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Fungal Genet Biol. 2004 Sep;41(9):888-96.

THTA, a thermotolerance gene of Aspergillus fumigatus.

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Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Aspergillus fumigatus grows optimally from 37 to 42 degrees C but can grow at temperatures up to 55 degrees C. To study the genetic basis of thermotolerance and its role in virulence of A. fumigatus, temperature sensitive mutants were isolated. One of the mutants that grew at 42 degrees C but not at 48 degrees C was complemented and the gene, THTA, was identified. Deletion of THTA showed the same temperature sensitivity as the original mutant. THTA encodes a putative protein of 141 kDa with unknown function and the HA-tagged ThtAp accumulated to similar levels in cultures grown at either 37 or 48 degrees C. Southern blot analysis and database searches revealed the presence of THTA-related sequences in several other ascomycetous fungi. No difference in virulence was observed between the deltathtA and wild-type strains. Thus, THTA is essential for growth of A. fumigatus at high temperatures but does not contribute to the pathogenicity of the species.

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