Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 12620846
Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2003 Mar;69(3):1581-8
The surface of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia, the first structure recognized by the host immune system, is covered by rodlets. We report that this outer cell wall layer contains two hydrophobins, RodAp and RodBp, which are found as highly insoluble complexes. The RODA gene was previously characterized, and DeltarodA conidia do not display a rodlet layer (N. Thau, M. Monod, B. Crestani, C. Rolland, G. Tronchin, J. P. Latgé, and S. Paris, Infect. Immun. 62:4380-4388, 1994). The RODB gene was cloned and disrupted. RodBp was highly homologous to RodAp and different from DewAp of A. nidulans. DeltarodB conidia had a rodlet layer similar to that of the wild-type conidia. Therefore, unlike RodAp, RodBp is not required for rodlet formation. The surface of DeltarodA conidia is granular; in contrast, an amorphous layer is present at the surface of the conidia of the DeltarodA DeltarodB double mutant. These data show that RodBp plays a role in the structure of the conidial cell wall. Moreover, rodletless mutants are more sensitive to killing by alveolar macrophages, suggesting that RodAp or the rodlet structure is involved in the resistance to host cells.