( 2003 )
Transformations of cyclic nonaketides by Aspergillus terreus mutants blocked for lovastatin biosynthesis at the lovA and lovC genes.
PMID : 12929390 :
Two mutants of Aspergillus terreus with either the lovC or lovA genes disrupted were examined for their ability to transform nonaketides into lovastatin 1, a cholesterol-lowering drug. The lovC disruptant was able to efficiently convert dihydromonacolin L 5 or monacolin J 9 into 1, and could also transform desmethylmonacolin J 15 into compactin 3. In contrast, the lovA mutant has an unexpectedly active beta-oxidation system and gives only small amounts of 1 upon addition of the immediate precursor 9, with most of the added nonaketide being degraded to heptaketide 22. Similarly, the lovA mutant does not accumulate the polyketide synthase product 5 and rapidly degrades any 5 added as a precursor via two cycles of beta-oxidation and hydroxylation at C-6 to give 20. The possible involvement of epoxides 21a and 21b in the biosynthesis of 1 was also examined, but their instability in fermentation media and fungal cells will require purified enzymes to establish their role.
( 2001 )
Identification of two different 14-alpha sterol demethylase-related genes (cyp51A and cyp51B) in Aspergillus fumigatus and other Aspergillus species.
PMID : 11427550 : DOI : 10.1128/JCM.39.7.2431-2438.2001 PMC : PMC88166
Two cyp51-related genes (cyp51A and cyp51B) encoding 14-alpha sterol demethylase-like enzymes were identified in the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. PCR amplification using degenerate oligonucleotides based on conserved areas of cytochrome P450 demethylases of other filamentous fungi and yeasts allowed the cloning and sequencing of two different homologue genes in A. fumigatus. Southern analysis confirmed that both genes hybridized to distinct genomic loci and that both are represented as single copies in the genome. Comparison of the deduced Cyp51A and Cyp51B proteins with the CYP51 proteins from Penicillium italicum, Aspergillus nidulans, Erysiphe graminis, Uncinula necator, Botrytis cinerea, Ustilago maydis, Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida albicans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida tropicalis, and Candida glabrata showed that the percentages of identity of the amino acid sequences (range, 40 to 70%) were high enough to consider Cyp51A and Cyp51B to be members of the fungal CYP51 family. Fragments from both genes were also cloned from other Aspergillus spp. (A. flavus, A. nidulans, and A. terreus). Phylogenetic analysis showed that, at least in the most pathogenic species of Aspergillus, there are two fungal CYP51 proteins. This is the first report of the existence of two homologue genes coding for 14-alpha sterol demethylase in the fungal kingdom. This finding could provide insights into the azole resistance mechanisms operating in fungi. The primers used here may be useful molecular tools for facilitating the cloning of novel 14-alpha sterol demethylase genes in other filamentous fungi.
( 2000 )
Sulfate assimilation in Aspergillus terreus: analysis of genes encoding ATP-sulfurylase and PAPS-reductase.
PMID : 11057445 :
Two genes for the sulfate assimilation pathway in Aspergillus terreus were cloned. The genes sAT (coding for PAPS-reductase) and sCT (coding for ATP-sulfurylase) form a small gene cluster. Both genes are similar to their homologs in A. nidulans (sA and sC), Penicillium chrysogenum (aps) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (MET3 and MET16). In the coding sequence of the sCT gene, a typical non-functional APS-kinase-like domain is present. The sCT gene is expressed in A. nidulans, but its expression there is less sensitive to methionine level than in the original species. Two regions 5' upstream of sAT were found to be similar to those of sA.
( 2000 )
Expression, purification, and characterization of blasticidin S deaminase (BSD) from Aspergillus terreus: the role of catalytic zinc in enzyme structure.
PMID : 10833262 : DOI : 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jbchem.a022711
We established an efficient overproduction-purification system for blasticidin S deaminase (BSD) using the cDNA cloned from Aspergillus terreus. The estimated molecular mass of the purified enzyme indicated BSD was a tetramer. This tetrameric form was very resistant to denaturation by SDS and showed heat-modifiable behavior on SDS-PAGE; i.e., BSD migrated much slower (as a single band of 36 kDa) in its active conformation than its completely denatured polypeptide (13 kDa) if heat treatment in 2% SDS was not performed before electrophoresis. As predicted from the presence of the catalytic zinc-coordinating sequence motif conserved in the cytosine nucleoside/nucleotide deaminase family, BSD also contained one zinc per deaminase subunit. However, the predicted catalytic function appeared not to be the only role of this zinc in the enzyme. First, titration of the zinc-chelating -SH groups with p-hydroxymercuriphenylsulfonate led to dissociation of the BSD tetramer into unstable monomers or dimers. Second, depletion of zinc on reconstitution of chemically denatured BSD (with either guanidine-HCl or acidic pH) resulted in improper folding of the polypeptide. These results suggest that zinc also plays a structural role in maintenance of the protein structure. When we introduced mutations at Glu-56 (the proposed active site) and Cys-91 (a proposed catalytic zinc-binding Cys) in BSD, none of the resulting mutants (E56D, E56Q, C91A, C91S, and C91H) showed any detectable activity, as judged with the spectrophotometric assay. Replacements of Cys-91 resulted in gross perturbation of the enzyme structure although the catalytically essential Glu-56 was not necessarily required for proper folding of the enzyme. These results further support our proposal that the catalytic zinc coordinated by the conserved sequence motif is also structural in BSD.
( 2000 )
Aristolochene synthase: purification, molecular cloning, high-level expression in Escherichia coli, and characterization of the Aspergillus terreus cyclase.
PMID : 10775423 : DOI : 10.1006/abbi.2000.1734
Aristolochene synthase catalyzes the cyclization of farnesyl diphosphate (6) to (+)-aristolochene (1). The Aspergillus terreus enzyme has been purified 75-fold to homogeneity in six steps. Based on the sequence of 3 internal peptides obtained by Lys-C digestion of the native protein, a set of degenerate PCR primers was used to amplify a 550-bp segment of cDNA corresponding to a portion of the aristolochene synthase transcript. A second round of PCR using specific primers was used to prepare a (32)P-labeled 180-bp segment, which was used to screen an A. terreus cDNA library prepared using lambdaZapII, resulting in the identification and sequencing of the A. terreus aristolochene synthase cDNA. Aristolochene synthase was encoded by an open reading frame (ORF) of 960 bp, corresponding to a protein of 320 amino acids with a predicted M(D) of 36,480. Comparison of the A. terreus ORF with the sequence of the previously described aristolochene synthase from Penicillium roqueforti revealed a 66% of identity at the nucleic acid level and a 70% identity at the deduced amino acid level between the aristolochene synthases from the two different fungal sources. PCR was used to insert the A. terreus aristolochene synthase gene into the T7lac expression vector pET11a. Cloning of the resultant construct into Escherichia coli XL1-Blue and subcloning into the expression host E. coli BL21(DE3)/pLysS gave, after induction with IPTG, soluble aristolochene synthase as 5-10% of total protein. The recombinant aristolochene synthase, which was purified 13-fold to homogeneity, appeared to be identical in all respects with the native A. terreus enzyme, displaying essentially the same steady-state kinetic parameters, with a K(m) of 15 nM and k(cat) 0.015 s(-1). Using PCR to amplify the aristolochene synthase gene (Aril) from A. terreus genomic DNA revealed the presence of 2 introns, identical in relative location but different in both sequence and length compared to the corresponding Ari1 gene of P. roqueforti.
( 1999 )
Lovastatin biosynthesis in Aspergillus terreus: characterization of blocked mutants, enzyme activities and a multifunctional polyketide synthase gene.
PMID : 10381407 :
Lovastatin, an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor produced by the fungus Aspergillus terreus, is composed of two polyketide chains. One is a nonaketide that undergoes cyclization to a hexahydronaphthalene ring system and the other is a simple diketide, 2-methylbutyrate. Fungal polyketide synthase (PKS) systems are of great interest and their genetic manipulation should lead to novel compounds. An A. terreus mutant (BX102) was isolated that could not synthesize the nonaketide portion of lovastatin and was missing a approximately 250 kDa polypeptide normally present under conditions of lovastatin production. Other mutants produced lovastatin intermediates without the methylbutyryl sidechain and were missing a polypeptide of approximately 220 kDa. The PKS inhibitor cerulenin reacted covalently with both polypeptides. Antiserum raised against the approximately 250 kDa polypeptide was used to isolate the corresponding gene, which complemented the BX102 mutation. The gene encodes a polypeptide of 269 kDa containing catalytic domains typical of vertebrate fatty acid and fungal PKSs, plus two additional domains not previously seen in PKSs: a centrally located methyltransferase domain and a peptide synthetase elongation domain at the carboxyl terminus. The results show that the nonaketide and diketide portions of lovastatin are synthesized by separate large multifunctional PKSs. Elucidation of the primary structure of the PKS that forms the lovastatin nonaketide, as well as characterization of blocked mutants, provides new details of lovastatin biosynthesis.
( 1999 )
Modulation of polyketide synthase activity by accessory proteins during lovastatin biosynthesis.
PMID : 10334994 : DOI : 10.1126/science.284.5418.1368
Polyketides, the ubiquitous products of secondary metabolism in microorganisms, are made by a process resembling fatty acid biosynthesis that allows the suppression of reduction or dehydration reactions at specific biosynthetic steps, giving rise to a wide range of often medically useful products. The lovastatin biosynthesis cluster contains two type I polyketide synthase genes. Synthesis of the main nonaketide-derived skeleton was found to require the previously known iterative lovastatin nonaketide synthase (LNKS), plus at least one additional protein (LovC) that interacts with LNKS and is necessary for the correct processing of the growing polyketide chain and production of dihydromonacolin L. The noniterative lovastatin diketide synthase (LDKS) enzyme specifies formation of 2-methylbutyrate and interacts closely with an additional transesterase (LovD) responsible for assembling lovastatin from this polyketide and monacolin J.
( 1999 )
Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of blasticidin S deaminase from Aspergillus terreus.
PMID : 10089374 : DOI : 10.1107/s0907444998011809
Blasticidin S deaminase from Aspergillus terreus was crystallized with polyethylene glycol 8000. Two types of crystals were grown under the same crystallization conditions. One type grew as thin plates, while the other had a rhombic shape. The rhombic shaped crystal was suitable for high-resolution crystal structure analysis. Precession photographs and diffraction data showed that the crystal belonged to orthorhombic space group P212121, with unit-cell dimensions a = 70.33, b = 146.56 and c = 56.48 A. The calculated Vm value was acceptable when a tetramer of the enzyme was contained in an asymmetric unit. Preliminary diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 2.0 A with good statistics.
( 2008 )
Discovery of six families of fungal defensin-like peptides provides insights into origin and evolution of the CSalphabeta defensins.
PMID : 17675235 : DOI : 10.1016/j.molimm.2007.06.354
The defensins with a conserved cysteine-stabilized alpha-helix and beta-sheet (CSalphabeta) structural motif are a group of unique antimicrobial polypeptides widely distributed in plants and animals. Recently, one defensin-like peptide (DLP) with high degree of sequence and structural similarity to defensins from ancient arthropods and molluscs has been identified in a saprophytic fungus [Mygind, P.H., Fischer, R.L., Schnorr, K.M., Hansen, M.T., S?nksen, C.P., Ludvigsen, S., Ravent?s, D., Buskov, S., Christensen, B., De Maria, L., Taboureau, O., Yaver, D., Elvig-J?rgensen, S.G., S?rensen, M.V., Christensen, B.E., Kjaerulff, S.K., Frimodt-Moller, N., Lehrer, R.I., Zasloff, M., Kristensen, H.-H., 2005. Plectasin is a peptide antibiotic with therapeutic potential from a saprophytic fungus. Nature 437, 975-980], which poses an important question regarding the evolutionary relationships of this class of effectors of innate immunity in three eukaryotic kingdoms. Here, we report the computational identification of six families of fungal DLPs in which three known defensin types (antibacterial ancient invertebrate-type defensins (AITDs), antibacterial classical insect-type defensins (CITDs), and antifungal plant/insect-type defensins (PITDs)) can be clearly assigned. Sharing of these defensin types between animals and fungi supports their closer evolutionary relationship, consistent with the Opisthokonta Hypothesis. Conservation of the PITDs across three eukaryotic kingdoms suggests their earlier origin than the antibacterial defensins, probably preceded plants and Opisthokonta split. Finally, recognition of an early gene duplication event in the Aspergillus terreus genome allows us to establish a paralogous relationship between AITDs and CITDs, which highlights extensive lineage-specific defensin gene loss during evolution.
Di Costanzo L,
( 2007 )
X-ray crystal structure of aristolochene synthase from Aspergillus terreus and evolution of templates for the cyclization of farnesyl diphosphate.
PMID : 17261032 : DOI : 10.1021/bi0622524 PMC : PMC2518937
Aristolochene synthase from Aspergillus terreus catalyzes the cyclization of the universal sesquiterpene precursor, farnesyl diphosphate, to form the bicyclic hydrocarbon aristolochene. The 2.2 A resolution X-ray crystal structure of aristolochene synthase reveals a tetrameric quaternary structure in which each subunit adopts the alpha-helical class I terpene synthase fold with the active site in the "open", solvent-exposed conformation. Intriguingly, the 2.15 A resolution crystal structure of the complex with Mg2+3-pyrophosphate reveals ligand binding only to tetramer subunit D, which is stabilized in the "closed" conformation required for catalysis. Tetramer assembly may hinder conformational changes required for the transition from the inactive open conformation to the active closed conformation, thereby accounting for the attenuation of catalytic activity with an increase in enzyme concentration. In both conformations, but especially in the closed conformation, the active site contour is highly complementary in shape to that of aristolochene, and a catalytic function is proposed for the pyrophosphate anion based on its orientation with regard to the presumed binding mode of aristolochene. A similar active site contour is conserved in aristolochene synthase from Penicillium roqueforti despite the substantial divergent evolution of these two enzymes, while strikingly different active site contours are found in the sesquiterpene cyclases 5-epi-aristolochene synthase and trichodiene synthase. Thus, the terpenoid cyclase active site plays a critical role as a template in binding the flexible polyisoprenoid substrate in the proper conformation for catalysis. Across the greater family of terpenoid cyclases, this template is highly evolvable within a conserved alpha-helical fold for the synthesis of terpene natural products of diverse structure and stereochemistry.
( 2006 )
Biosynthesis of lovastatin analogs with a broadly specific acyltransferase.
PMID : 17113998 : DOI : 10.1016/j.chembiol.2006.09.008
The natural product lovastatin and its semisynthetic, more effective derivative, simvastatin, are important drugs for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. Here, we report the biochemical characterization of a dedicated acyltransferase, LovD, encoded in the lovastatin biosynthetic pathway. We demonstrate that LovD has broad substrate specificity towards the acyl carrier, the acyl substrate, and the decalin acyl acceptor. LovD can efficiently catalyze the acyl transfer from coenzyme A thioesters or N-acetylcysteamine (SNAC) thioesters to monacolin J. When alpha-dimethylbutyryl-SNAC was used as the acyl donor, LovD was able to convert monacolin J and 6-hydroxyl-6-desmethylmonacolin J into simvastatin and huvastatin, respectively. Using the Escherichia coli LovD overexpression strain as a whole-cell biocatalyst, preparative amounts of simvastatin were synthesized in a single fermentation step. Our results demonstrate LovD is an attractive enzyme for engineered biosynthesis of pharmaceutically important cholesterol-lowering drugs.
( 2006 )
Two families of extracellular phospholipase C genes are present in aspergilli.
PMID : 17015001 : DOI : 10.1016/j.mycres.2006.07.013
Fungi secrete extracellular enzymes to enable them to harvest nutrients from the environment. In the case of pathogenic fungi these enzymes can also be pathogenesis factors. Here we report the identification in fungi of a complex family of extracellular phospholipase C (PLC) enzymes, homologous to the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PLCH_PSEAE. Database searches and phylogenetic analysis showed that the PLCs clustered into two groups with different evolutionary histories. One group, subdivided into PLC-A, -B, -C and -D, was found only in aspergilli and Neosartorya fischeri. Each species only ever showed three of the four PLCs except N. fischeri which had all four PLCs plus duplicate PLC-A, -B and -C genes. Modelling studies indicated that these PLCs had mechanistic similarities to phosphoesterases and aryl sulphatases, but that they probably did not differ in substrate specificity. The second group, PLC-E, was seen in a wider range of fungi including some species of aspergilli and was always found in a head-to-head arrangement with a copper oxidase, similar to the laccases. The PLC genes appear to have arisen from separate gene transfer events from bacteria or lower eukaryotes. Thus, aspergilli have acquired PLCs twice in the course of evolution.
( 1939 )
Studies in the biochemistry of micro-organisms: Itaconic acid, a metabolic product of a strain of Aspergillus terreus Thom.
PMID : 16747058 : DOI : 10.1042/bj0331488 PMC : PMC1264600
( 2006 )
Functional analysis of alcS, a gene of the alc cluster in Aspergillus nidulans.
PMID : 16531087 : DOI : 10.1016/j.fgb.2005.12.008
The ethanol utilization pathway (alc system) of Aspergillus nidulans requires two structural genes, alcA and aldA, which encode the two enzymes (alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase, respectively) allowing conversion of ethanol into acetate via acetyldehyde, and a regulatory gene, alcR, encoding the pathway-specific autoregulated transcriptional activator. The alcR and alcA genes are clustered with three other genes that are also positively regulated by alcR, although they are dispensable for growth on ethanol. In this study, we characterized alcS, the most abundantly transcribed of these three genes. alcS is strictly co-regulated with alcA, and encodes a 262-amino acid protein. Sequence comparison with protein databases detected a putative conserved domain that is characteristic of the novel GPR1/FUN34/YaaH membrane protein family. It was shown that the AlcS protein is located in the plasma membrane. Deletion or overexpression of alcS did not result in any obvious phenotype. In particular, AlcS does not appear to be essential for the transport of ethanol, acetaldehyde or acetate. Basic Local Alignment Search Tool analysis against the A. nidulans genome led to the identification of two novel ethanol- and ethylacetate-induced genes encoding other members of the GPR1/FUN34/YaaH family, AN5226 and AN8390.
( 2006 )
Cloning, expression, and characterization of a xylanase 10 from Aspergillus terreus (BCC129) in Pichia pastoris.
PMID : 16275128 : DOI : 10.1016/j.pep.2005.09.013
A full-length xylanase gene, encoding 326 amino acids belonging to the fungal glycosyl hydrolase family 10, from Aspergillus terreus BCC129 was cloned and sequenced. Sequence analysis suggested that the first 25 amino acids of this enzyme is the signal peptide. Therefore, only the mature xylanase gene of 906 bp was cloned into a yeast expression vector, pPICZalphaA, for heterologous expression in Pichia pastoris. A band of approximately, 33 kDa was observed on the SDS-PAGE gel after one day of methanol induction. The expressed enzyme was purified by gel filtration chromatography. The purified recombinant xylanase demonstrated optimal activity at 60 degrees C, pH 5.0 and a Km of 4.8 +/- 0.07 mg/ml and a Vmax of 757 +/- 14.54 micromol/min mg, using birchwood xylan as a substrate. Additionally, the purified enzyme demonstrated broad pH stability from 4 to 10 when incubated at 40 degrees C for 4 h. It also showed a moderate thermal stability since it retained 90% of its activity when incubated at 50 degrees C, 30 min, making this enzyme a potential use in the animal feed and paper and pulp industries.
( 2004 )
Aristolochene synthase: mechanistic analysis of active site residues by site-directed mutagenesis.
PMID : 15186158 : DOI : 10.1021/ja0499593
Incubation of farnesyl diphosphate (1) with Penicillium roqueforti aristolochene synthase yielded (+)-aristolochene (4), accompanied by minor quantities of the proposed intermediate (S)-(-)germacrene A (2) and the side-product (-)-valencene (5) in a 94:4:2 ratio. By contrast, the closely related aristolochene synthase from Aspergillus terreus cyclized farnesyl diphosphate only to (+)-aristolochene (4). Site-directed mutagenesis of amino acid residues in two highly conserved Mg(2+)-binding domains led in most cases to reductions in both k(cat) and k(cat)/K(m) as well as increases in the proportion of (S)-(-)germacrene A (2), with the E252Q mutant of the P. roqueforti aristolochene synthase producing only (-)-2. The P. roqueforti D115N, N244L, and S248A/E252D mutants were inactive, as was the A. terreus mutant E227Q. The P. roqueforti mutant Y92F displayed a 100-fold reduction in k(cat) that was offset by a 50-fold decrease in K(m), resulting in a relatively minor 2-fold decrease in catalytic efficiency, k(cat)/K(m). The finding that Y92F produced (+)-aristolochene (4) as 81% of the product, accompanied by 7% 5 and 12% 2, rules out Tyr-92 as the active site Lewis acid that is responsible for protonation of the germacrene A intermediate in the formation of aristolochene (4).
( 2011 )
New species in Aspergillus section Terrei.
PMID : 21892242 : DOI : 10.3114/sim.2011.69.04 PMC : PMC3161753
Section Terrei of Aspergillus was studied using a polyphasic approach including sequence analysis of parts of the �]-tubulin and calmodulin genes and the ITS region, macro- and micromorphological analyses and examination of extrolite profiles to describe three new species in this section. Based on phylogenetic analysis of calmodulin and �]-tubulin sequences seven lineages were observed among isolates that have previously been treated as A. terreus and its subspecies by Raper & Fennell (1965) and others. Aspergillus alabamensis, A. terreus var. floccosus, A. terreus var. africanus, A. terreus var. aureus, A. hortai and A. terreus NRRL 4017 all represent distinct lineages from the A. terreus clade. Among them, A. terreus var. floccosus, A. terreus NRRL 4017 and A. terreus var. aureus could also be distinguished from A. terreus by using ITS sequence data. New names are proposed for A. terreus var. floccosus, A. terreus var. africanus, A. terreus var. aureus, while Aspergillus hortai is recognised at species level. Aspergillus terreus NRRL 4017 is described as the new species A. pseudoterreus. Also included in section Terrei are some species formerly placed in sections Flavipedes and Versicolores. A. clade including the type isolate of A. niveus (CBS 115.27) constitutes a lineage closely related to A. carneus. Fennellia nivea, the hypothesized teleomorph is not related to this clade. Aspergillus allahabadii, A. niveus var. indicus, and two species originally placed in section Versicolores, A. ambiguus and A. microcysticus, also form well-defined lineages on all trees. Species in Aspergillus section Terrei are producers of a diverse array of secondary metabolites. However, many of the species in the section produce different combinations of the following metabolites: acetylaranotin, asperphenamate, aspochalamins, aspulvinones, asteltoxin, asterric acid, asterriquinones, aszonalenins, atrovenetins, butyrolactones, citreoisocoumarins, citreoviridins, citrinins, decaturins, fulvic acid, geodins, gregatins, mevinolins, serantrypinone, terreic acid (only the precursor 3,6-dihydroxytoluquinone found), terreins, terrequinones, terretonins and territrems. The cholesterol-lowering agent mevinolin was found in A. terreus and A. neoafricanus only. The hepatotoxic extrolite citrinin was found in eight species: A. alabamensis, A. allahabadii, A. carneus, A. floccosus, A. hortai, A. neoindicus, A. niveus and A. pseudoterreus. The neurotoxic extrolite citreoviridin was found in five species: A. neoafricanus, A. aureoterreus, A. pseudoterreus, A. terreus and A. neoniveus. Territrems, tremorgenic extrolites, were found in some strains of A. alabamensis and A. terreus.
( 2011 )
Double oxidation of the cyclic nonaketide dihydromonacolin L to monacolin J by a single cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, LovA.
PMID : 21495633 : DOI : 10.1021/ja201138v
Lovastatin, a cyclic nonaketide from Aspergillus terreus, is a hypercholesterolemic agent and a precursor to simvastatin, a semi-synthetic cholesterol-lowering drug. The biosynthesis of the lovastatin backbone (dihydromonacolin L) and the final 2-methylbutyryl decoration have been fully characterized. However, it remains unclear how two central reactions are catalyzed, namely, introduction of the 4a,5-double bond and hydroxylation at C-8. A cytochrome P450 gene, lovA, clustered with polyketide synthase lovB, has been a prime candidate for these reactions, but inability to obtain LovA recombinant enzyme has impeded detailed biochemical analyses. The synthetic codon optimization and/or N-terminal peptide replacement of lovA allowed the lovA expression in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Both in vivo feeding and in vitro enzyme assays showed that LovA catalyzed the conversion of dihydromonacolin L acid to monacolin L acid and monacolin J acid, two proposed pathway intermediates in the biosynthesis of lovastatin. LovA was demonstrated to catalyze the regio- and stereo-specific hydroxylation of monacolin L acid to yield monacolin J acid. These results demonstrate that LovA is the single enzyme that performs both of the two elusive oxidative reactions in the lovastatin biosynthesis.
( 2011 )
Polyphasic identification and susceptibility to seven antifungals of 102 Aspergillus isolates recovered from immunocompromised hosts in Greece.
PMID : 21444701 : DOI : 10.1128/AAC.01491-10 PMC : PMC3101447
In this study, the first such study in Greece, we used polyphasic identification combined with antifungal susceptibility study to analyze Aspergillus clinical isolates comprising 102 common and rare members of sections Fumigati, Flavi, Terrei, Nidulantes, Nigri, Circumdati, Versicolores, and Usti. High amphotericin B MICs (>2 �gg/ml) were found for 17.6% of strains. Itraconazole, posaconazole, and voriconazole MICs of >4 �gg/ml were shown in 1%, 5%, and 0% of the isolates, respectively. Anidulafungin, micafungin, and caspofungin minimum effective concentrations (MECs) of ?2 �gg/ml were correspondingly recorded for 4%, 9%, and 33%, respectively, of the strains.
( 2010 )
Comparative genomic and phylogenetic investigation of the xenobiotic metabolizing arylamine N-acetyltransferase enzyme family.
PMID : 20621844 : DOI : 10.1016/j.febslet.2010.05.063
Arylamine N-acetyltransferases (NATs) are xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes characterized in several bacteria and eukaryotic organisms. We report a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis employing an exhaustive dataset of NAT-homologous sequences recovered through inspection of 2445 genomes. We describe the first NAT homologues in viruses, archaea, protists, many fungi and invertebrates, providing complete annotations in line with the consensus nomenclature. Contrary to the NAT genes of vertebrates, introns are commonly found within the homologous coding regions of lower eukaryotes. The NATs of fungi and higher animals are distinctly monophyletic, but evidence supports a mixed phylogeny of NATs among bacteria, protists and possibly some invertebrates.
( 2011 )
FT-ICR-MS characterization of intermediates in the biosynthesis of the �\-methylbutyrate side chain of lovastatin by the 277 kDa polyketide synthase LovF.
PMID : 21069965 : DOI : 10.1021/bi1014776 PMC : PMC3085095
There are very few fungal polyketide synthases that have been characterized by mass spectrometry. In this paper we describe the in vitro reconstitution and FT-ICR-MS verification of the full activity of an intact 277 kDa fungal polyketide synthase LovF of the lovastatin biosynthetic pathway. We report here both the verification of the reconstitution of fully functional holo-LovF by using (13)C-labeled malonyl-CoA to form �\-methylbutyrate functionality and also detection of five predicted intermediates covalently bound to the 4'-phosphopantetheine at the acyl carrier protein (ACP) active site utilizing the phosphopantetheine ejection assay and high-resolution mass spectrometry. Under in vitro conditions, the diketide acetoacetyl intermediate did not accumulate on the ACP active site of holo-LovF following incubation with malonyl-CoA substrate. We found that incubation of holo-LovF with acetoacetyl-CoA served as an effective means of loading the diketide intermediate onto the ACP active site of LovF. Our results demonstrate that subsequent �\-methylation of the acetoacetyl intermediate stabilizes the intermediate onto the ACP active site and facilitates the formation and mass spectrometric detection of additional intermediates en route to the formation of �\-methylbutyrate.
( 2009 )
Biodiversity and evolution of primary carbon metabolism in Aspergillus nidulans and other Aspergillus spp.
PMID : 19610199 : DOI : 10.1016/j.fgb.2008.07.018
Some of the Aspergilli are reputed for their versatile and efficient catabolism of soluble carbon sources and related metabolites as well as raw polymeric materials. Here, we present a detailed investigation of the genomic and evolutionary basis for this versatility, using seven Aspergillus and one Neosartorya genome sequences. We manually annotated about 155 genes per genome covering glycolysis, the pentose phosphate cycle, alternative routes of D-glucose metabolism, catabolism of D-galactose and pentoses, and the TCA cycle, as well as the utilization of acetate and ethanol, propionate metabolism, and gluconeogenesis.The annotation reveals that the Aspergilli have re-enforced several areas of their primary metabolism(notably glycolysis, TCA cycle, ethanol utilization, and pentose and polyol metabolism) by gene duplications,horizontal gene transfer or gene clustering. Results from the phylogenetic analysis of several enzymes encoded by duplicated genes also suggests that some gene products may have acquired new(physiological) functions, that render primary carbon metabolism of the Aspergilli more complex than previously thought.
Da Silva NA,
( 2009 )
Complete reconstitution of a highly reducing iterative polyketide synthase.
PMID : 19900898 : DOI : 10.1126/science.1175602 PMC : PMC2875069
Highly reducing iterative polyketide synthases are large, multifunctional enzymes that make important metabolites in fungi, such as lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug from Aspergillus terreus. We report efficient expression of the lovastatin nonaketide synthase (LovB) from an engineered strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as well as complete reconstitution of its catalytic function in the presence and absence of cofactors (the reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate and S-adenosylmethionine) and its partner enzyme, the enoyl reductase LovC. Our results demonstrate that LovB retains correct intermediates until completion of synthesis of dihydromonacolin L, but off-loads incorrectly processed compounds as pyrones or hydrolytic products. Experiments replacing LovC with analogous MlcG from compactin biosynthesis demonstrate a gate-keeping function for this partner enzyme. This study represents a key step in the understanding of the functions and structures of this family of enzymes.
( 2009 )
Cloning and bioinformatic analysis of lovastatin biosynthesis regulatory gene lovE.
PMID : 19781329 :
Lovastatin is an effective drug for treatment of hyperlipidemia. This study aimed to clone lovastatin biosynthesis regulatory gene lovE and analyze the structure and function of its encoding protein. According to the lovastatin synthase gene sequence from genebank, primers were designed to amplify and clone the lovastatin biosynthesis regulatory gene lovE from Aspergillus terrus genomic DNA. Bioinformatic analysis of lovE and its encoding animo acid sequence was performed through internet resources and software like DNAMAN. Target fragment lovE, almost 1500 bp in length, was amplified from Aspergillus terrus genomic DNA and the secondary and three-dimensional structures of LovE protein were predicted. In the lovastatin biosynthesis process lovE is a regulatory gene and LovE protein is a GAL4-like transcriptional factor.
( 2009 )
Directed evolution and structural characterization of a simvastatin synthase.
PMID : 19875080 : DOI : 10.1016/j.chembiol.2009.09.017 PMC : PMC2798062
Enzymes from natural product biosynthetic pathways are attractive candidates for creating tailored biocatalysts to produce semisynthetic pharmaceutical compounds. LovD is an acyltransferase that converts the inactive monacolin J acid (MJA) into the cholesterol-lowering lovastatin. LovD can also synthesize the blockbuster drug simvastatin using MJA and a synthetic alpha-dimethylbutyryl thioester, albeit with suboptimal properties as a biocatalyst. Here we used directed evolution to improve the properties of LovD toward semisynthesis of simvastatin. Mutants with improved catalytic efficiency, solubility, and thermal stability were obtained, with the best mutant displaying an approximately 11-fold increase in an Escherichia coli-based biocatalytic platform. To understand the structural basis of LovD enzymology, seven X-ray crystal structures were determined, including the parent LovD, an improved mutant G5, and G5 cocrystallized with ligands. Comparisons between the structures reveal that beneficial mutations stabilize the structure of G5 in a more compact conformation that is favorable for catalysis.
( 2009 )
Acyltransferase mediated polyketide release from a fungal megasynthase.
PMID : 19530726 : DOI : 10.1021/ja903203g PMC : PMC2878198
LovF is a highly reducing polyketide synthase (HR-PKS) from the filamentous fungus Aspergillus terreus. LovF synthesizes the alpha-S-methylbutyrate side chain that is subsequently transferred to monacolin J to yield the cholesterol-lowering natural product lovastatin. In the report, we expressed the full length LovF and reconstituted the megasynthase activities in vitro. We confirmed the diketide product of LovF is offloaded from the LovF ACP domain by the dissociated acyltransferase LovD. This represents the first example of acyltransferase-mediated release of polyketide products from fungal PKSs. We determined LovD primarily interacts with the ACP domain of LovF and the protein-protein interactions lead to highly efficient transfer of the diketide product. The catalytic efficiency is enhanced nearly 1 x 10(6)-fold when LovF was used as the acyl carrier instead of N-acetylcysteamine. Reconstitution and characterization of the LovF offloading mechanism provide new insights into the functions of fungal HR-PKS.
( N/A )
Phylogenetic analysis of Aspergillus species using DNA sequences from four loci.
PMID : 18595197 :
DNA sequences were determined for beta tubulin (BT2), calmodulin (CF), ITS and lsu rDNA (ID) and RNA polymerase II (RPB2) from ca. 460 Aspergillus isolates. RPB2 and rDNA sequences were combined and analyzed to determine relationships in the genus and in the family Trichocomaceae. Eupenicillium species form a statistically supported clade with origins among the Aspergillus clades. A. crystallinus, A. malodoratus and H. paradoxus are members of the Eupenicillium clade. A. zonatus, A. clavatoflvus and W. spinulosa occur in a clade along with Hamigera sp. Other than these exceptional species, Aspergillus species and sections occur on three strongly supported clades that descend from a polytomy. Section Versicolores as a monophyletic group includes only A. versicolor and A. sydowii and is superfluous. The other sections were retained but modified. All four loci were used in genealogical concordance analysis of species boundaries. Fennellia flavipes and F. nivea are not conspecific with their supposed anamorphs A. flavipes and A. nivea. Synonymies were found for some species and more than 20 undescribed taxa were identified in genealogical concordance analysis. Newly discovered taxa will be described elsewhere. Possibly paralogous gene fragments were amplified with the BT2 primers in sections Nidulantes, Usti and Nigri. Use of nonhomologous sequences in genealogical concordance analysis could lead to false conclusions and so BT2 sequences were not used in analysis of those sections.
( 2009 )
Rational improvement of simvastatin synthase solubility in Escherichia coli leads to higher whole-cell biocatalytic activity.
PMID : 18988191 : DOI : 10.1002/bit.22028 PMC : PMC3928684
Simvastatin is the active pharmaceutical ingredient of the blockbuster cholesterol lowering drug Zocor. We have previously developed an Escherichia coli based whole-cell biocatalytic platform towards the synthesis of simvastatin sodium salt (SS) starting from the precursor monacolin J sodium salt (MJSS). The centerpiece of the biocatalytic approach is the simvastatin synthase LovD, which is highly prone to misfolding and aggregation when overexpressed from E. coli. Increasing the solubility of LovD without decreasing its catalytic activity can therefore elevate the performance of the whole-cell biocatalyst. Using a combination of homology structural prediction and site-directed mutagenesis, we identified two cysteine residues in LovD that are responsible for nonspecific intermolecular crosslinking, which leads to oligomer formation and protein aggregation. Replacement of Cys40 and Cys60 with alanine residues resulted in marked gain in both protein solubility and whole-cell biocatalytic activities. Further mutagenesis experiments converting these two residues to small or polar natural amino acids showed that C40A and C60N are the most beneficial, affording 27% and 26% increase in whole cell activities, respectively. The double mutant C40A/C60N combines the individual improvements and displayed approximately 50% increase in protein solubility and whole-cell activity. Optimized fed-batch high-cell-density fermentation of the double mutant in an E. coli strain engineered for simvastatin production quantitatively (>99%) converted 45 mM MJSS to SS within 18 h, which represents a significant improvement over the performance of wild-type LovD under identical conditions. The high efficiency of the improved whole-cell platform renders the biocatalytic synthesis of SS an attractive substitute over the existing semisynthetic routes.
( 2008 )
Cloning and functional characterization of the cis-aconitic acid decarboxylase (CAD) gene from Aspergillus terreus.
PMID : 18584171 : DOI : 10.1007/s00253-008-1523-1
A filamentous fungus Aspergillus terreus produces itaconic acid, which is predicted to be derived from cis-aconitic acid via catalysis by cis-aconitic acid decarboxylase (CAD) in the carbon metabolism of the fungus. To clarify the enzyme's function and a pathway for itaconic acid biosynthesis, we cloned a novel gene encoding the enzyme. The open reading frame of this gene (CAD1) consists of 1,529 bp encoding 490 amino acids and is interrupted by a single intron. Among the identified proteins in the database, the primary structure of the protein encoded by CAD1 shared high identity with the MmgE/PrpD family of proteins, including a number of 2-methylcitrate dehydratases of bacteria. The cloned gene excluding an intron was introduced into the expression plasmid pAUR-CAD1 controlled by the ADH1 promoter. The CAD activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae was confirmed by directly detecting itaconic acid as a product from cis-aconitic acid as a substrate. This result reveals for the first time that this gene encodes CAD, which is essential for itaconic acid production in A. terreus.
( 2008 )
Lovastatin biosynthetic genes of Aspergillus terreus are expressed differentially in solid-state and in liquid submerged fermentation.
PMID : 18414850 : DOI : 10.1007/s00253-008-1409-2
Molecular studies were performed to establish the causes of the superior lovastatin productivity of a novel solid-state fermentation (SSF) process, in relation with liquid submerged fermentation (SmF; 20 mg/g vs. 0.65 mg/ml). In SSF, biosynthetic genes lovE and lovF transcripts accumulated to high levels from day 1 to day 7. In this period, lovE transcript showed 4.6-fold higher accumulation levels (transcription) than the highest level detected in SmF (day 5). lovF transcript showed two-fold higher expression than the highest point in SmF. In SmF, the expression was only detected clearly on day 5 and, showing a 50% decrease, on day 7. These results show that the higher lovastatin production in SSF is related to a more intense transcription of these biosynthetic genes. A strong expression of gldB gene in lovastatin SSF indicated that Aspergillus terreus senses osmotic stress during the course of SSF, but not in SmF. However, when a liquid medium of identical concentration was used in SmF, lovastatin production decreased in SSF.
( 2008 )
X-ray crystallographic studies of substrate binding to aristolochene synthase suggest a metal ion binding sequence for catalysis.
PMID : 18385128 : DOI : 10.1074/jbc.M800659200 PMC : PMC2397452
The universal sesquiterpene precursor, farnesyl diphosphate (FPP), is cyclized in an Mg(2+)-dependent reaction catalyzed by the tetrameric aristolochene synthase from Aspergillus terreus to form the bicyclic hydrocarbon aristolochene and a pyrophosphate anion (PP(i)) coproduct. The 2.1-A resolution crystal structure determined from crystals soaked with FPP reveals the binding of intact FPP to monomers A-C, and the binding of PP(i) and Mg(2+)(B) to monomer D. The 1.89-A resolution structure of the complex with 2-fluorofarnesyl diphosphate (2F-FPP) reveals 2F-FPP binding to all subunits of the tetramer, with Mg(2+)(B)accompanying the binding of this analogue only in monomer D. All monomers adopt open activesite conformations in these complexes, but slight structural changes in monomers C and D of each complex reflect the very initial stages of a conformational transition to the closed state. Finally, the 2.4-A resolution structure of the complex with 12,13-difluorofarnesyl diphosphate (DF-FPP) reveals the binding of intact DF-FPP to monomers A-C in the open conformation and the binding of PP(i), Mg(2+)(B), and Mg(2+)(C) to monomer D in a predominantly closed conformation. Taken together, these structures provide 12 independent "snapshots" of substrate or product complexes that suggest a possible sequence for metal ion binding and conformational changes required for catalysis.
( 2007 )
Crystal structures of blasticidin S deaminase (BSD): implications for dynamic properties of catalytic zinc.
PMID : 17959604 : DOI : 10.1074/jbc.M704476200
The set of blasticidin S (BS) and blasticidin S deaminase (BSD) is a widely used selectable marker for gene transfer experiments. BSD is a member of the cytidine deaminase (CDA) family; it is a zinc-dependent enzyme with three cysteines and one water molecule as zinc ligands. The crystal structures of BSD were determined in six states (i.e. native, substrate-bound, product-bound, cacodylate-bound, substrate-bound E56Q mutant, and R90K mutant). In the structures, the zinc position and coordination structures vary. The substrate-bound structure shows a large positional and geometrical shift of zinc with a double-headed electron density of the substrate that seems to be assigned to the amino and hydroxyl groups of the substrate and product, respectively. In this intermediate-like structure, the steric hindrance of the hydroxyl group pushes the zinc into the triangular plane consisting of three cysteines with a positional shift of approximately 0.6 A, and the fifth ligand water approaches the opposite direction of the substrate with a shift of 0.4 A. Accordingly, the zinc coordination is changed from tetrahedral to trigonal bipyramidal, and its coordination distance is extended between zinc and its intermediate. The shift of zinc and the recruited water is also observed in the structure of the inactivated E56Q mutant. This novel observation is different in two-cysteine cytidine deaminase Escherichia coli CDA and might be essential for the reaction mechanism in BSD, since it is useful for the easy release of the product by charge compensation and for the structural change of the substrate.
( 2017 )
Transcriptomic Complexity of Aspergillus terreus Velvet Gene Family under the Influence of Butyrolactone I.
PMID : 28335447 : DOI : 10.3390/microorganisms5010012 PMC : PMC5374389
Filamentous fungi of the Ascomycota phylum are known to contain a family of conserved conidiation regulating proteins with distinctive velvet domains. In Aspergilli, this velvet family includes four proteins, VeA, VelB, VelC and VosA, and is involved in conidiation and secondary metabolism along with a global regulator LaeA. In A. terreus, the overexpression of LaeA has been observed to increase the biogenesis of the pharmaceutically-important secondary metabolite, lovastatin, while the role of the velvet family has not been studied. The secondary metabolism and conidiation of A. terreus have also been observed to be increased by butyrolactone I in a quorum-sensing manner. An enlightenment of the interplay of these regulators will give potential advancement to the industrial use of this fungus, as well as in resolving the pathogenic features. In this study, the Aspergillus terreus MUCL 38669 transcriptome was strand-specifically sequenced to enable an in-depth gene expression analysis to further investigate the transcriptional role of butyrolactone I in these processes. The sequenced transcriptome revealed intriguing properties of the velvet family transcripts, including the regulator laeA, and uncovered the velC gene in A. terreus. The reliability refining microarray gene expression analysis disclosed a positive regulatory role for butyrolactone I in laeA expression, as well as an influence on the expression of the canonical conidiation-regulating genes under submerged culture. All of this supports the suggested regulative role of butyrolactone I in A. terreus secondary metabolism, as well as conidiation.
( 2017 )
Molecular insights into the enzyme promiscuity of an aromatic prenyltransferase.
PMID : 27992881 : DOI : 10.1038/nchembio.2263
Aromatic prenyltransferases (aPTases) transfer prenyl moieties from isoprenoid donors to various aromatic acceptors, some of which have the rare property of extreme enzymatic promiscuity toward both a variety of prenyl donors and a large diversity of acceptors. In this study, we discovered a new aPTase, AtaPT, from Aspergillus terreus that exhibits unprecedented promiscuity toward diverse aromatic acceptors and prenyl donors and also yields products with a range of prenylation patterns. Systematic crystallographic studies revealed various discrete conformations for ligand binding with donor-dependent acceptor specificity and multiple binding sites within a spacious hydrophobic substrate-binding pocket. Further structure-guided mutagenesis of active sites at the substrate-binding pocket is responsible for altering the specificity and promiscuity toward substrates and the diversity of product prenylations. Our study reveals the molecular mechanism underlying the promiscuity of AtaPT and suggests an efficient protein engineering strategy to generate new prenylated derivatives in drug discovery applications.
( 2016 )
A Non-canonical Melanin Biosynthesis Pathway Protects Aspergillus terreus Conidia from Environmental Stress.
PMID : 27133313 : DOI : 10.1016/j.chembiol.2016.03.014
Melanins are ubiquitous pigments found in all kingdoms of life. Most organisms use them for protection from environmental stress, although some fungi employ melanins as virulence determinants. The human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and related Ascomycetes produce dihydroxynaphthalene- (DHN) melanin in their spores, the conidia, and use it to inhibit phagolysosome acidification. However, biosynthetic origin of melanin in a related fungus, Aspergillus terreus, has remained a mystery because A. terreus lacks genes for synthesis of DHN-melanin. Here we identify genes coding for an unusual NRPS-like enzyme (MelA) and a tyrosinase (TyrP) that A. terreus expressed under conidiation conditions. We demonstrate that MelA produces aspulvinone E, which is activated for polymerization by TyrP. Functional studies reveal that this new pigment, Asp-melanin, confers resistance against UV light and hampers phagocytosis by soil amoeba. Unexpectedly, Asp-melanin does not inhibit acidification of phagolysosomes, thus likely contributing specifically to survival of A. terreus conidia in acidic environments.
( 2016 )
Identification of an itaconic acid degrading pathway in itaconic acid producing Aspergillus terreus.
PMID : 27102125 : DOI : 10.1007/s00253-016-7554-0
Itaconic acid, one of the most promising and flexible bio-based chemicals, is mainly produced by Aspergillus terreus. Previous studies to improve itaconic acid production in A. terreus through metabolic engineering were mainly focused on its biosynthesis pathway, while the itaconic acid-degrading pathway has largely been ignored. In this study, we used transcriptomic, proteomic, bioinformatic, and in vitro enzymatic analyses to identify three key enzymes, itaconyl-CoA transferase (IctA), itaconyl-CoA hydratase (IchA), and citramalyl-CoA lyase (CclA), that are involved in the catabolic pathway of itaconic acid in A. terreus. In the itaconic acid catabolic pathway in A. terreus, itaconic acid is first converted by IctA into itaconyl-CoA with succinyl-CoA as the CoA donor, and then itaconyl-CoA is hydrated into citramalyl-CoA by IchA. Finally, citramalyl-CoA is cleaved into acetyl-CoA and pyruvate by CclA. Moreover, IctA can also catalyze the reaction between citramalyl-CoA and succinate to generate succinyl-CoA and citramalate. These results, for the first time, identify the three key enzymes, IctA, IchA, and CclA, involved in the itaconic acid degrading pathway in itaconic acid producing A. terreus. The results will facilitate the improvement of itaconic acid production by metabolically engineering the catabolic pathway of itaconic acid in A. terreus.
( 2015 )
Accuracy of the high-throughput amplicon sequencing to identify species within the genus Aspergillus.
PMID : 26615752 : DOI : 10.1016/j.funbio.2015.10.006
This study characterized the accuracy of high-throughput amplicon sequencing to identify species within the genus Aspergillus. To this end, we sequenced the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), �]-tubulin (BenA), and calmodulin (CaM) gene encoding sequences as DNA markers from eight reference Aspergillus strains with known identities using 300-bp sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform, and compared them with the BLASTn outputs. The identifications with the sequences longer than 250 bp were accurate at the section rank, with some ambiguities observed at the species rank due to mostly cross detection of sibling species. Additionally, in silico analysis was performed to predict the identification accuracy for all species in the genus Aspergillus, where 107, 210, and 187 species were predicted to be identifiable down to the species rank based on ITS1, BenA, and CaM, respectively. Finally, air filter samples were analysed to quantify the relative abundances of Aspergillus species in outdoor air. The results were reproducible across biological duplicates both at the species and section ranks, but not strongly correlated between ITS1 and BenA, suggesting the Aspergillus detection can be taxonomically biased depending on the selection of the DNA markers and/or primers.
( 2015 )
Comparison of 10,11-Dehydrocurvularin Polyketide Synthases from Alternaria cinerariae and Aspergillus terreus Highlights Key Structural Motifs.
PMID : 26493380 : DOI : 10.1002/cbic.201500428 PMC : PMC4804156
Iterative type I polyketide synthases (PKSs) from fungi are multifunctional enzymes that use their active sites repeatedly in a highly ordered sequence to assemble complex natural products. A phytotoxic macrolide with anticancer properties, 10,11-dehydrocurvularin (DHC), is produced by cooperation of a highly reducing (HR) iterative PKS and a non-reducing (NR) iterative PKS. We have identified the DHC gene cluster in Alternaria cinerariae, heterologously expressed the active HR PKS (Dhc3) and NR PKS (Dhc5) in yeast, and compared them to corresponding proteins that make DHC in Aspergillus terreus. Phylogenetic analysis and homology modeling of these enzymes identified variable surfaces and conserved motifs that are implicated in product formation.
( 2016 )
Genetic diversity of Aspergillus species isolated from onychomycosis and Aspergillus hongkongensis sp. nov., with implications to antifungal susceptibility testing.
PMID : 26658315 : DOI : 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2015.10.027
Thirteen Aspergillus isolates recovered from nails of 13 patients (fingernails, n=2; toenails, n=11) with onychomycosis were characterized. Twelve strains were identified by multilocus sequencing as Aspergillus spp. (Aspergillus sydowii [n=4], Aspergillus welwitschiae [n=3], Aspergillus terreus [n=2], Aspergillus flavus [n=1], Aspergillus tubingensis [n=1], and Aspergillus unguis [n=1]). Isolates of A. terreus, A. flavus, and A. unguis were also identifiable by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The 13th isolate (HKU49(T)) possessed unique morphological characteristics different from other Aspergillus spp. Molecular characterization also unambiguously showed that HKU49(T) was distinct from other Aspergillus spp. We propose the novel species Aspergillus hongkongensis to describe this previously unknown fungus. Antifungal susceptibility testing showed most Aspergillus isolates had low MICs against itraconazole and voriconazole, but all Aspergillus isolates had high MICs against fluconazole. A diverse spectrum of Aspergillus species is associated with onychomycosis. Itraconazole and voriconazole are probably better drug options for Aspergillus onychomycosis.
( 2015 )
Molecular epidemiology and in-vitro antifungal susceptibility of Aspergillus terreus species complex isolates in Delhi, India: evidence of genetic diversity by amplified fragment length polymorphism and microsatellite typing.
PMID : 25781896 : DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0118997 PMC : PMC4363790
Aspergillus terreus is emerging as an etiologic agent of invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised individuals in several medical centers in the world. Infections due to A. terreus are of concern due to its resistance to amphotericin B, in vivo and in vitro, resulting in poor response to antifungal therapy and high mortality. Herein we examined a large collection of molecularly characterized, geographically diverse A. terreus isolates (n = 140) from clinical and environmental sources in India for the occurrence of cryptic A. terreus species. The population structure of the Indian A. terreus isolates and their association with those outside India was determined using microsatellite based typing (STR) technique and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism analysis (AFLP). Additionally, in vitro antifungal susceptibility of A. terreus isolates was determined against 7 antifungals. Sequence analyses of the calmodulin locus identified the recently described cryptic species A. hortai, comprising 1.4% of Aspergillus section Terrei isolates cultured from cases of aspergilloma and probable invasive aspergillosis not reported previously. All the nine markers used for STR typing of A. terreus species complex proved to be highly polymorphic. The presence of high genetic diversity revealing 75 distinct genotypes among 101 Indian A. terreus isolates was similar to the marked heterogeneity noticed in the 47 global A. terreus population exhibiting 38 unique genotypes mainly among isolates from North America and Europe. Also, AFLP analysis showed distinct banding patterns for genotypically diverse A. terreus isolates. Furthermore, no correlation between a particular genotype and amphotericin B susceptibility was observed. Overall, 8% of the A. terreus isolates exhibited low MICs of amphotericin B. All the echinocandins and azoles (voriconazole, posaconazole and isavuconazole) demonstrated high potency against all the isolates. The study emphasizes the need of molecular characterization of A. terreus species complex isolates to better understand the ecology, acquisition and transmission of this species.
( 2014 )
Identification and nomenclature of the genus Penicillium.
PMID : 25505353 : DOI : 10.1016/j.simyco.2014.09.001 PMC : PMC4261876
Penicillium is a diverse genus occurring worldwide and its species play important roles as decomposers of organic materials and cause destructive rots in the food industry where they produce a wide range of mycotoxins. Other species are considered enzyme factories or are common indoor air allergens. Although DNA sequences are essential for robust identification of Penicillium species, there is currently no comprehensive, verified reference database for the genus. To coincide with the move to one fungus one name in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants, the generic concept of Penicillium was re-defined to accommodate species from other genera, such as Chromocleista, Eladia, Eupenicillium, Torulomyces and Thysanophora, which together comprise a large monophyletic clade. As a result of this, and the many new species described in recent years, it was necessary to update the list of accepted species in Penicillium. The genus currently contains 354 accepted species, including new combinations for Aspergillus crystallinus, A. malodoratus and A. paradoxus, which belong to Penicillium section Paradoxa. To add to the taxonomic value of the list, we also provide information on each accepted species MycoBank number, living ex-type strains and provide GenBank accession numbers to ITS, �]-tubulin, calmodulin and RPB2 sequences, thereby supplying a verified set of sequences for each species of the genus. In addition to the nomenclatural list, we recommend a standard working method for species descriptions and identifications to be adopted by laboratories working on this genus.
( 2014 )
Molecular characterization and expression of a novel alcohol oxidase from Aspergillus terreus MTCC6324.
PMID : 24752075 : DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0095368 PMC : PMC3994049
The alcohol oxidase (AOx) cDNA from Aspergillus terreus MTCC6324 with an open reading frame (ORF) of 2001 bp was constructed from n-hexadecane induced cells and expressed in Escherichia coli with a yield of ?4.2 mg protein g-1 wet cell. The deduced amino acid sequences of recombinant rAOx showed maximum structural homology with the chain B of aryl AOx from Pleurotus eryngii. A functionally active AOx was achieved by incubating the apo-AOx with flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) for ?80 h at 16�XC and pH 9.0. The isoelectric point and mass of the apo-AOx were found to be 6.5��0.1 and ?74 kDa, respectively. Circular dichroism data of the rAOx confirmed its ordered structure. Docking studies with an ab-initio protein model demonstrated the presence of a conserved FAD binding domain with an active substrate binding site. The rAOx was specific for aryl alcohols and the order of its substrate preference was 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol >3-methoxybenzyl alcohol>3, 4-dimethoxybenzyl alcohol > benzyl alcohol. A significantly high aggregation to ?1000 nm (diameter) and catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km) of 7829.5 min-1 mM-1 for 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol was also demonstrated for rAOx. The results infer the novelty of the AOx and its potential biocatalytic application.
( 2014 )
The role of distant mutations and allosteric regulation on LovD active site dynamics.
PMID : 24727900 : DOI : 10.1038/nchembio.1503 PMC : PMC4028369
Natural enzymes have evolved to perform their cellular functions under complex selective pressures, which often require their catalytic activities to be regulated by other proteins. We contrasted a natural enzyme, LovD, which acts on a protein-bound (LovF) acyl substrate, with a laboratory-generated variant that was transformed by directed evolution to accept instead a small free acyl thioester and no longer requires the acyl carrier protein. The resulting 29-mutant variant is 1,000-fold more efficient in the synthesis of the drug simvastatin than the wild-type LovD. This is to our knowledge the first nonpatent report of the enzyme currently used for the manufacture of simvastatin as well as the intermediate evolved variants. Crystal structures and microsecond-scale molecular dynamics simulations revealed the mechanism by which the laboratory-generated mutations free LovD from dependence on protein-protein interactions. Mutations markedly altered conformational dynamics of the catalytic residues, obviating the need for allosteric modulation by the acyl carrier LovF.
( 2014 )
Cryptic and rare Aspergillus species in Brazil: prevalence in clinical samples and in vitro susceptibility to triazoles.
PMID : 25078909 : DOI : 10.1128/JCM.01582-14 PMC : PMC4187744
Aspergillus spp. are among the most common causes of opportunistic invasive fungal infections in tertiary care hospitals. Little is known about the prevalence and in vitro susceptibility of Aspergillus species in Latin America, because there are few medical centers able to perform accurate identification at the species level. The purpose of this study was to analyze the distribution of cryptic and rare Aspergillus species among clinical samples from 133 patients with suspected aspergillosis admitted in 12 medical centers in Brazil and to analyze the in vitro activity of different antifungal drugs. The identification of Aspergillus species was performed based on a polyphasic approach, as well as sequencing analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, calmodulin, and �]-tubulin genes and phylogenetic analysis when necessary. The in vitro susceptibility tests with voriconazole, posaconazole, and itraconazole were performed according to the CLSI M38-A2 document (2008). We demonstrated a high prevalence of cryptic species causing human infection. Only three isolates, representing the species Aspergillus thermomutatus, A. ochraceus, and A. calidoustus, showed less in vitro susceptibility to at least one of the triazoles tested. Accurate identifications of Aspergillus at the species level and with in vitro susceptibility tests are important because some species may present unique resistance patterns against specific antifungal drugs.
de Beer D,
( 2014 )
Dissimilatory nitrate reduction by Aspergillus terreus isolated from the seasonal oxygen minimum zone in the Arabian Sea.
PMID : 24517718 : DOI : 10.1186/1471-2180-14-35 PMC : PMC3928326
A wealth of microbial eukaryotes is adapted to life in oxygen-deficient marine environments. Evidence is accumulating that some of these eukaryotes survive anoxia by employing dissimilatory nitrate reduction, a strategy that otherwise is widespread in prokaryotes. Here, we report on the anaerobic nitrate metabolism of the fungus Aspergillus terreus (isolate An-4) that was obtained from sediment in the seasonal oxygen minimum zone in the Arabian Sea, a globally important site of oceanic nitrogen loss and nitrous oxide emission. Axenic incubations of An-4 in the presence and absence of oxygen and nitrate revealed that this fungal isolate is capable of dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium under anoxic conditions. A ??N-labeling experiment proved that An-4 produced and excreted ammonium through nitrate reduction at a rate of up to 175 nmol ??NH?? g?? protein h??. The products of dissimilatory nitrate reduction were ammonium (83%), nitrous oxide (15.5%), and nitrite (1.5%), while dinitrogen production was not observed. The process led to substantial cellular ATP production and biomass growth and also occurred when ammonium was added to suppress nitrate assimilation, stressing the dissimilatory nature of nitrate reduction. Interestingly, An-4 used intracellular nitrate stores (up to 6-8 �gmol NO?? g?? protein) for dissimilatory nitrate reduction. Our findings expand the short list of microbial eukaryotes that store nitrate intracellularly and carry out dissimilatory nitrate reduction when oxygen is absent. In the currently spreading oxygen-deficient zones in the ocean, an as yet unexplored diversity of fungi may recycle nitrate to ammonium and nitrite, the substrates of the major nitrogen loss process anaerobic ammonium oxidation, and the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.
( 2014 )
Cloning, characterization and application of a glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase promoter from Aspergillus terreus.
PMID : 24306453 : DOI : 10.1007/s10295-013-1385-0
It is important to develop native and highly efficient promoters for effective genetic engineering of filamentous fungi. Although Aspergillus terreus is an important industrial fungus for the production of itaconic acid and lovastatin, the available genetic toolbox for this microorganism is still rather limited. We have cloned the 5' upstream region of the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene (gpd; 2,150 bp from the start codon) from A. terreus CICC 40205 and subsequently confirmed its promoter function using sgfp (synthetic green fluorescent protein) as the reporter. The sequence of the promoter PgpdAt was further analysed by systematic deletion to obtain an effective and compact functional promoter. Two truncated versions of PgpdAt (1,081 and 630 bp) were also able to drive sgfp expression in A. terreus. The activities of these three PgpdAt promoters of varying different lengths were further confirmed by fluorescence, western blot and transcription. The shortest one (630 bp) was successfully applied as a driver of vgb expression in the genetic engineering of A. terreus. The function of expressed haemoglobin was demonstrated by the CO (carbon monoxide)-difference spectrum and enhanced oxygen uptake rate, glucose consumption and itaconic acid titer. Our study was successful in developing and validating an efficient and compact native promoter for genetic engineering of A. terreus.
( 2013 )
Diversity and bioprospecting of fungal communities associated with endemic and cold-adapted macroalgae in Antarctica.
PMID : 23702515 : DOI : 10.1038/ismej.2013.77 PMC : PMC3695302
We surveyed the distribution and diversity of fungi associated with eight macroalgae from Antarctica and their capability to produce bioactive compounds. The collections yielded 148 fungal isolates, which were identified using molecular methods as belonging to 21 genera and 50 taxa. The most frequent taxa were Geomyces species (sp.), Penicillium sp. and Metschnikowia australis. Seven fungal isolates associated with the endemic Antarctic macroalgae Monostroma hariotii (Chlorophyte) displayed high internal transcribed spacer sequences similarities with the psychrophilic pathogenic fungus Geomyces destructans. Thirty-three fungal singletons (66%) were identified, representing rare components of the fungal communities. The fungal communities displayed high diversity, richness and dominance indices; however, rarefaction curves indicated that not all of the fungal diversity present was recovered. Penicillium sp. UFMGCB 6034 and Penicillium sp. UFMGCB 6120, recovered from the endemic species Palmaria decipiens (Rhodophyte) and M. hariotii, respectively, yielded extracts with high and selective antifungal and/or trypanocidal activities, in which a preliminary spectral analysis using proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy indicated the presence of highly functionalised aromatic compounds. These results suggest that the endemic and cold-adapted macroalgae of Antarctica shelter a rich, diversity and complex fungal communities consisting of a few dominant indigenous or mesophilic cold-adapted species, and a large number of rare and/or endemic taxa, which may provide an interesting model of algal-fungal interactions under extreme conditions as well as a potential source of bioactive compounds.
( 2012 )
Rapid identification of Aspergillus terreus from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid by PCR and electrospray ionization with mass spectrometry.
PMID : 22518857 : DOI : 10.1128/JCM.00325-12 PMC : PMC3405624
We describe the application of PCR and electrospray-ionization with mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) to culture-negative bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in order to identify septate hyphae noted by Gomori methenamine silver (GMS) staining of the fluid that was obtained from an immunocompromised woman with neutropenia following induction chemotherapy for treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). The patient was treated with empirical antifungal therapy, including intrathecal amphotericin B, while results of fungal cultures were pending. Ultimately, Aspergillus terreus, an amphotericin-resistant mold, was cultured from bilateral brain abscesses. PCR/ESI-MS correctly identified the mold.
( 2012 )
Nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region as a universal DNA barcode marker for Fungi.
PMID : 22454494 : DOI : 10.1073/pnas.1117018109 PMC : PMC3341068
Six DNA regions were evaluated as potential DNA barcodes for Fungi, the second largest kingdom of eukaryotic life, by a multinational, multilaboratory consortium. The region of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 used as the animal barcode was excluded as a potential marker, because it is difficult to amplify in fungi, often includes large introns, and can be insufficiently variable. Three subunits from the nuclear ribosomal RNA cistron were compared together with regions of three representative protein-coding genes (largest subunit of RNA polymerase II, second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II, and minichromosome maintenance protein). Although the protein-coding gene regions often had a higher percent of correct identification compared with ribosomal markers, low PCR amplification and sequencing success eliminated them as candidates for a universal fungal barcode. Among the regions of the ribosomal cistron, the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region has the highest probability of successful identification for the broadest range of fungi, with the most clearly defined barcode gap between inter- and intraspecific variation. The nuclear ribosomal large subunit, a popular phylogenetic marker in certain groups, had superior species resolution in some taxonomic groups, such as the early diverging lineages and the ascomycete yeasts, but was otherwise slightly inferior to the ITS. The nuclear ribosomal small subunit has poor species-level resolution in fungi. ITS will be formally proposed for adoption as the primary fungal barcode marker to the Consortium for the Barcode of Life, with the possibility that supplementary barcodes may be developed for particular narrowly circumscribed taxonomic groups.
( 2012 )
Murine infection models for Aspergillus terreus pulmonary aspergillosis reveal long-term persistence of conidia and liver degeneration.
PMID : 22438397 : DOI : 10.1093/infdis/jis193
Aspergillus terreus is emerging as a causative agent of life-threatening invasive aspergillosis. Prognosis for affected patients is often worse than for A. fumigatus infections. To study A. terreus-mediated disease, we developed 3 infection models. In embryonated hen's eggs and leucopenic mice, the outcome of invasive aspergillosis was similar to that described for A. fumigatus. However, 10(2)- and 10(3)-fold higher conidia concentrations were required for 100% lethality. In corticosteroid-treated mice, only 50% mortality was observed, although bioluminescence imaging revealed transient disease in all infected animals. In surviving animals, we observed persistence of ungerminated but viable conidia. Cytokine levels in these mice were comparable to uninfected controls. In contrast to A. fumigatus infections, all mice infected with A. terreus developed fatty liver degeneration, suggesting the production of toxic secondary metabolites. Thus, at least in mice, persistence and subclinical liver damage are unique features of A. terreus infections.
( 2012 )
Crystal structure and biochemical studies of the trans-acting polyketide enoyl reductase LovC from lovastatin biosynthesis.
PMID : 22733743 : DOI : 10.1073/pnas.1113029109 PMC : PMC3396468
Lovastatin is an important statin prescribed for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Biosynthesis of lovastatin uses an iterative type I polyketide synthase (PKS). LovC is a trans-acting enoyl reductase (ER) that specifically reduces three out of eight possible polyketide intermediates during lovastatin biosynthesis. Such trans-acting ERs have been reported across a variety of other fungal PKS enzymes as a strategy in nature to diversify polyketides. How LovC achieves such specificity is unknown. The 1.9-? structure of LovC reveals that LovC possesses a medium-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (MDR) fold with a unique monomeric assembly. Two LovC cocrystal structures and enzymological studies help elucidate the molecular basis of LovC specificity, define stereochemistry, and identify active-site residues. Sequence alignment indicates a general applicability to trans-acting ERs of fungal PKSs, as well as their potential application to directing biosynthesis.
( 2012 )
Rare and new etiological agents revealed among 178 clinical Aspergillus strains obtained from Czech patients and characterized by molecular sequencing.
PMID : 22458252 : DOI : 10.3109/13693786.2012.667578
A collection of 178 Aspergillus isolates, recovered from Czech patients, mostly from 2007-2011, was subjected to multilocus DNA sequence typing using the ITS region, �]-tubulin, and calmodulin genes. An unusually wide spectrum of etiologic agents that included 36 species of Aspergillus is discussed in the context of recent taxonomic and clinical reports. Invasive aspergillosis (IA), onychomycosis, and otitis externa were the predominant clinical entities. Five cases due to species newly proven as etiologic agents of human mycoses, as well as cases with unique clinical manifestations caused by unusual agents are discussed in more detail. Three species (i.e., A. insulicola, A. westerdijkiae and A. tritici) were identified as the confirmed etiologic agents of non-dermatophytic onychomycosis. Emericella rugulosa was recovered from a premature newborn with a fatal necrotising disseminated infection and is reported for only the second time as the cause of IA. Furthermore, we document the first infection due to A. calidoustus in a patient with chronic granulomatous disease. The infection manifested as a latent brain aspergilloma with an unusual clinical-laboratory finding. In addition to the well-known agents of human mycosis, several rarely isolated or poorly documented species were identified. An undescribed cryptic species related to A. versicolor was found to be common among isolates linked to proven and probable onychomycosis. An isolate representing A. fresenii, or an unnamed sister species, were causal agents of otomycosis. Three well defined, and tentative new species belonging to section Cervini, Candidi and Aspergillus (Eurotium spp.), were associated with cases of probable onychomycosis.
de Araujo WL,
da Silva LF,
( 2012 )
The diversity of polyketide synthase genes from sugarcane-derived fungi.
PMID : 21938508 : DOI : 10.1007/s00248-011-9938-0
The chemical ecology and biotechnological potential of metabolites from endophytic and rhizosphere fungi are receiving much attention. A collection of 17 sugarcane-derived fungi were identified and assessed by PCR for the presence of polyketide synthase (PKS) genes. The fungi were all various genera of ascomycetes, the genomes of which encoded 36 putative PKS sequences, 26 shared sequence homology with �]-ketoacyl synthase domains, while 10 sequences showed homology to known fungal C-methyltransferase domains. A neighbour-joining phylogenetic analysis of the translated sequences could group the domains into previously established chemistry-based clades that represented non-reducing, partially reducing and highly reducing fungal PKSs. We observed that, in many cases, the membership of each clade also reflected the taxonomy of the fungal isolates. The functional assignment of the domains was further confirmed by in silico secondary and tertiary protein structure predictions. This genome mining study reveals, for the first time, the genetic potential of specific taxonomic groups of sugarcane-derived fungi to produce specific types of polyketides. Future work will focus on isolating these compounds with a view to understanding their chemical ecology and likely biotechnological potential.
( 1996 )
Primary structures of fungal fructosyl amino acid oxidases and their application to the measurement of glycated proteins.
PMID : 9022674 : DOI : 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1996.0499r.x
Fructosyl amino acid oxidase (FAOD), which is active toward model compounds of the glycated proteins in blood, N epsilon-fructosyl N sigma-Z-lysine and N-fructosyl valine, was purified to homogeneity from Aspergillus terreus GP1. Though the enzyme did not use glycated proteins directly as its substrate, it used glycated human serum albumin (HSA) when HSA was treated with a protease. Linear relationships between both the concentration and the increase in absorbance and the glycation rate of glycated HSA and the increase in absorbance were observed. cDNAs coding for FAODs were cloned from cDNA libraries of A. terreus GP1 and Penicillium janthinellum AKU 3413. The coding region for both fungal FAODs consisted of 1314 bp encoding 437 amino acids. The sequence of a dinucleotide-binding motif, GXGXXG, was in the deduced N-terminal region and a similar sequence to that the active site of bacterial sarcosine oxidases was found near the C-terminal region of FAOD. The of C-terminal tripeptides SKL and AKL of FAODs from A. terreus and P. janthinellum, respectively, represent typical peroxisomal-targeting signals. Finally, FAOD protein was produced in Escherichia coli transformants in an active form, and at the same level as in the original fungi.
( 1997 )
Cloning and molecular analysis of the Aspergillus terreus arg1 gene coding for an ornithine carbamoyltransferase.
PMID : 9141661 : DOI : 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1997.tb10330.x
An Aspergillus terreus gene (arg1) encoding ornithine carbamoyltransferase (OCTase) has been cloned and sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequence contains a signal peptide suggestive of a mitochondrial location for the A. terreus enzyme. Alignment of the A. terreus OCTase sequence with other OCTases revealed the presence of conserved regions. Northern analysis indicates that arg1 expression is regulated at the level of transcription and that transcription of the arg1 gene is not markedly affected by arginine sufficiency. However, histidine starvation effected by 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole increased transcription of the arg1 gene, indicating cross-pathway regulation of OCTase synthesis in A. terreus.
( 1996 )
Cloning of the polyketide synthase gene atX from Aspergillus terreus and its identification as the 6-methylsalicylic acid synthase gene by heterologous expression.
PMID : 9003280 : DOI : 10.1007/s004380050289
Southern blot analysis of genomic DNAs of several fungi that produce polyketide compounds with the 6-methylsalicylic acid synthase (MSAS) gene of Penicillium patulum as a probe indicated the presence of an MSAS-homologous gene in the (+)-geodin-producing strain IMI 16,043 of Aspergillus terreus. The gene, designated atX was cloned from an A. terreus genomic DNA library and 7588 bp of the gene together with its flanking regions were sequenced to reveal the presence of a 5.5 kb open reading frame coding for a protein of 1800 amino acids with 190 kDa molecular mass. The presence of a short (70 bp) intron near the N-terminus of the atX gene was predicted that contains the canonical GT and AG dinucleotides at its 5'- and 3'-splicing junctions. The predicted ATX polypeptide showed high homology with P. patulum MSAS along the whole sequence. On the other hand, slight homology was detected only around the beta-ketoacyl synthase regions of Aspergillus nidulans wA, PKSST and Colletotrichum lagenarium PKS1. No transcription of atX was observed throughout the culture period by Northern blotting analysis. To identify the function of the polypeptide encoded by the atX gene, its coding region was introduced into the fungal expression vector pTAex3 under the control of the amyB promoter. The constructed expression plasmid was introduced into A. nidulans. The transformant produced significant amounts of 6-methylsalicylic acid, the structure of which was identified by physicochemical analysis. This result unambiguously demonstrated that the atX gene codes for MSAS of A. terreus.
( 1997 )
The phytase subfamily of histidine acid phosphatases: isolation of genes for two novel phytases from the fungi Aspergillus terreus and Myceliophthora thermophila.
PMID : 9025298 : DOI : 10.1099/00221287-143-1-245
Phytases catalyse the hydrolysis of phytate (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate) to myo-inositol and inorganic phosphate. In this study genes encoding novel phytases from two different filamentous fungi, Aspergillus terreus strain 9A-1 and Myceliophthora thermophila were isolated. The encoded PhyA phytase proteins show 60% (A. terreus) and 48% (M. thermophila) identity, respectively, to the PhyA of Aspergillus niger and have 21-29% identity compared to other histidine acid phosphatases. All three PhyA proteins, in contrast to the A. niger pH 2.5-optimum acid phosphatase, prefer phytic acid as substrate and show enzyme activity at a broad range of acidic pH values. Based on their enzyme characteristics and protein sequence homology, the phytases form a novel subclass of the histidine acid phosphatase family.
( 1994 )
Cloning of the blasticidin S deaminase gene (BSD) from Aspergillus terreus and its use as a selectable marker for Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Pyricularia oryzae.
PMID : 8159161 : DOI : 10.1007/bf00391004
Aspergillus terreus produces a unique enzyme, blasticidin S deaminase, which catalyzes the deamination of blasticidin S (BS), and in consequence confers high resistance to the antibiotic. A cDNA clone derived from the structural gene for BS deaminase (BSD) was isolated by transforming Escherichia coli with an Aspergillus cDNA expression library and directly selecting for the ability to grow in the presence of the antibiotic. The complete nucleotide sequence of BSD was determined and proved to contain an open reading frame of 393 bp, encoding a polypeptide of 130 amino acids. Comparison of its nucleotide sequence with that of bsr, the BS deaminase gene isolated from Bacillus cereus, indicated no homology and a large difference in codon usage. The activity of BSD expressed in E. coli was easily quantified by an assay based on spectrophotometric recording. The BSD gene was placed in a shuttle vector for Schizosaccharomyces pombe, downstream of the SV40 early region promoter, and this allowed direct selection with BS at high frequency, following transformation into the yeast. The BSD gene was also employed as a selectable marker for Pyricularia oryzae, which could not be transformed to BS resistance by bsr. These result promise that the BSD gene will be useful as a new dominant selectable marker for eukaryotes.
( 1995 )
Molecular cloning and heterologous expression of the gene encoding dihydrogeodin oxidase, a multicopper blue enzyme from Aspergillus terreus.
PMID : 7665560 : DOI : 10.1074/jbc.270.37.21495
Aspergillus terreus dihydrogeodin oxidase (DHGO) is an enzyme catalyzing the stereospecific phenol oxidative coupling reaction converting dihydrogeodin to (+)- geodin. We previously reported the purification of DHGO from A. terreus and raised polyclonal antibody against DHGO. From the first cDNA library constructed in lambda gt11 using mRNA from 3-day-old mycelium of A. terreus, four clones were identified using anti-DHGO antibody, but all contained partial cDNA inserts around 280 base pairs. This cDNA fragment was used as a probe to clone the genomic DNA and cDNA for dihydrogeodin oxidase from A. terreus. The sequence of the cloned DHGO genomic DNA and cDNA predicted that the DHGO polypeptide consists of 605 amino acids showing significant homology with multicopper blue proteins such as laccase and ascorbate oxidase. Four potential copper binding domains exist in DHGO polypeptide. The DHGO gene consists of seven exons separated by six short introns. Expression of the DHGO gene in Aspergillus nidulans under the starch or maltose-inducible Taka-amylase A promoter as an active enzyme established the functional identity of the gene. Also, introduction of the genomic DNA for DHGO into Penicillium frequentans led to the production of DHGO polypeptide as judged by Western blot analysis.
( 2019 )
Epidemiology and Antifungal Susceptibility Profile of Aspergillus Species: Comparison between Environmental and Clinical Isolates from Patients with Hematologic Malignancies.
PMID : 31018982 : DOI : 10.1128/JCM.02023-18 PMC : PMC6595445
Global data on the epidemiology and susceptibility of Aspergillus are crucial in the management of invasive aspergillosis. Here, we aimed to determine the characteristics of clinical and environmental Aspergillus isolates, focusing mainly on hematologic malignancy patients. We prospectively collected all consecutive cases and clinical isolates of culture-positive proven/probable invasive aspergillosis patients from January 2016 to April 2018 and sampled the air inside and outside the hospital. Cryptic species-level identification of Aspergillus, antifungal susceptibilities, and cyp51 gene sequencing were performed, and clinical data were analyzed. This study was conducted as part of the Catholic Hematology Hospital Fungi Epidemiology (CAF?) study. A total of 207 proven/probable invasive aspergillosis and 102 clinical and 129 environmental Aspergillus isolates were included in this analysis. The incidence of proven/probable invasive aspergillosis was 1.3 cases/1,000 patient-days during the study period. Cryptic Aspergillus species accounted for 33.8%, with no differences in proportions between the clinical and environmental isolates. Section Nigri presented a high proportion (70.5%) of cryptic species, mainly from A. tubingensis and A. awamori: the former being dominant in environmental samples, and the latter being more common in clinical isolates (P < 0.001). Of 91 A. fumigatus isolates, azole-resistant A. fumigatus was found in 5.3% of all A. fumigatus isolates. Three isolates presented the TR34/L98H mutation of the cyp51A gene. Patients with invasive aspergillosis caused by azole-resistant A. fumigatus showed 100% all-cause mortality at 100 days. This study demonstrates the significant portion of cryptic Aspergillus species and clinical implications of azole resistance and underscores the comparison between clinical and environmental isolates.
( 2018 )
Crystal structure of native �\-L-rhamnosidase from Aspergillus terreus.
PMID : 30387766 : DOI : 10.1107/S2059798318013049
�\-L-Rhamnosidases cleave terminal nonreducing �\-L-rhamnosyl residues from many natural rhamnoglycosides. This makes them catalysts of interest for various biotechnological applications. The X-ray structure of the GH78 family �\-L-rhamnosidase from Aspergillus terreus has been determined at 1.38 ? resolution using the sulfur single-wavelength anomalous dispersion phasing method. The protein was isolated from its natural source in the native glycosylated form, and the active site contained a glucose molecule, probably from the growth medium. In addition to its catalytic domain, the �\-L-rhamnosidase from A. terreus contains four accessory domains of unknown function. The structural data suggest that two of these accessory domains, E and F, might play a role in stabilizing the aglycon portion of the bound substrate.
( 2018 )
Aspergillus terreus Inhibits Growth and Induces Morphological Abnormalities in Pythium aphanidermatum and Suppresses Pythium-Induced Damping-Off of Cucumber.
PMID : 29449831 : DOI : 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00095 PMC : PMC5799290
The study investigated the efficacy of two isolates of Aspergillus terreus (65P and 9F) on the growth, morphology and pathogenicity of Pythium aphanidermatum on cucumber. In vitro tests showed that the two isolates inhibited the growth of P. aphanidermatum in culture. Investigating P. aphanidermatum hyphae close to the inhibition zone showed that the hyphae showed abnormal growth and loss of internal content. Treating P. aphanidermatum with the culture filtrate (CF) of A. terreus resulted in significant rise in cellular leakage of P. aphanidermatum mycelium. Testing glucanase enzyme activity by both A. terreus isolates showed a significant increase in glucanase activity. This suggests that the cell walls of Pythium, which consist of glucan, are affected by the glucanase enzyme produced by A. terreus. In addition, Aspergillus isolates produced siderephore, which is suggested to be involved in inhibition of Pythium growth. Also, the CFs of 65P and 9F isolates significantly reduced spore production by P. aphanidermatum compared to the control (P < 0.05). In bioassay tests, the two isolates of A. terreus increased the survival rate of cucumber seedlings from 10 to 20% in the control seedlings treated with P. aphanidermatum to 38-39% when the biocontrol agents were used. No disease symptoms were observed on cucumber seedlings only treated with the isolates 65P and 9F of A. terreus. In addition, the A. terreus isolates did not have any negative effects on the growth of cucumber seedlings. This study shows that isolates of A. terreus can help suppress Pythium-induced damping-off of cucumber, which is suggested to be through the effect of A. terreus and its glucanase enzyme on P. aphanidermatum mycelium.
( 2018 )
Heterologous pathway assembly reveals molecular steps of fungal terreic acid biosynthesis.
PMID : 29391515 : DOI : 10.1038/s41598-018-20514-x PMC : PMC5794859
Terreic acid is a potential anticancer drug as it inhibits Bruton's tyrosine kinase; however, its biosynthetic molecular steps remain unclear. In this work, the individual reactions of terreic acid biosynthesis were determined by stepwise pathway assembly in a heterologous host, Pichia pastoris, on the basis of previous knockout studies in a native host, Aspergillus terreus. Polyketide synthase AtX was found to catalyze the formation of partially reduced polyketide 6-methylsalicylic acid, followed by 3-methylcatechol synthesis by salicylate 1-monooxygenase AtA-mediated decarboxylative hydroxylation of 6-methylsalicylic acid. Our results show that cytochrome P450 monooxygenase AtE hydroxylates 3-methylcatechol, thus producing the next product, 3-methyl-1,2,4-benzenetriol. A smaller putative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, AtG, assists with this step. Then, AtD causes epoxidation and hydroxyl oxidation of 3-methyl-1,2,4-benzenetriol and produces a compound terremutin, via which the previously unknown function of AtD was identified as cyclooxygenation. The final step involves an oxidation reaction of a hydroxyl group by a glucose-methanol-choline oxidoreductase, AtC, which leads to the final product: terreic acid. Functions of AtD and AtG were determined for the first time. All the genes were reanalyzed and all intermediates and final products were isolated and identified. Our model fully defines the molecular steps and corrects previous results from the literature.
( 2017 )
Melanisation of Aspergillus terreus-Is Butyrolactone I Involved in the Regulation of Both DOPA and DHN Types of Pigments in Submerged Culture?
PMID : 28471414 : DOI : 10.3390/microorganisms5020022 PMC : PMC5488093
Pigments and melanins of fungal spores have been investigated for decades, revealing important roles in the survival of the fungus in hostile environments. The key genes and the encoded enzymes for pigment and melanin biosynthesis have recently been found in Ascomycota, including Aspergillus spp. In Aspergillus terreus, the pigmentation has remained mysterious with only one class of melanin biogenesis being found. In this study, we examined an intriguing, partially annotated gene cluster of A. terreus strain NIH2624, utilizing previously sequenced transcriptome and improved gene expression data of strain MUCL 38669, under the influence of a suggested quorum sensing inducing metabolite, butyrolactone I. The core polyketide synthase (PKS) gene of the cluster was predicted to be significantly longer on the basis of the obtained transcriptional data, and the surrounding cluster was positively regulated by butyrolactone I at the late growth phase of submerged culture, presumably during sporulation. Phylogenetic analysis of the extended PKS revealed remarkable similarity with a group of known pigments of Fusarium spp., indicating a similar function for this PKS. We present a hypothesis of this PKS cluster to biosynthesise a 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-type of pigment during sporulation with the influence of butyrolactone I under submerged culture.
( 2017 )
Microbial Resistance Mechanisms to the Antibiotic and Phytotoxin Fusaric Acid.
PMID : 28986689 : DOI : 10.1007/s10886-017-0889-x
Fusaric acid (FA) produced by Fusarium oxysporum plays an important role in disease development in plants, including cotton. This non-specific toxin also has antibiotic effects on microorganisms. Thus, one expects a potential pool of diverse detoxification mechanisms of FA in nature. Bacteria and fungi from soils infested with Fusarium and from laboratory sources were evaluated for their ability to grow in the presence of FA and to alter the structure of FA into less toxic compounds. None of the bacterial strains were able to chemically modify FA. Highly FA-resistant strains were found only in Gram-negative bacteria, mainly in the genus of Pseudomonas. The FA resistance of the Gram-negative bacteria was positively correlated with the number of predicted genes for FA efflux pumps present in the genome. Phylogenetic analysis of predicted FA resistance proteins (FUSC, an inner membrane transporter component of the efflux pump) revealed that FUSC proteins having high sequence identities with the functionally characterized FA resistance protein FusC or Fdt might be the major contributors of FA resistance. In contrast, most fungi converted FA to less toxic compounds regardless of the level of FA resistance they exhibited. Five derivatives were detected, and the detoxification of FA involved either oxidative reactions on the butyl side chain or reductive reactions on the carboxylic acid group. The production of these metabolites from widely different phyla indicates that resistance to FA by altering its structure is highly conserved. A few FA resistant saprophytic or biocontrol strains of fungi were incapable of altering FA, indicating a possible involvement of efflux transporters. Deployment of both efflux and derivatization mechanisms may be a common feature of fungal FA resistance.
( 2013 )
Characterization of the biosynthetic genes for 10,11-dehydrocurvularin, a heat shock response-modulating anticancer fungal polyketide from Aspergillus terreus.
PMID : 23335766 : DOI : 10.1128/AEM.03334-12 PMC : PMC3592213
10,11-Dehydrocurvularin is a prevalent fungal phytotoxin with heat shock response and immune-modulatory activities. It features a dihydroxyphenylacetic acid lactone polyketide framework with structural similarities to resorcylic acid lactones like radicicol or zearalenone. A genomic locus was identified from the dehydrocurvularin producer strain Aspergillus terreus AH-02-30-F7 to reveal genes encoding a pair of iterative polyketide synthases (A. terreus CURS1 [AtCURS1] and AtCURS2) that are predicted to collaborate in the biosynthesis of 10,11-dehydrocurvularin. Additional genes in this locus encode putative proteins that may be involved in the export of the compound from the cell and in the transcriptional regulation of the cluster. 10,11-Dehydrocurvularin biosynthesis was reconstituted in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by heterologous expression of the polyketide synthases. Bioinformatic analysis of the highly reducing polyketide synthase AtCURS1 and the nonreducing polyketide synthase AtCURS2 highlights crucial biosynthetic programming differences compared to similar synthases involved in resorcylic acid lactone biosynthesis. These differences lead to the synthesis of a predicted tetraketide starter unit that forms part of the 12-membered lactone ring of dehydrocurvularin, as opposed to the penta- or hexaketide starters in the 14-membered rings of resorcylic acid lactones. Tetraketide N-acetylcysteamine thioester analogues of the starter unit were shown to support the biosynthesis of dehydrocurvularin and its analogues, with yeast expressing AtCURS2 alone. Differential programming of the product template domain of the nonreducing polyketide synthase AtCURS2 results in an aldol condensation with a different regiospecificity than that of resorcylic acid lactones, yielding the dihydroxyphenylacetic acid scaffold characterized by an S-type cyclization pattern atypical for fungal polyketides.
( 2013 )
A novel pathway construction in Candida tropicalis for direct xylitol conversion from corncob xylan.
PMID : 23211479 : DOI : 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.10.155
In this study, an integrated xylitol production pathway, directly using xylan as the substrate, was constructed in Candida tropicalis BIT-Xol-1 which could efficiently convert xylose into xylitol. In order to consolidate this bioprocessing, a �]-1,4-xylanase gene (atn) and a �]-xylosidase gene (atl) were cloned from Aspergillus terreus, and were constructed onto episomal plasmid pAUR123. Additionally, combination of the individual atn and atl expression cassette was also cloned onto pAUR123. After transforming, the positive C. tropicalis transformants co-expressing xylanase and xylosidase produced larger hydrolysis zones than those expressing xylanase alone, when incubated on xylan-congo red plates. The engineered C. tropicalis/pAUR-atn-atl-3 (C. tropicalis PNL3) secrete heterologous xylanase and xylosidase simultaneously, with the activities of 48.17 and 11.56 U/mL, respectively. The xylitol yields by C. tropicalis PNL3 utilizing xylan and corncob were 77.1% and 66.9%, respectively. The integrated pathway of xylitol production was feasible and efficient in utilization of xylan-rich renewable biomass via combining saccharification and transformation of xylan in engineered C. tropicalis.
( 1999 )
Biochemical characterization of fungal phytases (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate phosphohydrolases): catalytic properties.
PMID : 9925555 : PMC : PMC91034
Supplementation with phytase is an effective way to increase the availability of phosphorus in seed-based animal feed. The biochemical characteristics of an ideal phytase for this application are still largely unknown. To extend the biochemical characterization of wild-type phytases, the catalytic properties of a series of fungal phytases, as well as Escherichia coli phytase, were determined. The specific activities of the fungal phytases at 37 degreesC ranged from 23 to 196 U. (mg of protein)-1, and the pH optima ranged from 2.5 to 7.0. When excess phytase was used, all of the phytases were able to release five phosphate groups of phytic acid (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate), which left myo-inositol 2-monophosphate as the end product. A combination consisting of a phytase and Aspergillus niger pH 2.5 acid phosphatase was able to liberate all six phosphate groups. When substrate specificity was examined, the A. niger, Aspergillus terreus, and E. coli phytases were rather specific for phytic acid. On the other hand, the Aspergillus fumigatus, Emericella nidulans, and Myceliophthora thermophila phytases exhibited considerable activity with a broad range of phosphate compounds, including phenyl phosphate, p-nitrophenyl phosphate, sugar phosphates, alpha- and beta-glycerophosphates, phosphoenolpyruvate, 3-phosphoglycerate, ADP, and ATP. Both phosphate liberation kinetics and a time course experiment in which high-performance liquid chromatography separation of the degradation intermediates was used showed that all of the myo-inositol phosphates from the hexakisphosphate to the bisphosphate were efficiently cleaved by A. fumigatus phytase. In contrast, phosphate liberation by A. niger or A. terreus phytase decreased with incubation time, and the myo-inositol tris- and bisphosphates accumulated, suggesting that these compounds are worse substrates than phytic acid is. To test whether broad substrate specificity may be advantageous for feed application, phosphate liberation kinetics were studied in vitro by using feed suspensions supplemented with 250 or 500 U of either A. fumigatus phytase or A. niger phytase (Natuphos) per kg of feed. Initially, phosphate liberation was linear and identical for the two phytases, but considerably more phosphate was liberated by the A. fumigatus phytase than by the A. niger phytase at later stages of incubation.
( 1999 )
Biophysical characterization of fungal phytases (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate phosphohydrolases): molecular size, glycosylation pattern, and engineering of proteolytic resistance.
PMID : 9925554 : PMC : PMC91033
Phytases (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate phosphohydrolases) are found naturally in plants and microorganisms, particularly fungi. Interest in these enzymes has been stimulated by the fact that phytase supplements increase the availability of phosphorus in pig and poultry feed and thereby reduce environmental pollution due to excess phosphate excretion in areas where there is intensive livestock production. The wild-type phytases from six different fungi, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Emericella nidulans, Myceliophthora thermophila, and Talaromyces thermophilus, were overexpressed in either filamentous fungi or yeasts and purified, and their biophysical properties were compared with those of a phytase from Escherichia coli. All of the phytases examined are monomeric proteins. While E. coli phytase is a nonglycosylated enzyme, the glycosylation patterns of the fungal phytases proved to be highly variable, differing for individual phytases, for a given phytase produced in different expression systems, and for individual batches of a given phytase produced in a particular expression system. Whereas the extents of glycosylation were moderate when the fungal phytases were expressed in filamentous fungi, they were excessive when the phytases were expressed in yeasts. However, the different extents of glycosylation had no effect on the specific activity, the thermostability, or the refolding properties of individual phytases. When expressed in A. niger, several fungal phytases were susceptible to limited proteolysis by proteases present in the culture supernatant. N-terminal sequencing of the fragments revealed that cleavage invariably occurred at exposed loops on the surface of the molecule. Site-directed mutagenesis of A. fumigatus and E. nidulans phytases at the cleavage sites yielded mutants that were considerably more resistant to proteolytic attack. Therefore, engineering of exposed surface loops may be a strategy for improving phytase stability during feed processing and in the digestive tract.
( 1998 )
The identification and phylogenetic relationship of pathogenic species of Aspergillus based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene.
PMID : 9776828 :
To study the identification and phylogeny of pathogenic isolates of Aspergillus, we designed primers from known cytochrome b amino acid sequences. Using these primers, 426 bp fragments of a mitochondrial (mt) cytochrome b gene were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), directly sequenced, and compared among Aspergillus fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, A. terreus and Emericella nidulans. Except for E. nidulans, all strains produced the 426 bp fragment by PCR. The E. nidulans strains demonstrated both an intron-presence fragment (approximately 1500 bp) and intron-absence fragment (426 bp). Species-specific nucleotides were found in each of the five species. Based on sequence analysis, the strains were further divided into several groups within each species. When a 142-amino-acid sequence was estimated from the 426 bp nucleotide sequence using the yeast mt genetic code, the amino acid sequences showed no difference among strains of the individual species. DNA-based phylogenetic and amino acid-based trees were constructed. In conclusion, the DNA sequences of the cytochrome b gene may be of use in identification of pathogenic Aspergillus species and the amino acid-based tree suitable for discussing their phylogenetic relationships.
( 1997 )
Polyketide synthase gene pksM from Aspergillus terreus expressed during growth phase.
PMID : 9438344 : DOI : 10.1007/bf02826548
The polyketide synthase gene pksM was detected in the genomic DNA library of Aspergillus terreus by hybridization with the 6-methylsalicylic acid synthase (6-MSAS) gene of Penicillium patulum as a probe. 9524 bp of the cloned DNA were sequenced and a 5.5 kb open reading frame was revealed. A single intron (62 bp) was identified in the conserved position. Two transcription start points were determined within the 5'-flanking region at 50 and 72 (major) bp upstream from the putative translation initiation codon ATG. The conserved active site motifs for ketosynthase, acyltransferase, dehydratase, ketoreductase and acyl carrier protein were found within the predicted polypeptide consisting of 1803 amino acids. Unlike the P. patulum 6-MSAS gene, the transcription of pksM from A. terreus was observed in the middle of the vegetative growth phase.