Navigation Links
Montana State University researchers find gene that regulates mold's resistance to drugs
Date:11/7/2008

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- Montana State University scientists concerned about lethal mold infections have found a gene that regulates the mold's resistance to drugs.

The gene, called srbA, allows molds to thrive during infections even when inflammation reduces its oxygen supply, said Robert Cramer, senior author of a paper published in the Nov. 7 issue of PLoS Pathogens. When the gene is removed, the mold becomes much more vulnerable to lack of oxygen and can no longer grow to cause disease.

The gene is found in humans and molds, but the researchers studied it in a common mold called Aspergillus fumigatus, said Cramer, assistant professor of fungal pathogenesis in MSU's Department of Veterinary Molecular Biology. A. fumigatus can invade the lungs and cause dangerous diseases, including Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis. Patients with a compromised immune system, especially organ transplant patients, are particularly at risk.

"The incidence of potentially lethal infections caused by normally benign molds has increased tremendously over the last two decades," the researchers wrote.

The scientists discovered the value of srbA after creating a mutant version of the fungus without the gene, Cramer said. Tests showed that the loss of srbA affected 87 genes in the fungus. Without the gene, the mutant could no longer grow when oxygen was limited, which occurs during mold infections. The mutant mold without srbA could no longer cause disease. It was also highly susceptible to antifungal drugs, more vulnerable than the original, complete mold.

Further study showed that srbA plays a critical role in the making of ergosterol, the fungal-form of cholesterol, Cramer said. The gene in humans is associated with the making of cholesterol. Ergosterol and cholesterol are necessary components of cell membranes.

"The reason we're interested is because ergosterol is a target for most of the antifungal drugs that are available," Cramer said. "These drugs target the synthesis of ergosterol. ... If you get rid of ergosterol, you kill the mold."

Sven Willger, a postdoctoral researcher in Cramer's lab and first author of the PLoS Pathogens paper, said the absence of srbA changed the way the mold cells grew. Instead of growing from the tip, they branched off from several other locations. The confusion became apparent under a transmission electron microscope.

The researchers said in their paper that they demonstrated for the first time that it is significant that invasive molds adapt to reduced oxygen levels during infection.


'/>"/>

Contact: Evelyn Boswell
evelynb@montana.edu
406-994-5135
Montana State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. International experts collect alpine fungi in Beartooth Mountains of Montana
2. Sweets make young horses harder to train in Montana State study
3. Montana State researchers release guide to noninvasive carnivore research
4. Bird watchers, space technology come together in Montana State University study
5. Dinosaur diggers bring mobile lab, new techniques to Eastern Montana
6. Montana State University researchers map iron transport protein
7. Montana State University research reaches Supreme Court of India
8. Montana State researchers study spread of lake trout in Glacier National Park
9. Low exposure to asbestos-like mineral from Montana vermiculite may up lung disease risk
10. Antarcticas coldest, darkest season draws Montana State University researchers
11. Mongolian paleontologists with a dream come to Montana State University
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... and secure authentication solutions, today announced that it ... Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop ... Thor program. "Innovation has been a ... IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to innovate ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... SEATTLE , April 5, 2017  The Allen ... the Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic ... large-scale 3D imaging data, the first application of deep ... edited human stem cell lines and a growing suite ... the platform for these and future publicly available resources ...
(Date:3/30/2017)...  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... developing health and wellness apps that provide a unique, ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and ... in the genomics, tech and health industries are sending ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most ... you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and ... unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., ... a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. ... best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands and LAGUNA HILLS, ... that The Institute of Cancer Research, London ... will use MMprofiler™ with SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify ... high-risk trial known as MUK nine . The University ... this trial, which is partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new study published ... frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center ... success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: