Evolutionary relationships among Aspergillus terreus isolates and their relatives.
ABSTRACT Aspergillus terreus is a ubiquitous fungus in our environment. It is an opportunistic human pathogen and economically important as the main producer of lovastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug. Our aim was to examine the genetic variability of A. terreus and closely related species using molecular and analytical techniques. Lovastatin production was examined by HPLC. Lovastatin was produced by seven isolates belonging to the species A. terreus. RAPD analyses were carried out using 25 different random primers. Neighbor-joining analysis of RAPD data (120 characters) resulted in clustering of the A. terreus isolates into distinct groups. Some correlation was observed between lovastatin producing abilities of the isolates and their position on the dendrogram based on RAPD profiles. The internal transcribed spacer region and the 5.8S rRNA gene of A. terreus and related isolates was also sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis of sequence data let us classify the isolates into different clades which mostly correspond to the species Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus flavipes, Aspergillus niveus, Aspergillus carneus and Aspergillus janus/A. janus var. brevis. Aspergillus allahabadii, A. terreus var. aureus and A. niveus var. indicus belonged to the A. niveus clade, while an Aspergillus isolate previously classified as A. niveus was most closely related to A. flavipes isolates. Aspergillus anthodesmis formed a distinct branch on the tree. Although it was previously suggested based on 28S rDNA sequence data that Aspergillus section Terrei should include A. carneus and A. niveus isolates, phylogenetic analysis of ITS sequences indicate that A. flavipes isolates are more closely related to A. terreus than A. carneus isolates. Our data suggest that sections Terrei and Flavipedes should be merged. However, further loci should be analysed to draw more definite conclusions.
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ABSTRACT: Amphotericin B (AMB) is the predominant antifungal drug that acts fungicidal but the mechanism of resistance is not understood in detail.We compared in vivo virulence of AMB resistant (ATR) Aspergillus terreus (A. terreus) with a susceptible A. terreus (ATS) isolate using a murine model for disseminated aspergillosis. Furthermore we analyzed in vitro the molecular basis of intrinsic AMB resistance by comparing ergosterol content, cell associated AMB levels and AMB induced intracellular efflux and prooxidant effects between ATR and ATS. Infection of immunosuppressed mice with ATS or ATR showed that the ATS strain was even more lethal. However, AMB treatment improved the outcome of ATS infected mice while having no positive effect on animals infected with ATR. In vitro data displayed that ergosterol content is not the molecular basis for AMB resistance. ATR absorbed less AMB, discharged more intracellular compounds, and had better protection against oxidative damage than the susceptible strain.Our experiments showed that ergosterol content plays a minor role in intrinsic AMB resistance and is not directly associated with intracellular cell associated AMB content. AMB possibly exerts its antifungal activity rather by oxidative injury than by an increase of membrane permeation.Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 01/2013; · 4.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Aspergillus terreus has been difficult to identify in cases of aspergillosis, and clinical identification has been restricted to the broad identification of aspergillosis lesions in affected organs or the detection of fungal carbohydrates. As a result, there is a clinical need to identify species-specific biomarkers that can be used to detect invasive A. terreus disease. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were developed to a partially purified preparation of cytolytic hyphal exoantigens (HEA) derived from A. terreus culture supernatant (CSN). Twenty-three IgG1 isotype murine MAbs were developed and tested for cross-reactivity against hyphal extracts of 54 fungal species. Sixteen MAbs were shown to be specific for A. terreus. HEA were detected in conidia, hyphae, and in CSN of A. terreus. HEA were expressed in high levels in the hyphae during early stages of A. terreus growth at 37°C, whereas at room temperature the expression of HEA peaked by days 4 to 5. Expression kinetics of HEA in CSN showed a lag, with peak levels at later time points at room temperature and 37°C than in hyphal extracts. Serum spiking experiments demonstrated that human serum components do not inhibit detection of the HEA epitopes by MAb enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Immunoprecipitation and proteomic analysis demonstrated that MAbs 13E11 and 12C4 immunoprecipitated a putative uncharacterized leucine aminopeptidase (Q0CAZ7), while MAb 19B2 recognized a putative dipeptidyl-peptidase V (DPP5). Studies using confocal laser scanning microscopy showed that the uncharacterized leucine aminopeptidase mostly localized to extracellular matrix structures while dipeptidyl-peptidase V was mostly confined to the cytoplasm.Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 07/2011; 18(9):1568-76. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Section Terrei of Aspergillus was studied using a polyphasic approach including sequence analysis of parts of the β-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 β-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.Studies in Mycology 06/2011; 69(1):39-55. · 6.23 Impact Factor