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Toxins 2015, 7(11), 4421-4436;

Polyketides, Toxins and Pigments in Penicillium marneffei

Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Research Centre of Infection and Immunology, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Carol Yu Centre for Infection, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jiujiang Yu
Received: 18 September 2015 / Revised: 18 September 2015 / Accepted: 22 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
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Penicillium marneffei (synonym: Talaromyces marneffei) is the most important pathogenic thermally dimorphic fungus in China and Southeastern Asia. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, particularly in China and other Southeast Asian countries, has led to the emergence of P. marneffei infection as an important AIDS-defining condition. Recently, we published the genome sequence of P. marneffei. In the P. marneffei genome, 23 polyketide synthase genes and two polyketide synthase-non-ribosomal peptide synthase hybrid genes were identified. This number is much higher than those of Coccidioides immitis and Histoplasma capsulatum, important pathogenic thermally dimorphic fungi in the Western world. Phylogenetically, these polyketide synthase genes were distributed evenly with their counterparts found in Aspergillus species and other fungi, suggesting that polyketide synthases in P. marneffei did not diverge from lineage-specific gene duplication through a recent expansion. Gene knockdown experiments and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detector/electrospray ionization-quadruple time of flight-mass spectrometry analysis confirmed that at least four of the polyketide synthase genes were involved in the biosynthesis of various pigments in P. marneffei, including melanin, mitorubrinic acid, mitorubrinol, monascorubrin, rubropunctatin, citrinin and ankaflavin, some of which were mycotoxins and virulence factors of the fungus. View Full-Text
Keywords: Penicillium marneffei; polyketide synthase; pigment Penicillium marneffei; polyketide synthase; pigment

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Tam, E.W.T.; Tsang, C.-C.; Lau, S.K.P.; Woo, P.C.Y. Polyketides, Toxins and Pigments in Penicillium marneffei. Toxins 2015, 7, 4421-4436.

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