A PR-1-like protein of Fusarium oxysporum functions in virulence on mammalian hosts.
ABSTRACT The pathogenesis-related PR-1-like protein family comprises secreted proteins from the animal, plant, and fungal kingdoms whose biological function remains poorly understood. Here we have characterized a PR-1-like protein, Fpr1, from Fusarium oxysporum, an ubiquitous fungal pathogen that causes vascular wilt disease on a wide range of plant species and can produce life-threatening infections in immunocompromised humans. Fpr1 is secreted and proteolytically processed by the fungus. The fpr1 gene is required for virulence in a disseminated immunodepressed mouse model, and its function depends on the integrity of the proposed active site of PR-1-like proteins. Fpr1 belongs to a gene family that has expanded in plant pathogenic Sordariomycetes. These results suggest that secreted PR-1-like proteins play important roles in fungal pathogenicity.