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FEBS Lett. 2002 Aug 14;525(1-3):59-64.

Disruption of the glucosylceramide biosynthetic pathway in Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus by inhibitors of UDP-Glc:ceramide glucosyltransferase strongly affects spore germination, cell cycle, and hyphal growth.

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Department of Chemistry, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA.

Erratum in

  • FEBS Lett 2002 Aug 28;526(1-3):151.


The opportunistic mycopathogen Aspergillus fumigatus expresses both glucosylceramide and galactosylceramide (GlcCer and GalCer), but their functional significance in Aspergillus species is unknown. We here identified and characterized a GlcCer from Aspergillus nidulans, a non-pathogenic model fungus. Involvement of GlcCer in fungal development was tested on both species using a family of compounds known to inhibit GlcCer synthase in mammals. Two analogs, D-threo-1-phenyl-2-palmitoyl-3-pyrrolidinopropanol (P4) and D-threo-3',4'-ethylenedioxy-P4, strongly inhibited germination and hyphal growth. Neutral lipids from A. fumigatus cultured in the presence of these inhibitors displayed a significantly reduced GlcCer/GalCer ratio. These results suggest that synthesis of GlcCer is essential for normal development of A. fumigatus and A. nidulans.

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