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Eukaryot Cell. 2009 Feb;8(2):241-50. doi: 10.1128/EC.00208-08. Epub 2008 Dec 19.

Gene expression profiling in the human pathogenic dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum during growth on proteins.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Av. de Beaumont 29, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

Dermatophytes are highly specialized filamentous fungi which cause the majority of superficial mycoses in humans and animals. The high secreted proteolytic activity of these microorganisms during growth on proteins is assumed to be linked to their particular ability to exclusively infect keratinized host structures such as the skin stratum corneum, hair, and nails. Individual secreted dermatophyte proteases were recently described and linked with the in vitro digestion of keratin. However, the overall adaptation and transcriptional response of dermatophytes during protein degradation are largely unknown. To address this question, we constructed a cDNA microarray for the human pathogenic dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum that was based on transcripts of the fungus grown on proteins. Profiles of gene expression during the growth of T. rubrum on soy and keratin protein displayed the activation of a large set of genes that encode secreted endo- and exoproteases. In addition, other specifically induced factors potentially implicated in protein utilization were identified, including heat shock proteins, transporters, metabolic enzymes, transcription factors, and hypothetical proteins with unknown functions. Of particular interest is the strong upregulation of key enzymes of the glyoxylate cycle in T. rubrum during growth on soy and keratin, namely, isocitrate lyase and malate synthase. This broad-scale transcriptional analysis of dermatophytes during growth on proteins reveals new putative pathogenicity-related host adaptation mechanisms of these human pathogenic fungi.

PMID:
19098130
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2643602
Free PMC Article

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