Aspergillus fumigatus Cyp51A and Cyp51B Proteins Are Compensatory in Function and Localize Differentially in Response to Antifungals and Cell Wall Inhibitors.
Triazole antifungals are the primary therapeutic option against invasive aspergillosis. However, resistance to azoles has increased dramatically over the last decade. Azole resistance is known to primarily occur due to point mutations in the azole target protein Cyp51A, one of two paralogous 14-α sterol demethylases found in Aspergillus fumigatus Despite the importance of Cyp51A, little is known about the function of its paralog, Cyp51B, and the behavior of these proteins within the cell or their functional interrelationship. In this study, we addressed two important aspects of the Cyp51 proteins: (i) we characterized their localization patterns under normal growth versus stress conditions, and (ii) we determined how the proteins compensate for each other's absence and respond to azole treatment. Both the Cyp51A and Cyp51B proteins were found to localize in distinct endoplasmic reticulum (ER) domains, including the perinuclear ER and the peripheral ER. Occasionally, the Cyp51 proteins concentrated in the peripheral ER network of tubules along the hyphal septa and at the hyphal tips. Exposure to voriconazole, caspofungin, and Congo red led to significant increases in fluorescence intensity in these alternative localization sites, indicative of Cyp51 protein translocation in response to cell wall stress. Furthermore, deletion of either Cyp51 paralog increased susceptibility to voriconazole, though a greater effect was observed following deletion of cyp51A, indicating a compensatory response to stress conditions.
Roundtree, MT; Juvvadi, PR; Shwab, EK; Cole, DC; Steinbach, WJ
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