Publication: Differential proteomic analysis of Aspergillus fumigatus morphotypes reveals putative drug targets.
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Aspergillus fumigatus is the main etiological agent of invasive aspergillosis, an important opportunistic infection for neutropenic patients. The main risk groups are patients with acute leukemia and bone marrow transplantation recipients. The lack of an early diagnostic test together with the limited spectrum of antifungal drugs remains a setback to the successful treatment of this disease. During invasive infection the inhaled fungal conidia enter the morphogenic cycle leading to angioinvasive hyphae. This work aimed to study differentially expressed proteins of A. fumigatus during morphogenesis. To achieve this goal, a 2D-DIGE approach was applied to study surface proteins extractable by reducing agents of two A. fumigatus morphotypes: germlings and hyphae. Sixty-three differentially expressed proteins were identified by MALDI-ToF/MS. We observed that proteins associated with biosynthetic pathways and proteins with multiple functions (miscellaneous) were over-expressed in the early stages of germination, while in hyphae, the most abundant proteins detected were related to metabolic processes or have unknown functions. Among the most interesting proteins regulated during morphogenesis, two putative drug targets were identified, the translational factor, eEF3 and the CipC-like protein. Neither of these proteins are present in mammalian cells.