The Aspergillus fumigatus transcription factor RglT is important for gliotoxin biosynthesis and self-protection, and virulence

Laure N A Ries, Lakhansing Pardeshi, Zhiqiang Dong, Kaeling Tan, Jacob L Steenwyk, Ana Cristina Colabardini, Jaire A Ferreira Filho, Patricia A de Castro, Lilian P Silva, Nycolas W Preite, Fausto Almeida, Leandro J de Assis, Renato A C dos Santos, Paul Bowyer, Michael Bromley, Rebecca A Owens, Sean Doyle, Marilene Demasi, Diego C R Hemandez, Luis Eduardo S NettoMonica T Pupo, Antonis Rokas, Flavio V Loures, Koon H Wong, Gustavo H Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that secretes an array of immune-modulatory molecules, including secondary metabolites (SMs), which
contribute to enhancing fungal fitness and growth within the mammalian host. Gliotoxin (GT) is a SM that interferes with the function and recruitment of innate immune cells, which are essential for eliminating A. fumigatus during invasive infections. We identified a C6 Zn cluster-type transcription factor (TF), subsequently named RglT, important for A. fumigatus oxidative stress resistance, GT biosynthesis and selfprotection. RglT regulates the expression of several gli genes of the GT biosynthetic gene cluster, including the oxidoreductase-encoding gene gliT , by directly binding to their respective promoter regions. Subsequently, RglT was shown to be important for
virulence in a chemotherapeutic murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). Homologues of RglT and GliT are present in eurotiomycete and sordariomycete fungi, including the non-GT-producing fungus A. nidulans , where a conservation of function was described. Phylogenetically informed model testing led to an evolutionary scenario in which the GliT-based resistance mechanism is ancestral and RglTmediated regulation of GliT occurred subsequently. In conclusion, this work describes the function of a previously uncharacterised TF in oxidative stress resistance, GT biosynthesis and self-protection in both GT-producing and non-producing Aspergillus
Original languageEnglish
JournalPL o S Pathogens
Early online date15 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jul 2020


  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • gliotoxin
  • virulence
  • neutropenic model
  • oxidative stress


Dive into the research topics of 'The Aspergillus fumigatus transcription factor RglT is important for gliotoxin biosynthesis and self-protection, and virulence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this