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The role of lactose and acetate metabolism in Aspergillus fumigatus virulence

Grant number: 17/14159-2
Support type:Research Grants - Young Investigators Grants
Duration: November 01, 2017 - October 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Laure Nicolas Annick Ries
Grantee:Laure Nicolas Annick Ries
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Roberto Do Nascimento Silva
Associated scholarship(s):18/01475-6 - The role of lactose and acetate metabolism in Aspergillus fumigatus virulence, BP.JP

Abstract

Aspergillus fumigatus is a prominent opportunistic human fungal pathogen, that can cause a range of diseases, whose severity depends on the underlying disturbance in the host immune system. A. fumigatus possesses a range of virulence factors that determine its pathogenicity and allow successful colonisation of the host. Nutrient acquisition and subsequent metabolic processes are essential for initial colonisation and promoting fungal survival within the human host. The acquisition of essential minerals such as iron, zinc, and copper are essential for A. fumigatus pathogenicity, whereas little information exists on carbon source utilisation during infection, although they are required in large quantities to sustain biosynthetic processes. Furthermore, growth on a given carbon source has been shown to affect cell wall composition, another important virulence factor, therefore altering the solicited immune response and susceptibility to antifungal drugs. The main carbon sources encountered by A. fumigatus during infection are glucose, lactate and acetate, whose availability depends on the host niche and inflammation status. Whereas glucose metabolism and -related Carbon Catabolite Repression (CCR) have been studied in A. fumigatus, virtually nothing is known about lactate and acetate utilisation, although the genome encodes all components required for the uptake and subsequent metabolism of these carbon sources. This project therefore proposes to thoroughly investigate a role of lactate and acetate utilisation in A. fumigatus virulence. This work will start by identifying genes, via RNA sequencing, which are involved in lactate and acetate utilisation. Deletion strains will be generated for the identified genes and phenotypic characterisation, phagocytosis and virulence assays will be carried out for the same strains. In addition, metabolic flexibility analysis and metabolite analysis will be carried out to determine changes in metabolic pathways when grown in the presence of lactate and acetate and compared to glucose-grown cells. Furthermore, this project aims at determining differences in the composition of the cell wall in the presence of glucose, lactate and acetate and correlate this with increased susceptibility or resistance to antifungal agents and extracellular stresses. This project is expected to generate novel data which will further contribute to elucidating the A. fumigatus-mediated process of infection, therefore providing a relatively new and uncharacterised angle on A. fumigatus infection biology which could prove useful for laying a basis for a better comprehension of the disease and the possible development of novel and/or more efficient antifungal agents. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ANNICK RIES, LAURE NICOLAS; STEENWYK, JACOB L.; DE CASTRO, PATRICIA ALVES; ALMEIDA DE LIMA, POLLYNE BORBOREMA; ALMEIDA, FAUSTO; DE ASSIS, LEANDRO JOSE; MANFIOLLI, ADRIANA OLIVEIRA; TAKAHASHI-NAKAGUCHI, AZUSA; KUSUYA, YOKO; HAGIWARA, DAISUKE; TAKAHASHI, HIROKI; WANG, XI; OBAR, JOSHUA J.; ROKAS, ANTONIS; GOLDMAN, GUSTAVO H. Nutritional Heterogeneity Among Aspergillus fumigatus Strains Has Consequences for Virulence in a Strain- and Host-Dependent Manner. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, v. 10, APR 24 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.
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