergens of Aspergillus fumigatus, however, led to decreased sensitivity of the method.

  12. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of the (R)-selective amine transaminase from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Maren; Skalden, Lilly; Palm, Gottfried J; Höhne, Matthias; Bornscheuer, Uwe T; Hinrichs, Winfried

    2013-12-01

    The (R)-selective amine transaminase from Aspergillus fumigatus was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. Bright yellow crystals appeared while storing the concentrated solution in the refrigerator and belonged to space group C222(1). X-ray diffraction data were collected to 1.27 Å resolution, as well as an anomalous data set to 1.84 Å resolution that was suitable for S-SAD phasing.

  13. Administration of Zinc Chelators Improves Survival of Mice Infected with Aspergillus fumigatus both in Monotherapy and in Combination with Caspofungin

    PubMed Central

    Laskaris, Paris; Atrouni, Ahmad; Calera, José Antonio; d'Enfert, Christophe; Munier-Lehmann, Hélène; Cavaillon, Jean-Marc; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus can infect immunocompromised patients, leading to high mortality rates due to the lack of reliable treatment options. This pathogen requires uptake of zinc from host tissues in order to successfully grow and cause virulence. Reducing the availability of that micronutrient could help treat A. fumigatus infections. In this study, we examined the in vitro effects of seven chelators using a bioluminescent strain of A. fumigatus. 1,10-Phenanthroline and N,N,N′,N′-tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)ethane-1,2-diamine (TPEN) proved to be the chelators most effective at inhibiting fungal growth. Intraperitoneal administration of either phenanthroline or TPEN resulted in a significant improvement in survival and decrease of weight loss and fungal burden for immunosuppressed mice intranasally infected with A. fumigatus. In vitro both chelators had an indifferent effect when employed in combination with caspofungin. The use of TPEN in combination with caspofungin also significantly increased survival compared to that when using these drugs individually. Our results suggest that zinc chelation may be a valid strategy for dealing with A. fumigatus infections and that both phenanthroline and TPEN could potentially be used either independently or in combination with caspofungin, indicating that their use in combination with other antifungal treatments might also be applicable. PMID:27401578

  14. Verruculogen associated with Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae and conidia modifies the electrophysiological properties of human nasal epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Khoufache, Khaled; Puel, Olivier; Loiseau, Nicolas; Delaforge, Marcel; Rivollet, Danièle; Coste, André; Cordonnier, Catherine; Escudier, Estelle; Botterel, Françoise; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2007-01-23

    The role of Aspergillus fumigatus mycotoxins in the colonization of the respiratory tract by conidia has not been studied extensively, even though patients at risk from invasive aspergillosis frequently exhibit respiratory epithelium damage. In a previous study, we found that filtrates of A. fumigatus cultures can specifically alter the electrophysiological properties of human nasal epithelial cells (HNEC) compared to those of non pathogenic moulds. We fractionated the organic phase of filtrate from 3-day old A. fumigatus cultures using high-performance liquid chromatography. The different fractions were tested for their ability to modify the electrophysiological properties of HNEC in an in vitro primary culture model. The fraction collected between 20 and 30 min mimicked the effects of the whole filtrate, i.e. decrease of transepithelial resistance and increase of potential differences, and contained secondary metabolites such as helvolic acid, fumagillin, and verruculogen. Only verruculogen (10(-8) M) had effects similar to the whole filtrate. We verified that verruculogen was produced by a collection of 67 human, animal, plant and environmental A. fumigatus isolates. Using MS-MS analysis, we found that verruculogen was associated with both mycelium and conidia extracts. Verruculogen is a secondary metabolite that modifies the electrophysiological properties of HNEC. The role of these modifications in the colonization and invasion of the respiratory epithelium by A. fumigatus on first contact with the epithelium remains to be determined.

  15. Verruculogen associated with Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae and conidia modifies the electrophysiological properties of human nasal epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Khoufache, Khaled; Puel, Olivier; Loiseau, Nicolas; Delaforge, Marcel; Rivollet, Danièle; Coste, André; Cordonnier, Catherine; Escudier, Estelle; Botterel, Françoise; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2007-01-01

    Background The role of Aspergillus fumigatus mycotoxins in the colonization of the respiratory tract by conidia has not been studied extensively, even though patients at risk from invasive aspergillosis frequently exhibit respiratory epithelium damage. In a previous study, we found that filtrates of A. fumigatus cultures can specifically alter the electrophysiological properties of human nasal epithelial cells (HNEC) compared to those of non pathogenic moulds. Results We fractionated the organic phase of filtrate from 3-day old A. fumigatus cultures using high-performance liquid chromatography. The different fractions were tested for their ability to modify the electrophysiological properties of HNEC in an in vitro primary culture model. The fraction collected between 20 and 30 min mimicked the effects of the whole filtrate, i.e. decrease of transepithelial resistance and increase of potential differences, and contained secondary metabolites such as helvolic acid, fumagillin, and verruculogen. Only verruculogen (10-8 M) had effects similar to the whole filtrate. We verified that verruculogen was produced by a collection of 67 human, animal, plant and environmental A. fumigatus isolates. Using MS-MS analysis, we found that verruculogen was associated with both mycelium and conidia extracts. Conclusion Verruculogen is a secondary metabolite that modifies the electrophysiological properties of HNEC. The role of these modifications in the colonization and invasion of the respiratory epithelium by A. fumigatus on first contact with the epithelium remains to be determined. PMID:17244350

  16. Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in air samples impacted on low-melt agar.

    PubMed

    Bellanger, Anne-Pauline; Reboux, Gabriel; Murat, Jean-Benjamin; Bex, Valerie; Millon, Laurence

    2010-04-01

    The standard procedure for routine environmental sampling for the prevention of invasive aspergillosis outbreaks is culturing of Aspergillus fumigatus after impaction of air. Time to results is usually 7 days. A preliminary study was carried out to compare the time to results and sensitivity of culturing and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) in the detection of airborne A fumigatus. Fungal DNA was extracted from 43 samples of impacted low-melt agar by a 3-step extraction method and amplified by QPCR. Identification was made using a specific A fumigatus probe. With QPCR, 19 of the 43 samples were positive for A fumigatus; with culturing, 7 of these 19 samples were positive, and 12 were negative. The cycle threshold (Ct) values for the 12 culture-negative samples were between 39 and 43 cycles, and the Ct values for 6 of the 7 culture-positive samples were <38 cycles, suggesting that the amount of DNA detected by QPCR was higher in the presence of viable conidia. QPCR detection of airborne A fumigatus in impacted low-melt agar significantly reduces the period of time between sample collection and results (48 hours), suggesting that this new approach can be beneficial for routine environmental sampling. 2010 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Two C4-sterol methyl oxidases (Erg25) catalyse ergosterol intermediate demethylation and impact environmental stress adaptation in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Blosser, Sara J.; Merriman, Brittney; Grahl, Nora; Chung, Dawoon

    2014-01-01

    The human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus adapts to stress encountered in the mammalian host as part of its ability to cause disease. The transcription factor SrbA plays a significant role in this process by regulating genes involved in hypoxia and low-iron adaptation, antifungal drug responses and virulence. SrbA is a direct transcriptional regulator of genes encoding key enzymes in the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway, including erg25A and erg25B, and ΔsrbA accumulates C4-methyl sterols, suggesting a loss of Erg25 activity [C4-sterol methyl oxidase (SMO)]. Characterization of the two genes encoding SMOs in Aspergillus fumigatus revealed that both serve as functional C4-demethylases, with Erg25A serving in a primary role, as Δerg25A accumulates more C4-methyl sterol intermediates than Δerg25B. Single deletion of these SMOs revealed alterations in canonical ergosterol biosynthesis, indicating that ergosterol may be produced in an alternative fashion in the absence of SMO activity. A Δerg25A strain displayed moderate susceptibility to hypoxia and the endoplasmic reticulum stress-inducing agent DTT, but was not required for virulence in murine or insect models of invasive aspergillosis. Inducing expression of erg25A partially restored the hypoxia growth defect of ΔsrbA. These findings implicated Aspergillus fumigatus SMOs in the maintenance of canonical ergosterol biosynthesis and indicated an overall involvement in the fungal stress response. PMID:25107308

  18. The Aspergillus fumigatus Protein GliK Protects against Oxidative Stress and Is Essential for Gliotoxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Lorna; Owens, Rebecca A.; Dolan, Stephen K.; O'Keeffe, Grainne; Schrettl, Markus; Kavanagh, Kevin; Jones, Gary W.

    2012-01-01

    The function of a number of genes in the gliotoxin biosynthetic cluster (gli) in Aspergillus fumigatus remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that gliK deletion from two strains of A. fumigatus completely abolished gliotoxin biosynthesis. Furthermore, exogenous H2O2 (1 mM), but not gliotoxin, significantly induced A. fumigatus gliK expression (P = 0.0101). While both mutants exhibited significant sensitivity to both exogenous gliotoxin (P < 0.001) and H2O2 (P < 0.01), unexpectedly, exogenous gliotoxin relieved H2O2-induced growth inhibition in a dose-dependent manner (0 to 10 μg/ml). Gliotoxin-containing organic extracts derived from A. fumigatus ATCC 26933 significantly inhibited (P < 0.05) the growth of the ΔgliK26933 deletion mutant. The A. fumigatus ΔgliK26933 mutant secreted metabolites, devoid of disulfide linkages or free thiols, that were detectable by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with m/z 394 to 396. These metabolites (m/z 394 to 396) were present at significantly higher levels in the culture supernatants of the A. fumigatus ΔgliK26933 mutant than in those of the wild type (P = 0.0024 [fold difference, 24] and P = 0.0003 [fold difference, 9.6], respectively) and were absent from A. fumigatus ΔgliG. Significantly elevated levels of ergothioneine were present in aqueous mycelial extracts of the A. fumigatus ΔgliK26933 mutant compared to the wild type (P < 0.001). Determination of the gliotoxin uptake rate revealed a significant difference (P = 0.0045) between that of A. fumigatus ATCC 46645 (9.3 pg/mg mycelium/min) and the ΔgliK46645 mutant (31.4 pg/mg mycelium/min), strongly suggesting that gliK absence and the presence of elevated ergothioneine levels impede exogenously added gliotoxin efflux. Our results confirm a role for gliK in gliotoxin biosynthesis and reveal new insights into gliotoxin functionality in A. fumigatus. PMID:22903976

  19. SidL, an Aspergillus fumigatus transacetylase involved in biosynthesis of the siderophores ferricrocin and hydroxyferricrocin.

    PubMed

    Blatzer, Michael; Schrettl, Markus; Sarg, Bettina; Lindner, Herbert H; Pfaller, Kristian; Haas, Hubertus

    2011-07-01

    The opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus produces four types of siderophores, low-molecular-mass iron chelators: it excretes fusarinine C (FsC) and triacetylfusarinine C (TAFC) for iron uptake and accumulates ferricrocin (FC) for hyphal and hydroxyferricrocin (HFC) for conidial iron distribution and storage. Siderophore biosynthesis has recently been shown to be crucial for fungal virulence. Here we identified a new component of the fungal siderophore biosynthetic machinery: AFUA_1G04450, termed SidL. SidL is conserved only in siderophore-producing ascomycetes and shows similarity to transacylases involved in bacterial siderophore biosynthesis and the N(5)-hydroxyornithine:anhydromevalonyl coenzyme A-N(5)-transacylase SidF, which is essential for TAFC biosynthesis. Inactivation of SidL in A. fumigatus decreased FC biosynthesis during iron starvation and completely blocked FC biosynthesis during iron-replete growth. In agreement with these findings, SidL deficiency blocked conidial accumulation of FC-derived HFC under iron-replete conditions, which delayed germination and decreased the size of conidia and their resistance to oxidative stress. Remarkably, the sidL gene is not clustered with other siderophore-biosynthetic genes, and its expression is not affected by iron availability. Tagging of SidL with enhanced green fluorescent protein suggested a cytosolic localization of the FC-biosynthetic machinery. Taken together, these data suggest that SidL is a constitutively active N(5)-hydroxyornithine-acetylase required for FC biosynthesis, in particular under iron-replete conditions. Moreover, this study revealed the unexpected complexity of siderophore biosynthesis, indicating the existence of an additional, iron-repressed N(5)-hydroxyornithine-acetylase.

  20. Kinetic and structural evaluation of selected active site mutants of the Aspergillus fumigatus KDNase (sialidase).

    PubMed

    Yeung, Juliana H F; Telford, Judith C; Shidmoossavee, Fahimeh S; Bennet, Andrew J; Taylor, Garry L; Moore, Margo M

    2013-12-23

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an airborne fungal pathogen. We previously cloned and characterized an exo-sialidase from A. fumigatus and showed that it preferred 2-keto-3-deoxynononic acid (KDN) as a substrate to N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac). The purpose of this study was to investigate the structure-function relationships of critical catalytic site residues. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to create three mutant recombinant enzymes: the catalytic nucleophile (Y358H), the general acid/base catalyst (D84A), and an enlargement of the binding pocket to attempt to accommodate the N-acetyl group of Neu5Ac (R171L). Crystal structures for all enzymes were determined. The D84A mutation had an effect in decreasing the activity of AfKDNase that was stronger than that of the same mutation in the structurally similar sialidase from the bacterium Micromonospora viridifaciens. These data suggest that the catalytic acid is more important in the reaction of AfKDNase and that catalysis is less dependent on nucleophilic or electrostatic stabilization of the developing positive charge at the transition state for hydrolysis. Removal of the catalytic nucleophile (Y358H) significantly lowered the activity of the enzyme, but this mutant remained a retaining glycosidase as demonstrated by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic analysis. This is a novel finding that has not been shown with other sialidases. Kinetic activity measured at pH 5.2 revealed that R171L had higher activity on a Neu5Ac-based substrate than wild-type KDNase; hence, leucine in place of arginine in the binding pocket improved catalysis toward Neu5Ac substrates. Hence, whether a sialidase is primarily a KDNase or a neuraminidase is due in part to the presence of an amino acid that creates a steric clash with the N-acetyl group.

  1. The Aspergillus fumigatus Damage Resistance Protein Family Coordinately Regulates Ergosterol Biosynthesis and Azole Susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jinxing; Zhai, Pengfei; Zhang, Yuanwei; Zhang, Caiyun; Sang, Hong; Han, Guanzhu; Keller, Nancy P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Ergosterol is a major and specific component of the fungal plasma membrane, and thus, the cytochrome P450 enzymes (Erg proteins) that catalyze ergosterol synthesis have been selected as valuable targets of azole antifungals. However, the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus has developed worldwide resistance to azoles largely through mutations in the cytochrome P450 enzyme Cyp51 (Erg11). In this study, we demonstrate that a cytochrome b5-like heme-binding damage resistance protein (Dap) family, comprised of DapA, DapB, and DapC, coordinately regulates the functionality of cytochrome P450 enzymes Erg5 and Erg11 and oppositely affects susceptibility to azoles. The expression of all three genes is induced in an azole concentration-dependent way, and the decreased susceptibility to azoles requires DapA stabilization of cytochrome P450 protein activity. In contrast, overexpression of DapB and DapC causes dysfunction of Erg5 and Erg11, resulting in abnormal accumulation of sterol intermediates and further accentuating the sensitivity of ΔdapA strains to azoles. The results of exogenous-hemin rescue and heme-binding-site mutagenesis experiments demonstrate that the heme binding of DapA contributes the decreased azole susceptibility, while DapB and -C are capable of reducing the activities of Erg5 and Erg11 through depletion of heme. In vivo data demonstrate that inactivated DapA combined with activated DapB yields an A. fumigatus mutant that is easily treatable with azoles in an immunocompromised mouse model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Compared to the single Dap proteins found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we suggest that this complex Dap family regulatory system emerged during the evolution of fungi as an adaptive means to regulate ergosterol synthesis in response to environmental stimuli. PMID:26908577

  2. A Murine Inhalation Model to Characterize Pulmonary Exposure to Dry Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia

    PubMed Central

    Buskirk, Amanda D.; Green, Brett J.; Lemons, Angela R.; Nayak, Ajay P.; Goldsmith, W. Travis; Kashon, Michael L.; Anderson, Stacey E.; Hettick, Justin M.; Templeton, Steven P.; Germolec, Dori R.; Beezhold, Donald H.

    2014-01-01

    Most murine models of fungal exposure are based on the delivery of uncharacterized extracts or liquid conidia suspensions using aspiration or intranasal approaches. Studies that model exposure to dry fungal aerosols using whole body inhalation have only recently been described. In this study, we aimed to characterize pulmonary immune responses following repeated inhalation of conidia utilizing an acoustical generator to deliver dry fungal aerosols to mice housed in a nose only exposure chamber. Immunocompetent female BALB/cJ mice were exposed to conidia derived from Aspergillus fumigatus wild-type (WT) or a melanin-deficient (Δalb1) strain. Conidia were aerosolized and delivered to mice at an estimated deposition dose of 1×105 twice a week for 4 weeks (8 total). Histopathological and immunological endpoints were assessed 4, 24, 48, and 72 hours after the final exposure. Histopathological analysis showed that conidia derived from both strains induced lung inflammation, especially at 24 and 48 hour time points. Immunological endpoints evaluated in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and the mediastinal lymph nodes showed that exposure to WT conidia led to elevated numbers of macrophages, granulocytes, and lymphocytes. Importantly, CD8+ IL17+ (Tc17) cells were significantly higher in BALF and positively correlated with germination of A. fumigatus WT spores. Germination was associated with specific IgG to intracellular proteins while Δalb1 spores elicited antibodies to cell wall hydrophobin. These data suggest that inhalation exposures may provide a more representative analysis of immune responses following exposures to environmentally and occupationally prevalent fungal contaminants. PMID:25340353

  3. Triazole Fungicides Can Induce Cross-Resistance to Medical Triazoles in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Karawajczyk, Anna; Schaftenaar, Gijs; Kema, Gert H. J.; van der Lee, Henrich A.; Klaassen, Corné H.; Melchers, Willem J. G.; Verweij, Paul E.

    2012-01-01

    Background Azoles play an important role in the management of Aspergillus diseases. Azole resistance is an emerging global problem in Aspergillus fumigatus, and may develop through patient therapy. In addition, an environmental route of resistance development has been suggested through exposure to 14α-demethylase inhibitors (DMIs). The main resistance mechanism associated with this putative fungicide-driven route is a combination of alterations in the Cyp51A-gene (TR34/L98H). We investigated if TR34/L98H could have developed through exposure to DMIs. Methods and Findings Thirty-one compounds that have been authorized for use as fungicides, herbicides, herbicide safeners and plant growth regulators in the Netherlands between 1970 and 2005, were investigated for cross-resistance to medical triazoles. Furthermore, CYP51-protein homology modeling and molecule alignment studies were performed to identify similarity in molecule structure and docking modes. Five triazole DMIs, propiconazole, bromuconazole, tebuconazole, epoxiconazole and difenoconazole, showed very similar molecule structures to the medical triazoles and adopted similar poses while docking the protein. These DMIs also showed the greatest cross-resistance and, importantly, were authorized for use between 1990 and 1996, directly preceding the recovery of the first clinical TR34/L98H isolate in 1998. Through microsatellite genotyping of TR34/L98H isolates we were able to calculate that the first isolate would have arisen in 1997, confirming the results of the abovementioned experiments. Finally, we performed induction experiments to investigate if TR34/L98H could be induced under laboratory conditions. One isolate evolved from two copies of the tandem repeat to three, indicating that fungicide pressure can indeed result in these genomic changes. Conclusions Our findings support a fungicide-driven route of TR34/L98H development in A. fumigatus. Similar molecule structure characteristics of five triazole DMIs

  4. Distinct roles for Dectin-1 and TLR4 in the pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus keratitis.

    PubMed

    Leal, Sixto M; Cowden, Susan; Hsia, Yen-Cheng; Ghannoum, Mahmoud A; Momany, Michelle; Pearlman, Eric

    2010-07-01

    Aspergillus species are a major worldwide cause of corneal ulcers, resulting in visual impairment and blindness in immunocompetent individuals. To enhance our understanding of the pathogenesis of Aspergillus keratitis, we developed a murine model in which red fluorescent protein (RFP)-expressing A. fumigatus (Af293.1RFP) conidia are injected into the corneal stroma, and disease progression and fungal survival are tracked over time. Using Mafia mice in which c-fms expressing macrophages and dendritic cells can be induced to undergo apoptosis, we demonstrated that the presence of resident corneal macrophages is essential for production of IL-1beta and CXCL1/KC, and for recruitment of neutrophils and mononuclear cells into the corneal stroma. We found that beta-glucan was highly expressed on germinating conidia and hyphae in the cornea stroma, and that both Dectin-1 and phospho-Syk were up-regulated in infected corneas. Additionally, we show that infected Dectin-1(-/-) corneas have impaired IL-1beta and CXCL1/KC production, resulting in diminished cellular infiltration and fungal clearance compared with control mice, especially during infection with clinical isolates expressing high beta-glucan. In contrast to Dectin 1(-/-) mice, cellular infiltration into infected TLR2(-/-), TLR4(-/-), and MD-2(-/-) mice corneas was unimpaired, indicating no role for these receptors in cell recruitment; however, fungal killing was significantly reduced in TLR4(-/-) mice, but not TLR2(-/-) or MD-2(-/-) mice. We also found that TRIF(-/-) and TIRAP(-/-) mice exhibited no fungal-killing defects, but that MyD88(-/-) and IL-1R1(-/-) mice were unable to regulate fungal growth. In conclusion, these data are consistent with a model in which beta-glucan on A.fumigatus germinating conidia activates Dectin-1 on corneal macrophages to produce IL-1beta, and CXCL1, which together with IL-1R1/MyD88-dependent activation, results in recruitment of neutrophils to the corneal stroma and TLR4-dependent

  5. Distinct Roles for Dectin-1 and TLR4 in the Pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus Keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Sixto M.; Cowden, Susan; Hsia, Yen-Cheng; Ghannoum, Mahmoud A.; Momany, Michelle; Pearlman, Eric

    2010-01-01

    Aspergillus species are a major worldwide cause of corneal ulcers, resulting in visual impairment and blindness in immunocompetent individuals. To enhance our understanding of the pathogenesis of Aspergillus keratitis, we developed a murine model in which red fluorescent protein (RFP)-expressing A. fumigatus (Af293.1RFP) conidia are injected into the corneal stroma, and disease progression and fungal survival are tracked over time. Using Mafia mice in which c-fms expressing macrophages and dendritic cells can be induced to undergo apoptosis, we demonstrated that the presence of resident corneal macrophages is essential for production of IL-1β and CXCL1/KC, and for recruitment of neutrophils and mononuclear cells into the corneal stroma. We found that β-glucan was highly expressed on germinating conidia and hyphae in the cornea stroma, and that both Dectin-1 and phospho-Syk were up-regulated in infected corneas. Additionally, we show that infected Dectin-1−/− corneas have impaired IL-1β and CXCL1/KC production, resulting in diminished cellular infiltration and fungal clearance compared with control mice, especially during infection with clinical isolates expressing high β-glucan. In contrast to Dectin 1−/− mice, cellular infiltration into infected TLR2−/−, TLR4−/−, and MD-2−/− mice corneas was unimpaired, indicating no role for these receptors in cell recruitment; however, fungal killing was significantly reduced in TLR4−/− mice, but not TLR2−/− or MD-2−/− mice. We also found that TRIF−/− and TIRAP−/− mice exhibited no fungal-killing defects, but that MyD88−/− and IL-1R1−/− mice were unable to regulate fungal growth. In conclusion, these data are consistent with a model in which β-glucan on A.fumigatus germinating conidia activates Dectin-1 on corneal macrophages to produce IL-1β, and CXCL1, which together with IL-1R1/MyD88-dependent activation, results in recruitment of neutrophils to the corneal stroma and TLR4

  6. Molecular detection of Candida spp. and Aspergillus fumigatus in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia

    PubMed Central

    Khorvash, Farzin; Abbasi, Saeed; Yaran, Majid; Abdi, Fateme; Ataei, Behrooz; Fereidooni, Farzaneh; Hoseini, Shervin Ghaffari; Ahmadi-Ahvaz, Nasrin; Parsazadeh, Malihe; Haghi, Fariba

    2014-01-01

    Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common nosocomial infection in critically ill patients with high morbidity and mortality rates. The etiology of VAP is usually bacterial. Opportunistic fungi such as Candida and Aspergillus species (spp.) are found frequently in the respiratory track secretions of immunocompetent critically ill patients known as colonization. Contribution of fungi colonization to severe bacterial VAP and poor prognosis of these patients has been documented in several studies. The aim of this study was to detect Candida spp. and Aspergillus fumigatus colonization in patients with a clinical diagnosis of VAP as a marker of high risk pneumonia. Materials and Methods: Bronchoscopic alveolar lavage (BAL) fluids from patients with VAP in central intensive care unit (ICU) of a tertiary university hospital in Isfahan were examined by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect Candida spp. or A. fumigatus. Rate of fungi colonization and its association with clinical criteria of the patients was determined. Results: BAL fluids from 38 patients were tested from which six samples (15.8%) were positive for Candida spp. and five (13.2%) for A. fumigatus. Fungi colonization was not associated with age, sex, or mortality rate of patients. Rate of A. fumigatus colonization was significantly more in traumatic patients (P = 0.036), and higher in patients ventilated more than 4 weeks (P = 0.022). Conclusion: High rate of A. fumigatus colonization in our ICU patients indicates that underlying causes such as unfavorable ICU conditions and other patient related factors such as unnecessary antibiotic therapy should be further evaluated. PMID:25002894

  7. Aspergillus fumigatus and mesophilic moulds in air in the surrounding environment downwind of non-hazardous waste landfill sites.

    PubMed

    Schlosser, Olivier; Robert, Samuel; Debeaupuis, Catherine

    2016-05-01

    Non-hazardous waste landfilling has the potential to release biological agents into the air, notably mould spores. Some species, such as Aspergillus fumigatus, may be a cause of concern for at-risk nearby residents. However, air concentration in the surrounding environment of non-hazardous waste landfill sites is poorly documented. An extensive sampling programme was designed to investigate the relationship between culturable mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus concentrations in air and distance downwind of non-hazardous waste landfill sites. On-site and off-site repeated measurements were performed at four landfill sites during cold and warm seasons. A high-flow air-sampler device was selected so as to allow peak concentration measurement. Linear mixed-effects models were used to explain variability in the concentrations in air over time and across sites, seasons, instantaneous meteorological conditions and discharged waste tonnage. Concentrations of mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus at off-site upwind sampling locations were compared with concentrations at each of the downwind sampling locations. At the tipping face location, peak concentration reached 480,000CFUm(-3) for mesophilic moulds and 9300CFUm(-3) for A. fumigatus. Compared with upwind background levels, these concentrations were, on average, approximately 20 and 40 times higher respectively. A steep decline in the concentration of both mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus was observed between the tipping face location and the downwind property boundary (reduction by 77% and 84% respectively), followed by a low decline leading to a 90% and 94% reduction in concentration at 200m from the property boundary and beyond. With the 200m and 500m downwind sampling point values added together, the 97.5th percentile of concentration was 6013CFUm(-3) and 87CFUm(-3) for mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus, respectively. Other determining factors were the discharged waste tonnage, the season, instantaneous temperature

  8. The Temporal Dynamics of Differential Gene Expression in Aspergillus fumigatus Interacting with Human Immature Dendritic Cells In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Morton, Charles O.; Varga, John J.; Hornbach, Anke; Mezger, Markus; Sennefelder, Helga; Kneitz, Susanne; Kurzai, Oliver; Krappmann, Sven; Einsele, Hermann; Nierman, William C.; Rogers, Thomas R.; Loeffler, Juergen

    2011-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DC) are the most important antigen presenting cells and play a pivotal role in host immunity to infectious agents by acting as a bridge between the innate and adaptive immune systems. Monocyte-derived immature DCs (iDC) were infected with viable resting conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus (Af293) for 12 hours at an MOI of 5; cells were sampled every three hours. RNA was extracted from both organisms at each time point and hybridised to microarrays. iDC cell death increased at 6 h in the presence of A. fumigatus which coincided with fungal germ tube emergence; >80% of conidia were associated with iDC. Over the time course A. fumigatus differentially regulated 210 genes, FunCat analysis indicated significant up-regulation of genes involved in fermentation, drug transport, pathogenesis and response to oxidative stress. Genes related to cytotoxicity were differentially regulated but the gliotoxin biosynthesis genes were down regulated over the time course, while Aspf1 was up-regulated at 9 h and 12 h. There was an up-regulation of genes in the subtelomeric regions of the genome as the interaction progressed. The genes up-regulated by iDC in the presence of A. fumigatus indicated that they were producing a pro-inflammatory response which was consistent with previous transcriptome studies of iDC interacting with A. fumigatus germ tubes. This study shows that A. fumigatus adapts to phagocytosis by iDCs by utilising genes that allow it to survive the interaction rather than just up-regulation of specific virulence genes. PMID:21264256

  9. Transcriptome Profiles of Human Lung Epithelial Cells A549 Interacting with Aspergillus fumigatus by RNA-Seq

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Xiaodong; Wang, Shuo; Wang, Jing; Chen, Yong; Zhao, Jingya; Tian, Shuguang; Han, Xuelin; Han, Li

    2015-01-01

    Lung epithelial cells constitute the first defense line of host against the inhaled Aspergillus fumigatus; however, the transcriptional response of human alveolar type II epithelial cells was still unclear. Here we used RNA-Seq technology to assess the transcriptome profiles of A549 cells following direct interaction with conidia of A. fumigatus. The total number of identified genes was 19118. Compared with uninfected A549 cells, 459 genes were differentially expressed in cells co-incubated with conidia for 8 h, including 302 up-regulated genes and 157 down-regulated genes. GO and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis showed that most of the up-regulated genes were related to immune response, chemotaxis and inflammatory response and enriched in cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, JAK-STAT and MAPK signaling pathways. The down-regulated genes were mainly enriched for terms associated with development, hemopoiesis and ion transport. Among them, EGR4 and HIST1H4J gene had the maximum of fold change in up-regulated and down-regulated genes, respectively. Fourteen up-regulated genes and three down-regulated genes were further validated and significant increase on expression of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α in A549 cells were confirmed by qRT-PCR during the interaction of A549 cells with A. fumigatus. Besides, western blot showed that expression of two proteins (ARC, EGR1) significantly increased in A549 cells during interaction with A. fumigatus conidia for 8h. Interference of endogenous expression of ARC or EGR1 protein in A549 cells reduced the internalization of A. fumigatus. These results provided important insights into dynamic changes of gene expression in lung epithelial cells, especially its strong immunological response against A. fumigatus infection. PMID:26273834

  10. Characterization of the major Woronin body protein HexA of the human pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Beck, Julia; Ebel, Frank

    2013-03-01

    In filamentous fungi, the septal pore controls the exchange between neighbouring hyphal compartments. Woronin bodies are fungal-specific organelles that plug the pore in case of physical damage. The Hex protein is their major and essential component. Hex proteins of different size are predicted in the data base for pathogenic and non-pathogenic Aspergillus species. However, using specific monoclonal antibodies, we identified 2 dominant HexA protein species of 20 and 25kDa in A. fumigatus, A. terreus, A. nidulans, and A. oryzae. HexA and Woronin bodies were found in A. fumigatus hyphae, but also in resting conidia. Using monoclonal antibodies, a GFP-HexA fusion protein, and an RFP protein fused to the putative peroxisomal targeting sequence of HexA, we analyzed the spatial localization and dynamics of Woronin bodies in A. fumigatus as well as their formation from peroxisomes. In intact hyphae, some Woronin bodies were found in close proximity to the septal pore, while the majority was distributed in the cytoplasm. Septum-associated Woronin bodies show a minimal lateral movement, while the cytosolic Woronin bodies are highly dynamic. The distribution of Woronin bodies and their co-localization pattern with peroxisomes revealed no evidence that Woronin bodies arise predominantly at the apical tip of A. fumigatus hyphae. We found that Woronin bodies are able to plug septal pores of A. fumigatus in case of damage. Woronin bodies therefore contribute to the stress resistance and potentially also to the virulence of A. fumigatus, which renders them a potential target for future anti-fungal strategies.

  11. Molecular Epidemiology of Aspergillus fumigatus: an In-Depth Genotypic Analysis of Isolates Involved in an Outbreak of Invasive Aspergillosis▿

    PubMed Central

    Guinea, Jesús; García de Viedma, Darío; Peláez, Teresa; Escribano, Pilar; Muñoz, Patricia; Meis, Jacques F.; Klaassen, Corné H. W.; Bouza, Emilio

    2011-01-01

    We recently reported an outbreak of invasive aspergillosis in the major heart surgery unit of Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain (T. Peláez, P. Muñoz, J. Guinea, M. Valerio, M. Giannella, C. H. W. Klaassen, and E. Bouza, Clin. Infect. Dis., in press). Aspergillus fumigatus was isolated from clinical samples from 10 patients admitted to the unit during the outbreak period (surgical wound invasive aspergillosis, n = 2; probable pulmonary invasive aspergillosis, n = 4; colonization, n = 4). In the study described here, we have studied the genotypic diversity of the A. fumigatus isolates found in the air and clinical samples. We used short tandem repeats of A. fumigatus (STRAf) typing to analyze the genotypes found in the 168 available A. fumigatus isolates collected from the clinical samples (n = 109) from the patients and from the environmental samples taken from the air of the unit (n = 59). The genotypic variability of A. fumigatus was higher in environmental than in clinical samples. Intrasample variability was also higher in environmental than in clinical samples: 2 or more different genotypes were found in 26% and 89% of clinical and environmental samples, respectively. We found matches between environmental and clinical isolates in 3 of the 10 patients: 1 patient with postsurgical invasive aspergillosis and 2 patients with probable pulmonary invasive aspergillosis. A total of 7 genotypes from 3 different patients and the air grouped together in 2 clusters. Clonally related genotypes and microvariants were detected in both clinical and environmental samples. STRAf typing proved to be a valuable tool for identifying the source of invasive aspergillosis outbreaks and for studying the genotypic diversity of clinical and environmental A. fumigatus isolates. PMID:21832010

  12. The Aspergillus fumigatus siderophore biosynthetic gene sidA, encoding L-ornithine N5-oxygenase, is required for virulence.

    PubMed

    Hissen, Anna H T; Wan, Adrian N C; Warwas, Mark L; Pinto, Linda J; Moore, Margo M

    2005-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the leading cause of invasive mold infection and is a serious problem in immunocompromised populations worldwide. We have previously shown that survival of A. fumigatus in serum may be related to secretion of siderophores. In this study, we identified and characterized the sidA gene of A. fumigatus, which encodes l-ornithine N(5)-oxygenase, the first committed step in hydroxamate siderophore biosynthesis. A. fumigatus sidA codes for a protein of 501 amino acids with significant homology to other fungal l-ornithine N(5)-oxygenases. A stable DeltasidA strain was created by deletion of A. fumigatus sidA. This strain was unable to synthesize the siderophores N',N",N'''-triacetylfusarinine C (TAF) and ferricrocin. Growth of the DeltasidA strain was the same as that of the wild type in rich media; however, the DeltasidA strain was unable to grow in low-iron defined media or media containing 10% human serum unless supplemented with TAF or ferricrocin. No significant differences in ferric reduction activities were observed between the parental strain and the DeltasidA strain, indicating that blocking siderophore secretion did not result in upregulation of this pathway. Unlike the parental strain, the DeltasidA strain was unable to remove iron from human transferrin. A rescued strain (DeltasidA + sidA) was constructed; it produced siderophores and had the same growth as the wild type on iron-limited media. Unlike the wild-type and rescued strains, the DeltasidA strain was avirulent in a mouse model of invasive aspergillosis, indicating that sidA is necessary for A. fumigatus virulence.

  13. Predicting Aspergillus fumigatus exposure from composting facilities using a dispersion model: A conditional calibration and validation.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Philippa; Tyrrel, Sean F; Kinnersley, Robert P; Whelan, Michael; Longhurst, Philip J; Hansell, Anna L; Walsh, Kerry; Pollard, Simon J T; Drew, Gillian H

    2017-01-01

    Bioaerosols are released in elevated quantities from composting facilities and are associated with negative health effects, although dose-response relationships are unclear. Exposure levels are difficult to quantify as established sampling methods are costly, time-consuming and current data provide limited temporal and spatial information. Confidence in dispersion model outputs in this context would be advantageous to provide a more detailed exposure assessment. We present the calibration and validation of a recognised atmospheric dispersion model (ADMS) for bioaerosol exposure assessments. The model was calibrated by a trial and error optimisation of observed Aspergillus fumigatus concentrations at different locations around a composting site. Validation was performed using a second dataset of measured concentrations for a different site. The best fit between modelled and measured data was achieved when emissions were represented as a single area source, with a temperature of 29°C. Predicted bioaerosol concentrations were within an order of magnitude of measured values (1000-10,000CFU/m(3)) at the validation site, once minor adjustments were made to reflect local differences between the sites (r(2)>0.7 at 150, 300, 500 and 600m downwind of source). Results suggest that calibrated dispersion modelling can be applied to make reasonable predictions of bioaerosol exposures at multiple sites and may be used to inform site regulation and operational management. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  14. Xyloglucan breakdown by endo-xyloglucanase family 74 from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Damasio, André Ricardo de Lima; Rubio, Marcelo Ventura; Gonçalves, Thiago Augusto; Persinoti, Gabriela Felix; Segato, Fernando; Prade, Rolf Alexander; Contesini, Fabiano Jares; de Souza, Amanda Pereira; Buckeridge, Marcos Silveira; Squina, Fabio Marcio

    2017-04-01

    Xyloglucan is the most abundant hemicellulose in primary walls of spermatophytes except for grasses. Xyloglucan-degrading enzymes are important in lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysis because they remove xyloglucan, which is abundant in monocot-derived biomass. Fungal genomes encode numerous xyloglucanase genes, belonging to at least six glycoside hydrolase (GH) families. GH74 endo-xyloglucanases cleave xyloglucan backbones with unsubstituted glucose at the -1 subsite or prefer xylosyl-substituted residues in the -1 subsite. In this work, 137 GH74-related genes were detected by examining 293 Eurotiomycete genomes and Ascomycete fungi contained one or no GH74 xyloglucanase gene per genome. Another interesting feature is that the triad of tryptophan residues along the catalytic cleft was found to be widely conserved among Ascomycetes. The GH74 from Aspergillus fumigatus (AfXEG74) was chosen as an example to conduct comprehensive biochemical studies to determine the catalytic mechanism. AfXEG74 has no CBM and cleaves the xyloglucan backbone between the unsubstituted glucose and xylose-substituted glucose at specific positions, along the XX motif when linked to regions deprived of galactosyl branches. It resembles an endo-processive activity, which after initial random hydrolysis releases xyloglucan-oligosaccharides as major reaction products. This work provides insights on phylogenetic diversity and catalytic mechanism of GH74 xyloglucanases from Ascomycete fungi.

  15. Aspergillus fumigatus mitochondrial electron transport chain mediates oxidative stress homeostasis, hypoxia responses, and fungal pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Grahl, Nora; Dinamarco, Taisa Magnani; Willger, Sven D.; Goldman, Gustavo H.; Cramer, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    Summary We previously observed that hypoxia is an important component of host microenvironments during pulmonary fungal infections. However, mechanisms of fungal growth in these in vivo hypoxic conditions are poorly understood. Here, we report that mitochondrial respiration is active in hypoxia (1% oxygen) and critical for fungal pathogenesis. We generated Aspergillus fumigatus alternative oxidase (aoxA) and cytochrome C (cycA) null mutants and assessed their ability to tolerate hypoxia, macrophage killing, and virulence. In contrast to ΔaoxA, ΔcycA was found to be significantly impaired in conidia germination, growth in normoxia and hypoxia, and displayed attenuated virulence. Intriguingly, loss of cycA results in increased levels of AoxA activity, which results in increased resistance to oxidative stress, macrophage killing, and long-term persistence in murine lungs. Thus, our results demonstrate a previously unidentified role for fungal mitochondrial respiration in the pathogenesis of aspergillosis, and lay the foundation for future research into its role in hypoxia signaling and adaptation. PMID:22443190

  16. The interplay between vacuolar and siderophore-mediated iron storage in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Gsaller, Fabio; Eisendle, Martin; Lechner, Beatrix Elisabeth; Schrettl, Markus; Lindner, Herbert; Müller, Daniela; Geley, Stephan; Haas, Hubertus

    2012-12-01

    Iron is an essential element for all eukaryotes but its excess has deleterious effects. Aspergillus fumigatus produces extracellular siderophores for iron uptake and the intracellular siderophore ferricrocin (FC) for distribution and storage of iron. Iron excess has previously been shown to increase the content of ferric FC and the expression of the putative vacuolar iron importer CccA (AFUA_4G12530), indicating a role of both the vacuole and FC in iron detoxification. In this study, we show that CccA-deficiency decreases iron resistance in particular in combination with derepressed iron uptake, while overproduction of CccA increases iron resistance. Green fluorescence protein-tagging confirmed localization of CccA in the vacuolar membrane. In contrast to CccA-deficiency, inactivation of FC biosynthesis did not affect iron resistance, which indicates that vacuolar rather than FC-mediated iron storage is the major iron detoxifying mechanism. After uptake, extracellular siderophore backbones are hydrolyzed and recycled. Lack of FC, CccA, and in particular lack of both increased the cellular content of iron chelated by siderophore breakdown products. These data indicate that the transfer of iron from extracellular siderophores to the metabolism, FC or the vacuole precedes recycling of siderophore breakdown products. Furthermore, this study indicates that CccA does not play an exclusive role in vacuolar iron storage for nutritional reuse.

  17. Aspergillus fumigatus mitochondrial electron transport chain mediates oxidative stress homeostasis, hypoxia responses and fungal pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Grahl, Nora; Dinamarco, Taisa Magnani; Willger, Sven D; Goldman, Gustavo H; Cramer, Robert A

    2012-04-01

    We previously observed that hypoxia is an important component of host microenvironments during pulmonary fungal infections. However, mechanisms of fungal growth in these in vivo hypoxic conditions are poorly understood. Here, we report that mitochondrial respiration is active in hypoxia (1% oxygen) and critical for fungal pathogenesis. We generated Aspergillus fumigatus alternative oxidase (aoxA) and cytochrome C (cycA) null mutants and assessed their ability to tolerate hypoxia, macrophage killing and virulence. In contrast to ΔaoxA, ΔcycA was found to be significantly impaired in conidia germination, growth in normoxia and hypoxia, and displayed attenuated virulence. Intriguingly, loss of cycA results in increased levels of AoxA activity, which results in increased resistance to oxidative stress, macrophage killing and long-term persistence in murine lungs. Thus, our results demonstrate a previously unidentified role for fungal mitochondrial respiration in the pathogenesis of aspergillosis, and lay the foundation for future research into its role in hypoxia signalling and adaptation. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. Molecular characterization of an adaptive response to alkylating agents in the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    O’Hanlon, Karen A.; Margison, Geoffrey P.; Hatch, Amy; Fitzpatrick, David A.; Owens, Rebecca A.; Doyle, Sean; Jones, Gary W.

    2012-01-01

    An adaptive response to alkylating agents based upon the conformational change of a methylphosphotriester (MPT) DNA repair protein to a transcriptional activator has been demonstrated in a number of bacterial species, but this mechanism appears largely absent from eukaryotes. Here, we demonstrate that the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus elicits an adaptive response to sub-lethal doses of the mono-functional alkylating agent N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG). We have identified genes that encode MPT and O6-alkylguanine DNA alkyltransferase (AGT) DNA repair proteins; deletions of either of these genes abolish the adaptive response and sensitize the organism to MNNG. In vitro DNA repair assays confirm the ability of MPT and AGT to repair methylphosphotriester and O6-methylguanine lesions respectively. In eukaryotes, the MPT protein is confined to a select group of fungal species, some of which are major mammalian and plant pathogens. The evolutionary origin of the adaptive response is bacterial and rooted within the Firmicutes phylum. Inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfer between Firmicutes and Ascomycete ancestors introduced the adaptive response into the Fungal kingdom. Our data constitute the first detailed characterization of the molecular mechanism of the adaptive response in a lower eukaryote and has applications for development of novel fungal therapeutics targeting this DNA repair system. PMID:22669901

  19. Redundant synthesis of a conidial polyketide by two distinct secondary metabolite clusters in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Throckmorton, Kurt; Lim, Fang Yun; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P.; Zheng, Weifa; Keller, Nancy P.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Filamentous fungi are renowned for the production of bioactive secondary metabolites. Typically, one distinct metabolite is generated from a specific secondary metabolite cluster. Here, we characterize the newly described trypacidin (tpc) cluster in the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. We find that this cluster as well as the previously characterized endocrocin (enc) cluster both contribute to the production of the spore metabolite endocrocin. Whereas trypacidin is eliminated when only tpc cluster genes are deleted, endocrocin production is only eliminated when both the tpc and enc non-reducing polyketide synthase-encoding genes, tpcC and encA, respectively, are deleted. EncC, an anthrone oxidase, converts the product released from EncA to endocrocin as a final product. In contrast, endocrocin synthesis by the tpc cluster likely results from incomplete catalysis by TpcK (a putative decarboxylase), as its deletion results in a nearly 10-fold increase in endocrocin production. We suggest endocrocin is likely a shunt product in all related non-reducing polyketide synthase clusters containing homologues of TpcK and TpcL (a putative anthrone oxidase), e.g. geodin and monodictyphenone. This finding represents an unusual example of two physically discrete secondary metabolite clusters generating the same natural product in one fungal species by distinct routes. PMID:26242966

  20. Genetic and virulence variation in an environmental population of the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Alshareef, Fadwa; Robson, Geoffrey D

    2014-04-01

    Environmental populations of the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus have been shown to be genotypically diverse and to contain a range of isolates with varying pathogenic potential. In this study, we combined two RAPD primers to investigate the genetic diversity of environmental isolates from Manchester collected monthly over 1 year alongside Dublin environmental isolates and clinical isolates from patients. RAPD analysis revealed a diverse genotype, but with three major clinical isolate clusters. When the pathogenicity of clinical and Dublin isolates was compared with a random selection of Manchester isolates in a Galleria mellonella larvae model, as a group, clinical isolates were significantly more pathogenic than environmental isolates. Moreover, when relative pathogenicity of individual isolates was compared, clinical isolates were the most pathogenic, Dublin isolates were the least pathogenic and Manchester isolates showed a range in pathogenicity. Overall, this suggests that the environmental population is genetically diverse, displaying a range in pathogenicity, and that the most pathogenic strains from the environment are selected during patient infection.

  1. Harnessing Bacterial Signals for Suppression of Biofilm Formation in the Nosocomial Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Reen, F. Jerry; Phelan, John P.; Woods, David F.; Shanahan, Rachel; Cano, Rafael; Clarke, Sarah; McGlacken, Gerard P.; O’Gara, Fergal

    2016-01-01

    Faced with the continued emergence of antibiotic resistance to all known classes of antibiotics, a paradigm shift in approaches toward antifungal therapeutics is required. Well characterized in a broad spectrum of bacterial and fungal pathogens, biofilms are a key factor in limiting the effectiveness of conventional antibiotics. Therefore, therapeutics such as small molecules that prevent or disrupt biofilm formation would render pathogens susceptible to clearance by existing drugs. This is the first report describing the effect of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa alkylhydroxyquinolone interkingdom signal molecules 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4-quinolone and 2-heptyl-4-quinolone on biofilm formation in the important fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Decoration of the anthranilate ring on the quinolone framework resulted in significant changes in the capacity of these chemical messages to suppress biofilm formation. Addition of methoxy or methyl groups at the C5–C7 positions led to retention of anti-biofilm activity, in some cases dependent on the alkyl chain length at position C2. In contrast, halogenation at either the C3 or C6 positions led to loss of activity, with one notable exception. Microscopic staining provided key insights into the structural impact of the parent and modified molecules, identifying lead compounds for further development. PMID:28066389

  2. An immunodominant 90-kilodalton Aspergillus fumigatus antigen is the subunit of a catalase.

    PubMed Central

    López-Medrano, R; Ovejero, M C; Calera, J A; Puente, P; Leal, F

    1995-01-01

    We have identified, purified, and characterized structurally and functionally a 90-kDa immunodominant antigen associated with the water-soluble fraction of Aspergillus fumigatus. This antigen is recognized by 90.3% of serum samples from patients with aspergilloma and should be considered either by itself or better in combination with other purified antigens as a candidate for developing a standardized immunoassay for the detection of aspergilloma. p90 is a glycoprotein containing at least two two N-linked sugar chains of 2 and 5 kDa, respectively, which are not necessary for its reactivity with aspergilloma serum samples. Using specific anti-p90 rabbit serum, we have demonstrated that under native conditions, p90 exists in oligomeric form and has associated catalase activity. This activity is resistant to extreme temperatures (> 60 degrees C), reducing agents (40 mM dithiothreitol), high concentrations of denaturing agents such as 8 M urea and 8% sodium dodecyl sulfate, and treatments with ethanol-chloroform-water (5:3:10 [vol/vol]) mixtures. PMID:7591135

  3. The role of Dectin-1/Raf-1 signal cascade in innate immune of human corneal epithelial cells against Aspergillus fumigatus infection

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Gui-Qiu; Lin, Jing; Hu, Li-Ting; Yin, Xiao-Ni; Wang, Qian; Xu, Qiang; Li, Hui

    2016-01-01

    AIM To investigate the expression of the v-raf-1 murine leukemia viral oncogene homolog 1 (Raf-1) and its role in the innate immune response of human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) infected by Aspergillus fumigatus. METHODS HCECs were cultured in vitro. They were randomly divided into 4 groups, including control group, Aspergillus fumigatus group, GW5074 (an inhibitor of Raf-1) group and Laminarin [an inhibitor of Dendriti-cell-associated C-type lectin 1 (Dectin-1)] group. The protein expression level of total Raf-1 and p-Raf-1was measured by Western blot. The expression of IL-6 and IL-8 mRNA in each group was detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS In Aspergillus fumigatus group, total Raf-1 protein levels in HCECs remained unchanged at 5, 15, 30 and 45min after infection, while p-Raf-1 expression was significantly enhanced at 30min after infection compared with control group. However, the expression of p-Raf-1 was apparently declined after treated with GW5074 or Laminarin compared with Aspergillus fumigatus group. The expression levels of IL-6, IL-8 mRNA were significantly increased after stimulation with fumigatus compared with control group. Pre-treated with GW5074 significantly inhibited Aspergillus fumigatus-induced upregulation of IL-8 and IL-6. CONCLUSION Aspergillus fumigatus stimulation can elevate the expression of p-Raf-1 in HCECs in vitro. Dectin-1/Raf-1 signal pathway may play a role on regulating the expression of inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6 and IL-8. PMID:27803850

  4. Modulation of antimicrobial metabolites production by the fungus Aspergillus parasiticus

    PubMed Central

    Bracarense, Adriana A.P.; Takahashi, Jacqueline A.

    2014-01-01

    Biosynthesis of active secondary metabolites by fungi occurs as a specific response to the different growing environments. Changes in this environment alter the chemical and biological profiles leading to metabolites diversification and consequently to novel pharmacological applications. In this work, it was studied the influence of three parameters (fermentation length, medium composition and aeration) in the biosyntheses of antimicrobial metabolites by the fungus Aspergillus parasiticus in 10 distinct fermentation periods. Metabolism modulation in two culturing media, CYA and YES was evaluated by a 22 full factorial planning (ANOVA) and on a 23 factorial planning, role of aeration, medium composition and carbohydrate concentration were also evaluated. In overall, 120 different extracts were prepared, their HPLC profiles were obtained and the antimicrobial activity against A. flavus, C. albicans, E. coli and S. aureus of all extracts was evaluated by microdilution bioassay. Yield of kojic acid, a fine chemical produced by the fungus A. parasiticus was determined in all extracts. Statistical analyses pointed thirteen conditions able to modulate the production of bioactive metabolites by A. parasiticus. Effect of carbon source in metabolites diversification was significant as shown by the changes in the HPLC profiles of the extracts. Most of the extracts presented inhibition rates higher than that of kojic acid as for the extract obtained after 6 days of fermentation in YES medium under stirring. Kojic acid was not the only metabolite responsible for the activity since some highly active extracts showed to possess low amounts of this compound, as determined by HPLC. PMID:24948950

  5. Plasma Membrane Localization Is Required for RasA-Mediated Polarized Morphogenesis and Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Juvvadi, Praveen R.; Rogg, Luise E.; Asfaw, Yohannes G.; Burns, Kimberlie A.; Randell, Scott H.; Steinbach, William J.

    2012-01-01

    Ras is a highly conserved GTPase protein that is essential for proper polarized morphogenesis of filamentous fungi. Localization of Ras proteins to the plasma membrane and endomembranes through posttranslational addition of farnesyl and palmitoyl residues is an important mechanism through which cells provide specificity to Ras signal output. Although the Aspergillus fumigatus RasA protein is known to be a major regulator of growth and development, the membrane distribution of RasA during polarized morphogenesis and the role of properly localized Ras signaling in virulence of a pathogenic mold remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that Aspergillus fumigatus RasA localizes primarily to the plasma membrane of actively growing hyphae. We show that treatment with the palmitoylation inhibitor 2-bromopalmitate disrupts normal RasA plasma membrane association and decreases hyphal growth. Targeted mutations of the highly conserved RasA palmitoylation motif also mislocalized RasA from the plasma membrane and led to severe hyphal abnormalities, cell wall structural changes, and reduced virulence in murine invasive aspergillosis. Finally, we provide evidence that proper RasA localization is independent of the Ras palmitoyltransferase homolog, encoded by erfB, but requires the palmitoyltransferase complex subunit, encoded by erfD. Our results demonstrate that plasma membrane-associated RasA is critical for polarized morphogenesis, cell wall stability, and virulence in A. fumigatus. PMID:22562470

  6. Plasma membrane localization is required for RasA-mediated polarized morphogenesis and virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Fortwendel, Jarrod R; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Rogg, Luise E; Asfaw, Yohannes G; Burns, Kimberlie A; Randell, Scott H; Steinbach, William J

    2012-08-01

    Ras is a highly conserved GTPase protein that is essential for proper polarized morphogenesis of filamentous fungi. Localization of Ras proteins to the plasma membrane and endomembranes through posttranslational addition of farnesyl and palmitoyl residues is an important mechanism through which cells provide specificity to Ras signal output. Although the Aspergillus fumigatus RasA protein is known to be a major regulator of growth and development, the membrane distribution of RasA during polarized morphogenesis and the role of properly localized Ras signaling in virulence of a pathogenic mold remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that Aspergillus fumigatus RasA localizes primarily to the plasma membrane of actively growing hyphae. We show that treatment with the palmitoylation inhibitor 2-bromopalmitate disrupts normal RasA plasma membrane association and decreases hyphal growth. Targeted mutations of the highly conserved RasA palmitoylation motif also mislocalized RasA from the plasma membrane and led to severe hyphal abnormalities, cell wall structural changes, and reduced virulence in murine invasive aspergillosis. Finally, we provide evidence that proper RasA localization is independent of the Ras palmitoyltransferase homolog, encoded by erfB, but requires the palmitoyltransferase complex subunit, encoded by erfD. Our results demonstrate that plasma membrane-associated RasA is critical for polarized morphogenesis, cell wall stability, and virulence in A. fumigatus.

  7. New applications for known drugs: Human glycogen synthase kinase 3 inhibitors as modulators of Aspergillus fumigatus growth.

    PubMed

    Sebastián, Víctor; Manoli, Maria-Tsampika; Pérez, Daniel I; Gil, Carmen; Mellado, Emilia; Martínez, Ana; Espeso, Eduardo A; Campillo, Nuria E

    2016-06-30

    Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is one of the most severe forms of fungi infection. IA disease is mainly due to Aspergillus fumigatus, an air-borne opportunistic pathogen. Mortality rate caused by IA is still very high (50-95%), because of difficulty in early diagnostics and reduced antifungal treatment options, thus new and efficient drugs are necessary. The aim of this work is, using Aspergillus nidulans as non-pathogen model, to develop efficient drugs to treat IA. The recent discovered role of glycogen synthase kinase-3 homologue, GskA, in A. fumigatus human infection and our previous experience on human GSK-3 inhibitors focus our attention on this kinase as a target for the development of antifungal drugs. With the aim to identify effective inhibitors of colonial growth of A. fumigatus we use A. nidulans as an accurate model for in vivo and in silico studies. Several well-known human GSK-3β inhibitors were tested for inhibition of A. nidulans colony growth. Computational tools as docking studies and binding site prediction was used to explain the different biological profile of the tested inhibitors. Three of the five tested hGSK3β inhibitors are able to reduce completely the colonial growth by covalent bind to the enzyme. Therefore these compounds may be useful in different applications to eradicate IA.

  8. The Impact of Aspergillus fumigatus Viability and Sensitization to Its Allergens on the Murine Allergic Asthma Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Sumali; Hoselton, Scott A.; Schuh, Jane M.

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitously present respiratory pathogen. The outcome of a pulmonary disease may vary significantly with fungal viability and host immune status. Our objective in this study was (1) to assess the ability of inhaled irradiation-killed or live A. fumigatus spores to induce allergic pulmonary disease and (2) to assess the extent to which inhaled dead or live A. fumigatus spores influence pulmonary symptoms in a previously established allergic state. Our newly developed fungal delivery apparatus allowed us to recapitulate human exposure through repeated inhalation of dry fungal spores in an animal model. We found that live A. fumigatus spore inhalation led to a significantly increased humoral response, pulmonary inflammation, and airway remodeling in naïve mice and is more likely to induce allergic asthma symptoms than the dead spores. In contrast, in allergic mice, inhalation of dead and live conidia recruited neutrophils and induced goblet cell metaplasia. This data suggests that asthma symptoms might be exacerbated by the inhalation of live or dead spores in individuals with established allergy to fungal antigens, although the extent of symptoms was less with dead spores. These results are likely to be important while considering fungal exposure assessment methods and for making informed therapeutic decisions for mold-associated diseases. PMID:24063011

  9. A new approach to drug discovery: high-throughput screening of microbial natural extracts against Aspergillus fumigatus using resazurin.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Maria Cândida; de la Cruz, Mercedes; Cantizani, Juan; Moreno, Catalina; Tormo, José R; Mellado, Emilia; De Lucas, J Ramón; Asensio, Francisco; Valiante, Vito; Brakhage, Axel A; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Genilloud, Olga; Vicente, Francisca

    2012-04-01

    Natural products are an inexhaustible source for drug discovery. However, the validation and selection of primary screening assays are vital to guarantee a selection of extracts or molecules with relevant pharmacological action and worthy of following up. The assay must be rapid, simple, easy to implement, and produce quick results and preferably at a low cost. In this work, we developed and validated a colorimetric microtiter assay using the resazurin viability dye. The parameters of the resazurin method for high-throughput screening (HTS) using natural extracts against Aspergillus fumigatus were optimized and set up. The extracts plus RPMI-1640 modified medium containing the spores and 0.002% resazurin were added per well. The fluorescence was read after 24 to 30 h of incubation. The resazurin proved to be as suitable as Alamar Blue for determining the minimal inhibitory concentration of different antifungals against A. fumigatus and effective to analyze fungicidal and fungistatic compounds. An HTS of 12 000 microbial extracts was carried out against two A. fumigatus strains, and 2.7% of the extracts displayed antifungal activity. Our group has been the first to use this methodology for screening a collection of natural extracts to identify compounds with antifungal activity against the medically important human pathogen A. fumigatus.

  10. Functional Characterization of an Aspergillus fumigatus Calcium Transporter (PmcA) that Is Essential for Fungal Infection

    PubMed Central

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Freitas, Fernanda Zanolli; Almeida, Ricardo S.; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S.; Bertolini, Maria Célia; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a primary and opportunistic pathogen, as well as a major allergen, of mammals. The Ca+2-calcineurin pathway affects virulence, morphogenesis and antifungal drug action in A. fumigatus. Here, we investigated three components of the A. fumigatus Ca+2-calcineurin pathway, pmcA,-B, and -C, which encode calcium transporters. We demonstrated that CrzA can directly control the mRNA accumulation of the pmcA-C genes by binding to their promoter regions. CrzA-binding experiments suggested that the 5′-CACAGCCAC-3′ and 5′-CCCTGCCCC-3′ sequences upstream of pmcA and pmcC genes, respectively, are possible calcineurin-dependent response elements (CDREs)-like consensus motifs. Null mutants were constructed for pmcA and -B and a conditional mutant for pmcC demonstrating pmcC is an essential gene. The ΔpmcA and ΔpmcB mutants were more sensitive to calcium and resistant to manganese and cyclosporin was able to modulate the sensitivity or resistance of these mutants to these salts, supporting the interaction between calcineurin and the function of these transporters. The pmcA-C genes have decreased mRNA abundance into the alveoli in the ΔcalA and ΔcrzA mutant strains. However, only the A. fumigatus ΔpmcA was avirulent in the murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. PMID:22649543

  11. Utility of CSP typing to sub-type clinical Aspergillus fumigatus isolates and proposal for a new CSP type nomenclature.

    PubMed

    Klaassen, Corné H W; de Valk, Hanneke A; Balajee, S Arunmozhi; Meis, Jacques F G M

    2009-06-01

    CSP typing is a newly developed sub-typing strategy that employs comparative DNA sequence analysis of the 12-mer tandem repeat region of the AFUA_3G08890 gene. In order to allow standardization of analysis and exchange of results between laboratories, we propose a new nomenclature for individual CSP repeats as well as for CSP types. A collection of 209 clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus recovered from various hospitals throughout The Netherlands was analyzed by using CSP typing and this newly proposed nomenclature. Eighteen different CSP types were recognized, positioning the CSP gene as a typing target between the relatively low discriminatory MLST loci and the highly discriminatory microsatellite markers. CSP typing may be a welcome addition to the existing molecular methods to study the diversity of A. fumigatus at the sub-population level. The results also show the presence of lineages of closely related CSP types within the A. fumigatus population, adding unique and valuable information about the population structure of A. fumigatus.

  12. Characterisation of the CipC-like protein AFUA_5G09330 of the opportunistic human pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Bettina; Schwienbacher, Monika; Broniszewska, Marzena; Israel, Lars; Heesemann, Jürgen; Ebel, Frank

    2010-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is currently the major airborne fungal pathogen that menaces immunocompromised individuals. Germination of inhaled conidia is a hallmark of the early infection process, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms. The intention of our ongoing studies is the identification of A. fumigatus proteins that are differentially expressed during germination and may provide insights in the germination process. Using a proteomic approach, we identified AFUA_5G09330 as a major hyphal-specific protein. This result was confirmed using monoclonal antibodies generated in this study. AFUA_5G09330 belongs to a fungal-specific protein family. The eponymous CipC protein of A. nidulans has been shown to be induced by concanamycin A, and transcriptional data from Cryptococcus neoformans demonstrate a strong up-regulation of the expression of a homologous gene during infection. Our data provide evidence that AFUA_5G09330 is a monomeric, cytoplasmic protein. We found no evidence for an overexpression of AFUA_5G09330 induced by concanamycin A or other stress conditions. AFUA_5G09330 is exclusively found in the hyphal morphotype that enables an invasive growth of A. fumigatus during infection. Further studies are required to define the biological function of this hyphae-specific protein and its potential relevance for the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus.

  13. The Aspergillus fumigatus metacaspases CasA and CasB facilitate growth under conditions of endoplasmic reticulum stress.

    PubMed

    Richie, Daryl L; Miley, Michael D; Bhabhra, Ruchi; Robson, Geoffrey D; Rhodes, Judith C; Askew, David S

    2007-01-01

    We have examined the contribution of metacaspases to the growth and stress response of the opportunistic human mould pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, based on increasing evidence implicating the yeast metacaspase Yca1p in apoptotic-like programmed cell death. Single metacaspase-deficient mutants were constructed by targeted disruption of each of the two metacaspase genes in A. fumigatus, casA and casB, and a metacaspase-deficient mutant, DeltacasA/DeltacasB, was constructed by disrupting both genes. Stationary phase cultures of wild-type A. fumigatus were associated with the appearance of typical markers of apoptosis, including elevated proteolytic activity against caspase substrates, phosphatidylserine exposure on the outer leaflet of the membrane, and loss of viability. By contrast, phosphatidylserine exposure was not observed in stationary phase cultures of the DeltacasA/DeltacasB mutant, although caspase activity and viability was indistinguishable from wild type. The mutant retained wild-type virulence and showed no difference in sensitivity to a range of pro-apoptotic stimuli that have been reported to initiate yeast apoptosis. However, the DeltacasA/DeltacasB mutant showed a growth detriment in the presence of agents that disrupt endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis. These findings demonstrate that metacaspase activity in A. fumigatus contributes to the apoptotic-like loss of membrane phospholipid asymmetry at stationary phase, and suggest that CasA and CasB have functions that support growth under conditions of endoplasmic reticulum stress.

  14. Dirhamnolipids secreted from Pseudomonas aeruginosa modify anjpegungal susceptibility of Aspergillus fumigatus by inhibiting β1,3 glucan synthase activity.

    PubMed

    Briard, Benoit; Rasoldier, Vero; Bomme, Perrine; ElAouad, Noureddine; Guerreiro, Catherine; Chassagne, Pierre; Muszkieta, Laetitia; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Mulard, Laurence; Beauvais, Anne

    2017-03-24

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Aspergillus fumigatus are the two microorganisms responsible for most of the chronic infections in cystic fibrosis patients. P. aeruginosa is known to produce quorum-sensing controlled rhamnolipids during chronic infections. Here we show that the dirhamnolipids secreted from P. aeruginosa (i) induce A. fumigatus to produce an extracellular matrix, rich in galactosaminogalactan, 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)- and pyo-melanin, surrounding their hyphae, which facilitates P. aeruginosa binding and (ii) inhibit A. fumigatus growth by blocking β1,3 glucan synthase (GS) activity, thus altering the cell wall architecture. A. fumigatus in the presence of diRhls resulted in a growth phenotype similar to that upon its treatment with anjpegungal echinocandins, showing multibranched hyphae and thicker cell wall rich in chitin. The diRhl structure containing two rhamnose moieties attached to fatty acyl chain is essential for the interaction with β1,3 GS; however, the site of action of diRhls on GS is different from that of echinocandins, and showed synergistic anjpegungal effect with azoles.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 24 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.32.

  15. Inhibition of the Flavin-Dependent Monooxygenase Siderophore A (SidA) Blocks Siderophore Biosynthesis and Aspergillus fumigatus Growth.

    PubMed

    Martín Del Campo, Julia S; Vogelaar, Nancy; Tolani, Karishma; Kizjakina, Karina; Harich, Kim; Sobrado, Pablo

    2016-11-18

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic fungal pathogen and the most common causative agent of fatal invasive mycoses. The flavin-dependent monooxygenase siderophore A (SidA) catalyzes the oxygen and NADPH dependent hydroxylation of l-ornithine (l-Orn) to N(5)-l-hydroxyornithine in the biosynthetic pathway of hydroxamate-containing siderophores in A. fumigatus. Deletion of the gene that codes for SidA has shown that it is essential in establishing infection in mice models. Here, a fluorescence polarization high-throughput assay was used to screen a 2320 compound library for inhibitors of SidA. Celastrol, a natural quinone methide, was identified as a noncompetitive inhibitor of SidA with a MIC value of 2 μM. Docking experiments suggest that celastrol binds across the NADPH and l-Orn pocket. Celastrol prevents A. fumigatus growth in blood agar. The addition of purified ferric-siderophore abolished the inhibitory effect of celastrol. Thus, celastrol inhibits A. fumigatus growth by blocking siderophore biosynthesis through SidA inhibiton.

  16. A comparative study of antigens of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from patients and soil of ornamental plants in the immunodiffusion test.

    PubMed

    Staib, F; Folkens, U; Tompak, B; Abel, T; Thiel, D

    1978-11-01

    The strikingly frequent and constant presence of Aspergillus fimigatus in the soil of potted ornamental plants kept in private houses and hospitals has been the reason for studying the antigens of the strains found from the diagnostic and epidemiological angles. Culture-filtrate antigens of A. fumigatus strains isolated from the soil of 4 different ornamental plants, epiphyllum (Epiphyllum truncatum), orange tree (Citrus sinensis), Alpine rose (Azalea indica) and Christmas flower (Euphorbia pulcherrima), were compared, in the immunodiffusion test, with antigens of A. fumigatus strains from aspergillosis patients prepared in an identical way. When tested against 8 different sera from different aspergillosis patients there was a good coincidence of results. Control sera from patients suffering from diseases other than aspergillosis, no false-positive reactions could be observed. The findings are discussed in respect of diagnosis and epidemiology.

  17. Aspergillus fumigatus infection in two wild Eurasian black vultures (Aegypius monachus Linnaeus) with carbofuran insecticide poisoning: a case report.

    PubMed

    Jung, Kwonil; Kim, Youngjun; Lee, Hang; Kim, Jong-Taek

    2009-02-01

    Aspergillus spp. are opportunistic pathogens which cause pulmonary aspergillosis in animals and humans with compromised immune systems. Two Eurasian black vultures (Aegypius monachus Linnaeus) were found dead or clinically ill from carbofuran insecticide during the winter of 2004. Carbofuran was detected in the stomach contents by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry. Gross lesions showed severe granulomatous pneumonia and serofibrinous pleuropneumonia in both birds, with most lesions restricted to the pulmonary system. Histological lesions included pyogranulomatous pneumonia and suppurative parabronchiolitis/pleuritis/air sacculitis with a number of septated fungal hyphae, suggesting severe pulmonary aspergillosis. Fungal isolates from each vulture were identified as Aspergillus fumigatus by both lactophenol cotton blue staining and genetic analysis. This is the first report of pulmonary aspergillosis caused by A. fumigatus in wild Eurasian black vultures and suggests that Aspergillus infection could be an important cause of death in these birds which migrate from Mongolia to Korea during the winter. The incidence of the disease may be related to impaired immunity caused directly or indirectly by carbofuran poisoning.

  18. Sph3 Is a Glycoside Hydrolase Required for the Biosynthesis of Galactosaminogalactan in Aspergillus fumigatus*♦

    PubMed Central

    Bamford, Natalie C.; Snarr, Brendan D.; Gravelat, Fabrice N.; Little, Dustin J.; Lee, Mark J.; Zacharias, Caitlin A.; Chabot, Josée C.; Geller, Alexander M.; Baptista, Stefanie D.; Baker, Perrin; Robinson, Howard; Howell, P. Lynne; Sheppard, Donald C.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most virulent species within the Aspergillus genus and causes invasive infections with high mortality rates. The exopolysaccharide galactosaminogalactan (GAG) contributes to the virulence of A. fumigatus. A co-regulated five-gene cluster has been identified and proposed to encode the proteins required for GAG biosynthesis. One of these genes, sph3, is predicted to encode a protein belonging to the spherulin 4 family, a protein family with no known function. Construction of an sph3-deficient mutant demonstrated that the gene is necessary for GAG production. To determine the role of Sph3 in GAG biosynthesis, we determined the structure of Aspergillus clavatus Sph3 to 1.25 Å. The structure revealed a (β/α)8 fold, with similarities to glycoside hydrolase families 18, 27, and 84. Recombinant Sph3 displayed hydrolytic activity against both purified and cell wall-associated GAG. Structural and sequence alignments identified three conserved acidic residues, Asp-166, Glu-167, and Glu-222, that are located within the putative active site groove. In vitro and in vivo mutagenesis analysis demonstrated that all three residues are important for activity. Variants of Asp-166 yielded the greatest decrease in activity suggesting a role in catalysis. This work shows that Sph3 is a glycoside hydrolase essential for GAG production and defines a new glycoside hydrolase family, GH135. PMID:26342082

  19. Modelling the effect of pH and water activity in the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from corn silage.

    PubMed

    Alonso, V; Cavaglieri, L; Ramos, A J; Torres, A; Marin, S

    2017-04-01

    The aim of this work was to use mathematical kinetic modelling to assess the combined effects of aW, pH, O2 availability and temperature on the growth rate and time to growth of Aspergillus fumigatus strains isolated from corn silage. A full factorial design was used in which two factors were assayed: pH and aW . The aW levels assayed were 0·80, 0·85, 0·90, 0·92, 0·94, 0·96, 0·98 and 0·99. The levels of pH assayed were 3·5, 4, 4·5, 5, 6, 7, 7·5 and 8. The assay was performed at normal oxygen tension at 25 and 37°C, and at reduced oxygen tension at 25°C. Two strains of A. fumigatus isolated from corn silage were used. Kinetic models were built to predict growth of the strain under the assayed conditions. The cardinal models gave a good quality fit for radial growth rate data. The results indicate that the environmental conditions which take place during silage production, while limiting the growth of most micro-organisms, would not be able to control A. fumigatus. Moreover, pH levels in silage, far from limiting its growth, are also close to its optimum. Carbon dioxide at 5% in the environment did not significantly affect its growth. A need for a further and controlled acidification of the silage exists, as no growth of A. fumigatus was observed at pH 3·5, as long as the organoleptic characteristics of the silage are not much compromised. Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the major opportunistic pathogens able to cause illness such as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, aspergilloma and invasive aspergillosis to rural workers. Exposure of animals to A. fumigatus spores can result in infections, particularly in those organs exposed to external invasion, such as the airways, mammary gland and uterus at birth. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  20. Aspergillus fumigatus proteases, Asp f 5 and Asp f 13, are essential for airway inflammation and remodelling in a murine inhalation model.

    PubMed

    Namvar, S; Warn, P; Farnell, E; Bromley, M; Fraczek, M; Bowyer, P; Herrick, S

    2015-05-01

    In susceptible individuals, exposure to Aspergillus fumigatus can lead to the development of atopic lung diseases such as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) and severe asthma with fungal sensitization (SAFS). Protease allergens including Asp f 5 and Asp f 13 from Aspergillus fumigatus are thought to be important for initiation and progression of allergic asthma. To assess the importance of secreted protease allergens Asp f 5 (matrix metalloprotease) and Asp f 13 (serine protease) in Aspergillus fumigatus-induced inflammation, airway hyperactivity, atopy and airway wall remodelling in a murine model following chronic exposure to secreted allergens. BALB/c mice were repeatedly intranasally dosed over the course of 5 weeks with culture filtrate from wild-type (WT), Asp f 5 null (∆5) or Asp f 13 null (∆13) strains of Aspergillus fumigatus. Airway hyper-reactivity was measured by non-invasive whole-body plethysmography, Th2 response and airway inflammation by ELISA and cell counts, whilst airway remodelling was assessed by histological analysis. Parent WT and ∆5 culture filtrates showed high protease activity, whilst protease activity in ∆13 culture filtrate was low. Chronic intranasal exposure to the three different filtrates led to comparable airway hyper-reactivity and Th2 response. However, protease allergen deleted strains, in particular ∆13 culture filtrate, induced significantly less airway inflammation and remodelling compared to WT culture filtrate. Aspergillus fumigatus-secreted allergen proteases, Asp f 5 and Asp f 13, are important for recruitment of inflammatory cells and remodelling of the airways in this murine model. However, deletion of a single allergen protease fails to alleviate airway hyper-reactivity and allergic immune response. Targeting protease activity of Aspergillus fumigatus in conditions such as SAFS or ABPA may have beneficial effects in preventing key aspects of airway pathology. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. The Aspergillus fumigatus Septins Play Pleiotropic Roles in Septation, Conidiation, and Cell Wall Stress, but are Dispensable for Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Vargas-Muñiz, José M.; Renshaw, Hilary; Richards, Amber D.; Lamoth, Frédéric; Soderblom, Erik J.; Moseley, M. Arthur; Juvvadi, Praveen R.; Steinbach, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Septins are a conserved family of GTPases that regulate important cellular processes such as cell wall integrity, and septation in fungi. The requirement of septins for virulence has been demonstrated in the human pathogenic yeasts Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans, as well as the plant pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. Aspergillus spp. contains five genes encoding for septins (aspA-E). While the importance of septins AspA, AspB, AspC, and AspE for growth and conidiation has been elucidated in the filamentous fungal model Aspergillus nidulans, nothing is known on the role of septins in growth and virulence in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we deleted all five A. fumigatus septins, and generated certain double and triple septin deletion strains. Phenotypic analyses revealed that while all the septins are dispensable in normal growth conditions, AspA, AspB, AspC and AspE are required for regular septation. Furthermore, deletion of only the core septin genes significantly reduced conidiation. Concomitant with the absence of an electron-dense outer conidial wall, the ΔaspB strain was also sensitive to anti-cell wall agents. Infection with the ΔaspB strain in a Galleria mellonella model of invasive aspergillosis showed hypervirulence, but no virulence difference was noted when compared to the wild-type strain in a murine model of invasive aspergillosis. Although the deletion of aspB resulted in increased release of TNF-α from the macrophages, no significant inflammation differences in lung histology was noted between the ΔaspB strain and the wild-type strain. Taken together, these results point to the importance of septins in A. fumigatus growth, but not virulence in a murine model. PMID:26051489

  2. The Aspergillus fumigatus septins play pleiotropic roles in septation, conidiation, and cell wall stress, but are dispensable for virulence.

    PubMed

    Vargas-Muñiz, José M; Renshaw, Hilary; Richards, Amber D; Lamoth, Frédéric; Soderblom, Erik J; Moseley, M Arthur; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Steinbach, William J

    2015-08-01

    Septins are a conserved family of GTPases that regulate important cellular processes such as cell wall integrity, and septation in fungi. The requirement of septins for virulence has been demonstrated in the human pathogenic yeasts Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans, as well as the plant pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. Aspergillus spp. contains five genes encoding for septins (aspA-E). While the importance of septins AspA, AspB, AspC, and AspE for growth and conidiation has been elucidated in the filamentous fungal model Aspergillus nidulans, nothing is known on the role of septins in growth and virulence in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we deleted all five A. fumigatus septins, and generated certain double and triple septin deletion strains. Phenotypic analyses revealed that while all the septins are dispensable in normal growth conditions, AspA, AspB, AspC and AspE are required for regular septation. Furthermore, deletion of only the core septin genes significantly reduced conidiation. Concomitant with the absence of an electron-dense outer conidial wall, the ΔaspB strain was also sensitive to anti-cell wall agents. Infection with the ΔaspB strain in a Galleria mellonella model of invasive aspergillosis showed hypervirulence, but no virulence difference was noted when compared to the wild-type strain in a murine model of invasive aspergillosis. Although the deletion of aspB resulted in increased release of TNF-α from the macrophages, no significant inflammation differences in lung histology was noted between the ΔaspB strain and the wild-type strain. Taken together, these results point to the importance of septins in A. fumigatus growth, but not virulence in a murine model. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Effects of Aspergillus fumigatus phytase on phosphorus digestibility, phosphorus excretion, bone strength and performance in pigs.

    PubMed

    Simões Nunes, C; Guggenbuhl, P

    1998-01-01

    Phytic-phosphorus has a very low bioavailability for monogastric animals and the non-utilized mineral contributes to the phosphorus (P) pollution problems. Phytases may ameliorate phytic-P antinutritive properties. However, phytases are very sensitive to the pelleting temperature commonly used for compound feed production and thus the challenge to produce a more thermostable phytase is very important. Pure Aspergillus fumigatus phytase (AFP) has the ability to refold into a native-like fully active structure after heat denaturation (20 min at 90 degrees C). The aim of the present work was to evaluate in vitro (in feed) and in vivo in young and in growing-finishing pigs the effects of AFP included in the feed at a level of 500 U/kg. Feed supplementation with AFP resulted in an in vitro phosphorus release of about three times higher than that obtained from the basal diets, irrespective of the pH value used for the determination (5.5 or 7). When the supplemented feed was steam pelleted at about 84 degrees C, the free P obtained after incubation at pH 5.5 represented 53% on an average of that obtained from the corresponding mash diets. The phytic-P-rich diets systematically induced hypophosphataemia, hypercalcaemia and hyperphosphatasaemia. The normal blood levels of P, Ca and alkaline phosphatase were restored by AFP. P apparent digestibility was significantly higher for the AFP diet (52.8 versus 30.8%). The improvement in Ca digestibility was not statistically significant. In all three in vivo experiments, AFP significantly decreased the P concentration in faeces (between 13 and 33%) as well as increased the growth rate and decreased the feed conversion ratio. Bone strength was significantly higher in the growing-fattening pigs fed on the AFP diet.

  4. [Isolation of an anthracene-degrading strain Aspergillus fumigatus A10 and its degradation characteristics].

    PubMed

    Qiang, Jing; Yin, Hua; Peng, Hui; Ye, Jin-Shao; Qin, Hua-Ming; He, Bao-Yan; Zhang, Na

    2009-05-15

    An anthracene-degrading strain (A10) was isolated from contaminated environment and identified as Aspergillus fumigatus. The experimental results showed that the biodegradation rate of anthracene increased with the increasing time. Between 12-84 h interval, the biodegradation performed rapidly, while after this, the increase of biodegradation rate tended to become slow, and ultimately the biodegradation rate could achieve approximately 83%. The degradatinn rate of anthracene reached 79.37% within 5 days when the initial concentration of anthracene in mineral salts medium (MSM) was 10 mg/L, the inoculum dosage was 50 g/L (wet weight) and the cell age was 36 h. The concentration of anthracene had notable influence on degradation function of strain A10 and the highest degradation rate (92.17%) was achieved when anthracene concentration was 5 mg/L. The degradation rate could maintain about 60% with initial pH of MSM in the range of 5.0-7.5, and also, the anthracene could be better broken down when the temperature was 30 degrees C and dissolved oxygen was 4.30 mg/L. Certain amount of nutrition salts promoted the biodegradation of anthracene to some extent. Addition of lactose as co-metabolic substrate most favorably accelerated degradation of anthracene by about 37.15%. The mechanism research revealed that the biodegradation by strain A10 was a dynamic process in which extracellular sorption and intracellular degradation were included. FT-IR analysis exhibited that the structure of anthracene changed with the action of microbe, generating a series of metabolites, such as aromatic acid, aromatic ketone, aromatic aldehyde with one or two benzene rings, as well as saturated hydrocarbons.

  5. Aspergillus fumigatus Produces Two Arabinofuranosidases From Glycosyl Hydrolase Family 62: Comparative Properties of the Recombinant Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Rodrigo; Eyzaguirre, Jaime

    2016-04-01

    The genes of two α-L-arabinofuranosidases (AbfI and II) from family GH 62 have been identified in the genome of Aspergillus fumigatus wmo. Both genes have been expressed in Pichia pastoris and the enzymes have been purified and characterized. AbfI is composed of 999 bp, does not contain introns and codes for a protein (ABFI) of 332 amino acid residues. abfII has 1246 bp, including an intron of 51 bp; the protein ABFII has 396 amino acid residues; it includes a family 1 carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) in the N-terminal region, followed by a catalytic module. The sequence of ABFI and the catalytic module of ABFII show a 79 % identity. Both enzymes are active on p-nitrophenyl α-L-arabinofuranoside (pNPAra) with KM of 94.2 and 3.9 mM for ABFI and II, respectively. Optimal temperature for ABFI is 37 °C and for ABFII 42 °C, while the pH optimum is about 4.5 to 5 for both enzymes. ABFII shows a higher thermostability. When assayed using natural substrates, both show higher activity over rye arabinoxylan as compared to wheat arabinoxylan. ABFII only is active on sugar beet pulp arabinan and both are inactive towards debranched arabinan. The higher thermostability, higher affinity for pNPAra and wider activity over natural substrates shown by ABFII may be related to the presence of a CBM. The availability of the recombinant enzymes may be useful in biotechnological applications for the production of arabinose.

  6. Collaborative Cross mice and their power to map host susceptibility to Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Durrant, Caroline; Tayem, Hanna; Yalcin, Binnaz; Cleak, James; Goodstadt, Leo; de Villena, Fernando Pardo-Manuel; Mott, Richard; Iraqi, Fuad A

    2011-08-01

    The Collaborative Cross (CC) is a genetic reference panel of recombinant inbred lines of mice, designed for the dissection of complex traits and gene networks. Each line is independently descended from eight genetically diverse founder strains such that the genomes of the CC lines, once fully inbred, are fine-grained homozygous mosaics of the founder haplotypes. We present an analysis of 120 CC lines, from a cohort of the CC bred at Tel Aviv University in collaboration with the University of Oxford, which at the time of this study were between the sixth and 12th generations of inbreeding and substantially homozygous at 170,000 SNPs. We show how CC genomes decompose into mosaics, and we identify loci that carry a deficiency or excess of a founder, many being deficient for the wild-derived strains WSB/EiJ and PWK/PhJ. We phenotyped 371 mice from 66 CC lines for a susceptibility to Aspergillus fumigatus infection. The survival time after infection varied significantly between CC lines. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping identified genome-wide significant QTLs on chromosomes 2, 3, 8, 10 (two QTLs), 15, and 18. Simulations show that QTL mapping resolution (the median distance between the QTL peak and true location) varied between 0.47 and 1.18 Mb. Most of the QTLs involved contrasts between wild-derived founder strains and therefore would not segregate between classical inbred strains. Use of variation data from the genomes of the CC founder strains refined these QTLs further and suggested several candidate genes. These results support the use of the CC for dissecting complex traits.

  7. First Description of Azole-Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus Due to TR46/Y121F/T289A Mutation in France

    PubMed Central

    Lavergne, Rose-Anne; Morio, Florent; Favennec, Loïc; Dominique, Stéphane; Gargala, Gilles; Verweij, Paul E.

    2015-01-01

    Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is an emerging public health concern. Recently, a novel fungicide-driven mutation in the cyp51A gene and its promoter, TR46/Y121F/T289A, leading to high-level resistance to voriconazole has been identified in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Tanzania, and India in both clinical and environmental samples. Here we report the first description of A. fumigatus carrying this mutation in France, in a cystic fibrosis patient, underlining the need for extensive monitoring of Aspergillus resistance. PMID:25918139

  8. NikA/TcsC Histidine Kinase Is Involved in Conidiation, Hyphal Morphology, and Responses to Osmotic Stress and Antifungal Chemicals in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Hagiwara, Daisuke; Takahashi-Nakaguchi, Azusa; Toyotome, Takahito; Yoshimi, Akira; Abe, Keietsu; Kamei, Katsuhiko; Gonoi, Tohru; Kawamoto, Susumu

    2013-01-01

    The fungal high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway is composed of a two-component system (TCS) and Hog1-type mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade. A group III (Nik1-type) histidine kinase plays a major role in the HOG pathway of several filamentous fungi. In this study, we characterized a group III histidine kinase, NikA/TcsC, in the life-threatening pathogenic fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus. A deletion mutant of nikA showed low conidia production, abnormal hyphae, marked sensitivity to high osmolarity stresses, and resistance to cell wall perturbing reagents such as congo red and calcofluor white, as well as to fungicides such as fludioxonil, iprodione, and pyrrolnitrin. None of these phenotypes were observed in mutants of the SskA response regulator and SakA MAPK, which were thought to be downstream components of NikA. In contrast, in response to fludioxonil treatment, NikA was implicated in the phosphorylation of SakA MAPK and the transcriptional upregulation of catA, dprA, and dprB, which are regulated under the control of SakA. We then tested the idea that not only NikA, but also the other 13 histidine kinases play certain roles in the regulation of the HOG pathway. Interestingly, the expression of fos1, phkA, phkB, fhk5, and fhk6 increased by osmotic shock or fludioxonil treatment in a SakA-dependent manner. However, deletion mutants of the histidine kinases showed no significant defects in growth under the tested conditions. Collectively, although the signal transduction network related to NikA seems complicated, NikA plays a crucial role in several aspects of A. fumigatus physiology and, to a certain extent, modulates the HOG pathway. PMID:24312504

  9. Cell wall biogenesis in a double chitin synthase mutant (chsG-/chsE-) of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mellado, E; Dubreucq, G; Mol, P; Sarfati, J; Paris, S; Diaquin, M; Holden, D W; Rodriguez-Tudela, J L; Latgé, J P

    2003-02-01

    Previous studies (Aufauvre-Brown et al., 1997; Mellado et al., 1996a,b ) have shown that only two genes of the Aspergillus fumigatus chitin synthase family, chsG and chsE, play a role in the morphogenesis of this fungal species. An A. fumigatus strain lacking both chsG (class III CHS) and chsE (class V CHS) genes was constructed by gene replacement of the chsE gene with a copy that has its conserved coding region interrupted by the hph resistance cassette in an A. fumigatus chsG- genetic background. Unexpectedly the double disruption was not lethal. The double mutant AfchsG-/chsE- strain (i) has reduced chitin synthase activity with or without trypsin stimulation, (ii) has a reduced colony radial growth rate, (iii) produces highly branched hyphae, (iv) exhibits aberrant features, such as periodic swellings along the length of the hyphae and a block in conidiation that can be partially restored by an osmotic stabilizer (v) shows alterations in the shape and germination capacity of the conidia, and (vi) has a cell wall that contains half the chitin of the parental strain and is, unexpectedly, highly enriched in alpha-(1-3) glucan.

  10. Exploration of Sulfur Assimilation of Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Biosynthesis of Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids as a Virulence Determinant

    PubMed Central

    Dümig, Michaela; O'Keeffe, Gráinne; Binder, Jasmin; Doyle, Sean; Beilhack, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Fungal infections are of major relevance due to the increased numbers of immunocompromised patients, frequently delayed diagnosis, and limited therapeutics. To date, the growth and nutritional requirements of fungi during infection, which are relevant for invasion of the host, are poorly understood. This is particularly true for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, as so far, sources of (macro)elements that are exploited during infection have been identified to only a limited extent. Here, we have investigated sulfur (S) utilization by the human-pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus during invasive growth. Our data reveal that inorganic S compounds or taurine is unlikely to serve as an S source during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis since a sulfate transporter mutant strain and a sulfite reductase mutant strain are fully virulent. In contrast, the S-containing amino acid cysteine is limiting for fungal growth, as proven by the reduced virulence of a cysteine auxotroph. Moreover, phenotypic characterization of this strain further revealed the robustness of the subordinate glutathione redox system. Interestingly, we demonstrate that methionine synthase is essential for A. fumigatus virulence, defining the biosynthetic route of this proteinogenic amino acid as a potential antifungal target. In conclusion, we provide novel insights into the nutritional requirements of A. fumigatus during pathogenesis, a prerequisite to understanding and fighting infection. PMID:26787716

  11. The ER-mitochondria encounter structure contributes to hyphal growth, mitochondrial morphology and virulence of the pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Geißel, Bernadette; Penka, Mirjam; Neubauer, Michael; Wagener, Johannes

    2017-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic fungal pathogen and the primary causative species of invasive aspergillosis, a systemic disease associated with high mortality rates. Treatment of invasive fungal infection relies on a very limited number of antifungal drug classes. In order to extend the spectrum of antifungal drugs novel target structures have to be identified. The ER-mitochondria encounter structure (ERMES), a recently discovered tether that links mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum, is a potential drug target based on its absence in Metazoa. Very recently, it was shown that ERMES is important for the fitness and immune evasion of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. We studied the role of the four ERMES core components Mdm10, Mdm12, Mdm34 and Mmm1 in the pathogenic mold A. fumigatus. By construction and characterizing conditional mutants of all four core components and deletion mutants of mdm10 and mdm12, we show that each component is of significant importance for growth of the fungal pathogen. While markedness of the individual mutant phenotypes differed slightly, all components are important for maintenance of the mitochondrial morphology and the intra-organellar distribution of nucleoids. Characterization of the Mmm1 ERMES mutant in a Galleria mellonella infection model indicates that ERMES contributes to virulence of A. fumigatus. Our results demonstrate that pharmacologic inhibition of ERMES could exert antifungal activity against this important pathogen.

  12. Determination of optimum growth conditions for gliotoxin production by Aspergillus fumigatus and development of a novel method for gliotoxin detection.

    PubMed

    Belkacemi, L; Barton, R C; Hopwood, V; Evans, E G

    1999-08-01

    Gliotoxin is a toxic metabolite of Aspergillus fumigatus Fresenius and other fungi. It has been suggested that this toxin may play an important role in the pathogenesis of aspergillosis as gliotoxin has immunosuppressive activity both in vitro and in vivo. We have determined the optimum growth conditions for the production of gliotoxin by selected isolates of A. fumigatus using a number of defined media. Gliotoxin was detected by thin layer chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography. The carbohydrate source, concentration of carbohydrate in the growth medium and incubation temperature were all found to influence gliotoxin production. Optimum growth conditions for gliotoxin production in our study were Czapek-Dox broth containing 30% glucose and incubation at 37 degrees C. Most of the gliotoxin was produced after 29 h incubation, during the exponential phase of growth. A novel method for screening large numbers of A. fumigatus isolates for gliotoxin production, which is both quick and easy, has also been developed, based on the ability of gliotoxin to inhibit the adherence of lung fibroblast (L929) cells to plastic microtitre plates.

  13. Exploration of Sulfur Assimilation of Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Biosynthesis of Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids as a Virulence Determinant.

    PubMed

    Amich, Jorge; Dümig, Michaela; O'Keeffe, Gráinne; Binder, Jasmin; Doyle, Sean; Beilhack, Andreas; Krappmann, Sven

    2016-04-01

    Fungal infections are of major relevance due to the increased numbers of immunocompromised patients, frequently delayed diagnosis, and limited therapeutics. To date, the growth and nutritional requirements of fungi during infection, which are relevant for invasion of the host, are poorly understood. This is particularly true for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, as so far, sources of (macro)elements that are exploited during infection have been identified to only a limited extent. Here, we have investigated sulfur (S) utilization by the human-pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus during invasive growth. Our data reveal that inorganic S compounds or taurine is unlikely to serve as an S source during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis since a sulfate transporter mutant strain and a sulfite reductase mutant strain are fully virulent. In contrast, the S-containing amino acid cysteine is limiting for fungal growth, as proven by the reduced virulence of a cysteine auxotroph. Moreover, phenotypic characterization of this strain further revealed the robustness of the subordinate glutathione redox system. Interestingly, we demonstrate that methionine synthase is essential for A. fumigatus virulence, defining the biosynthetic route of this proteinogenic amino acid as a potential antifungal target. In conclusion, we provide novel insights into the nutritional requirements ofA. fumigatus during pathogenesis, a prerequisite to understanding and fighting infection. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  14. Induction of innate immunity by Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall polysaccharides is enhanced by the composite presentation of chitin and beta-glucan.

    PubMed

    Dubey, Lalit Kumar; Moeller, Jesper Bonnet; Schlosser, Anders; Sorensen, Grith Lykke; Holmskov, Uffe

    2014-03-01

    Chitin and β-glucan are conserved throughout evolution in the fungal cell wall and are the most common polysaccharides in fungal species. Together, these two polysaccharides form a structural scaffold that is essential for the survival of the fungus. In the present study, we demonstrated that Aspergillus fumigatus alkali-insoluble cell wall fragments (AIF), composed of chitin linked covalently to β-glucan, induced enhanced immune responses when compared with individual cell wall polysaccharides. Intranasal administration of AIF induced eosinophil and neutrophil recruitment, chitinase activity, TNF-α and TSLP production in mice lungs. Selective destruction of chitin or β-glucan from AIF significantly reduced eosinophil and neutrophil recruitment as well as chitinase activity and cytokine expression by macrophages, indicating the synergistic effect of the cell wall polysaccharides when presented together as a composite PAMP. We also showed that these cell wall polysaccharides induced chitin-specific IgM in mouse serum. Our in vivo and in vitro data indicate that chitin and β-glucan play important roles in activating innate immunity when presented as composite cell wall PAMPs. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  15. A conserved C-terminal domain of the Aspergillus fumigatus developmental regulator MedA is required for nuclear localization, adhesion and virulence.

    PubMed

    Al Abdallah, Qusai; Choe, Se-In; Campoli, Paolo; Baptista, Stefanie; Gravelat, Fabrice N; Lee, Mark J; Sheppard, Donald C

    2012-01-01

    MedA is a developmental regulator that is conserved in the genome of most filamentous fungi. In the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus MedA regulates conidiogenesis, adherence to host cells, and pathogenicity. The mechanism by which MedA governs these phenotypes remains unknown. Although the nuclear import of MedA orthologues has been reported in other fungi, no nuclear localization signal, DNA-binding domain or other conserved motifs have been identified within MedA. In this work, we performed a deletion analysis of MedA and identified a novel domain within the C-terminal region of the protein, designated MedA(346-557), that is necessary and sufficient for nuclear localization of MedA. We further demonstrate that MedA nuclear localization is required for the function of MedA. Surprisingly, expression of the minimal nuclear localization fragment MedA(346-557) alone was sufficient to restore conidogenesis, biofilm formation and virulence to the medA mutant strain. Collectively these results suggest that MedA functions in the regulation of transcription, and that the MedA(346-557) domain is both necessary and sufficient to mediate MedA function.

  16. A Conserved C-Terminal Domain of the Aspergillus fumigatus Developmental Regulator MedA Is Required for Nuclear Localization, Adhesion and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Al Abdallah, Qusai; Choe, Se-In; Campoli, Paolo; Baptista, Stefanie; Gravelat, Fabrice N.; Lee, Mark J.; Sheppard, Donald C.

    2012-01-01

    MedA is a developmental regulator that is conserved in the genome of most filamentous fungi. In the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus MedA regulates conidiogenesis, adherence to host cells, and pathogenicity. The mechanism by which MedA governs these phenotypes remains unknown. Although the nuclear import of MedA orthologues has been reported in other fungi, no nuclear localization signal, DNA-binding domain or other conserved motifs have been identified within MedA. In this work, we performed a deletion analysis of MedA and identified a novel domain within the C-terminal region of the protein, designated MedA346–557, that is necessary and sufficient for nuclear localization of MedA. We further demonstrate that MedA nuclear localization is required for the function of MedA. Surprisingly, expression of the minimal nuclear localization fragment MedA346–557 alone was sufficient to restore conidogenesis, biofilm formation and virulence to the medA mutant strain. Collectively these results suggest that MedA functions in the regulation of transcription, and that the MedA346–557 domain is both necessary and sufficient to mediate MedA function. PMID:23185496

  17. Characterization of the Aspergillus nidulans aspnd1 gene demonstrates that the ASPND1 antigen, which it encodes, and several Aspergillus fumigatus immunodominant antigens belong to the same family.

    PubMed Central

    Calera, J A; Ovejero, M C; López-Medrano, R; Segurado, M; Puente, P; Leal, F

    1997-01-01

    For the first time, an immunodominant Aspergillus nidulans antigen (ASPND1) consistently reactive with serum samples from aspergilloma patients has been purified and characterized, and its coding gene (aspnd1) has been cloned and sequenced. ASPND1 is a glycoprotein with four N-glycosidically-bound sugar chains (around 2.1 kDa each) which are not necessary for reactivity with immune human sera. The polypeptide part is synthesized as a 277-amino-acid precursor of 30.6 kDa that after cleavage of a putative signal peptide of 16 amino acids, affords a mature protein of 261 amino acids with a molecular mass of 29 kDa and a pI of 4.24 (as deduced from the sequence). The ASPND1 protein is 53.1% identical to the AspfII allergen from Aspergillus fumigatus and 48% identical to an unpublished Candida albicans antigen. All of the cysteine residues and most of the glycosylation sites are perfectly conserved in the three proteins, suggesting a similar but yet unknown function. Analysis of the primary structure of the ASPND1 coding gene (aspnd1) has allowed the establishment of a clear relationship between several previously reported A. fumigatus and A. nidulans immunodominant antigens. PMID:9119471

  18. Purification and characterization of polygalacturonase from Aspergillus fumigatus MTCC 2584 and elucidating its application in retting of Crotalaria juncea fiber.

    PubMed

    Anand, Gautam; Yadav, Sangeeta; Yadav, Dinesh

    2016-12-01

    Polygalacturonases represents an important member of pectinases group of enzymes with diverse industrial applications and is widely distributed among fungi, bacteria, yeasts, plants and some plant parasitic nematodes. An endo-polygalacturonase from a new fungal source Aspergillus fumigatus MTCC 2584 was produced under solid-state fermentation conditions and was purified simply by acetone precipitation and gel-filtration chromatography technique. The approximate molecular weight of the purified PG was found to be 43.0 kDa as revealed by SDS-PAGE. The pH optimum of the purified enzyme was found to be 10.0 and was stable in the pH range of 7-10. The optimum temperature of purified PG was found to be 30 °C. The Km and Kcat of the purified enzyme were 2.4 mg/ml and 44 s(-1), respectively, and the metal ions Cu(2+) and K(+) were found to enhance the enzyme activity while Ag(+), Ca(2+) and Hg(2+) were inhibitory in nature. Based on its alkaline nature, the potential of purified PG in retting of natural fiber Crotalaria juncea was elucidated in the absence of EDTA. This is probably the first report of alkaline PG from Aspergillus fumigatus.

  19. Evolution of cross-resistance to medical triazoles in Aspergillus fumigatus through selection pressure of environmental fungicides.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhua; van den Heuvel, Joost; Debets, Alfons J M; Verweij, Paul E; Melchers, Willem J G; Zwaan, Bas J; Schoustra, Sijmen E

    2017-09-27

    Resistance to medical triazoles in Aspergillus fumigatus is an emerging problem for patients at risk of aspergillus diseases. There are currently two presumed routes for medical triazole-resistance selection: (i) through selection pressure of medical triazoles when treating patients and (ii) through selection pressure from non-medical sterol-biosynthesis-inhibiting (SI) triazole fungicides which are used in the env