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Transcriptomic and Functional Studies of the RGS Protein Rax1 in Aspergillus fumigatus
Open AccessArticle

Comparative Characterization of G Protein α Subunits in Aspergillus fumigatus

1
Department of Microbiology, Graduate School, Daejeon University, Daejeon 34520, Korea
2
Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Daejeon University, Daejeon 34520, Korea
3
School of Food Science and Biotechnology, Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(4), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9040272
Received: 12 February 2020 / Revised: 3 April 2020 / Accepted: 3 April 2020 / Published: 9 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transduction in Pathogenic Fungi)
Trimeric G proteins play a central role in the G protein signaling in filamentous fungi and Gα subunits are the major component of trimeric G proteins. In this study, we characterize three Gα subunits in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. While the deletion of gpaB and ganA led to reduced colony growth, the growth of the ΔgpaA strain was increased in minimal media. The germination rate, conidiation, and mRNA expression of key asexual development regulators were significantly decreased by the loss of gpaB. In contrast, the deletion of gpaA resulted in increased conidiation and mRNA expression levels of key asexual regulators. The deletion of gpaB caused a reduction in conidial tolerance against H2O2, but not in paraquat (PQ). Moreover, the ΔgpaB mutant showed enhanced susceptibility against membrane targeting azole antifungal drugs and reduced production of gliotoxin (GT). The protein kinase A (PKA) activity of the ΔganA strain was severely decreased and protein kinase C (PKC) activity was detected all strains at similar levels, indicating that all G protein α subunits of A. fumigatus may be a component of the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway and appear to possess the PKC signaling pathway as an alternative backup pathway to compensate for PKA depletion. Collectively, the three Gα subunits regulate growth, germination, asexual development, resistance to oxidative stress, and GT production differently via the PKA or PKC signaling pathway. The function of GanA of A. fumigatus was elucidated for the first time. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aspergillus fumigatus; G protein α subunits; asexual development; stress response; antifungal drug; GT; PKA; PKC Aspergillus fumigatus; G protein α subunits; asexual development; stress response; antifungal drug; GT; PKA; PKC
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Choi, Y.-H.; Lee, N.-Y.; Kim, S.-S.; Park, H.-S.; Shin, K.-S. Comparative Characterization of G Protein α Subunits in Aspergillus fumigatus. Pathogens 2020, 9, 272.

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