The three Aspergillus fumigatus CFEM-domain GPI-anchored proteins (CfmA-C) affect cell-wall stability but do not play a role in fungal virulence

Yakir Vaknin, Yana Shadkchan, Emma Levdansky, Michael Morozov, Jacob Romano, Nir Osherov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fungal cell-wall proteins containing the conserved fungal CFEM domain have been implicated in host-pathogen interactions and virulence. To determine the role of these proteins in the mold pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, we deleted the entire family of three CFEM-containing genes ( CfmA-C), singly and in all combinations. We found an additive increase in the susceptibility of the single, double and triple δ. Cfm mutants towards the chitin/β-glucan-microfibril destabilizing compounds Congo Red (CR) and Calcofluor White (CFW), indicating that the A. fumigatus CFEM proteins are involved in stabilizing the cell wall. No defects in growth or germination were observed, indicating that CFEM proteins do not have an essential role in the morphogenesis of A. fumigatus. Unlike in Candida albicans, the A. fumigatus CFEM proteins were not implicated in heme uptake or biofilm formation. The δTriple. -Cfm deletion strain did not exhibit altered virulence in either insect or murine models of infection, suggesting that cell-wall proteins containing the conserved fungal CFEM domain are not a significant virulence factor in A. fumigatus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalFungal Genetics and Biology
Volume63
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Biofilm
  • CFEM domain protein
  • Fungal cell wall
  • Heme uptake

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