Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common airborne fungal pathogen for humans. In this mold, iron starvation induces production of the siderophore triacetylfusarinine C (TAFC). Here we demonstrate a link between TAFC and ergosterol biosynthetic pathways, which are both critical for virulence and treatment of fungal infections. Consistent with mevalonate being a limiting prerequisite for TAFC biosynthesis, we observed increased expression of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase (Hmg1) under iron starvation, reduced TAFC biosynthesis following lovastatin-mediated Hmg1 inhibition, and increased TAFC biosynthesis following Hmg1 overexpression. We identified enzymes, the acyl-CoA ligase SidI and the enoyl-CoA hydratase SidH, linking biosynthesis of mevalonate and TAFC, deficiency of which under iron starvation impaired TAFC biosynthesis, growth, oxidative stress resistance, and murine virulence. Moreover, inactivation of these enzymes alleviated TAFC-derived biosynthetic demand for mevalonate, as evidenced by increased resistance to lovastatin. Concordant with bilateral demand for mevalonate, iron starvation decreased the ergosterol content and composition, a phenotype that is mitigated in TAFC-lacking mutants.
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Feb 2012|