Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
J Infect Dis. 2008 Feb 1;197(3):479-86. doi: 10.1086/525044.

Gliotoxin production in Aspergillus fumigatus contributes to host-specific differences in virulence.

Author information

  • 1Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Gliotoxin is a epipolythiodioxopiperazine toxin that is made by the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Gliotoxin has a wide range of effects on metazoan cells in culture, including induction of apoptosis through inhibition of Nf-kappaB, and inhibition of superoxide production by phagocytes. These activities have led to the proposal that gliotoxin contributes to pathogenesis during invasive aspergillosis. We tested this hypothesis by creating isogenic strains of gliotoxin-producing and nonproducing strains.

METHODS:

We deleted gliP, the gene that encodes the nonribosomal peptide synthetase GliP. GliP catalyzes the first biosynthetic step in the synthesis of gliotoxin. We then tested for gliotoxin production and virulence in different animal models.

RESULTS:

Deletion of gliP resulted in strains that were wild type for growth, but they did not synthesize gliotoxin. Transformation of gliP deletion mutants with a full copy of gliP restored gliotoxin production. The gliP deletion strain had attenuated virulence in nonneutropenic mice immunosuppressed with corticosteroids, but had normal virulence in neutropenic mice. It also had reduced virulence in a Drosophila melanogaster model.

CONCLUSIONS:

Gliotoxin only contributes to the virulence of A. fumigatus in nonneutropenic mice and in fruit flies with functional phagocytes. These results suggest that the principal targets of gliotoxin are neutrophils or other phagocytes.

PMID:
18199036
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk