Modulation of antioxidant defense in Aspergillus parasiticus is involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis: A role for the ApyapA gene

Massimo Reverberi, Slaven Zjalic, Alessandra Ricelli, Federico Punelli, Emanuela Camera, Claudia Fabbri, Mauro Picardo, Corrado Fanelli, Anna A. Fabbri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Oxidative stress is recognized as a trigger of different metabolic events in all organisms. Various factors correlated with oxidation, such as the β-oxidation of fatty acids and their enzymatic or nonenzymatic byproducts (e.g., precocious sexual inducer factors and lipoperoxides) have been shown to be involved in aflatoxin formation. In the present study, we found that increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were correlated with increased levels of aflatoxin biosynthesis in Aspergillus parasiticus. To better understand the role of ROS formation in toxin production, we generated a mutant (ΔApyapA) having the ApyapA gene deleted, given that ApyapA orthologs have been shown to be part of the antioxidant response in other fungi. Compared to the wild type, the mutant showed an increased susceptibility to extracellular oxidants, as well as precocious ROS formation and aflatoxin biosynthesis. Genetic complementation of the ΔApyapA mutant restored the timing and quantity of toxin biosynthesis to the levels found in the wild type. The presence of putative AP1 (ApYapA orthologue) binding sites in the promoter region of the regulatory gene aflR further supports the finding that ApYapA plays a role in the regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis. Overall, our results show that the lack of ApyapA leads to an increase in oxidative stress, premature conidiogenesis, and aflatoxin biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-1000
Number of pages13
JournalEukaryotic Cell
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Microbiology

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