Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20097738
Eukaryotic Cell 2010 Mar;9(3):438-48
Genes that are essential for viability represent potential targets for the development of anti-infective agents. However, relatively few have been determined in the filamentous fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. A novel solution employing parasexual genetics coupled with transposon mutagenesis using the Fusarium oxysporum transposon impala had previously enabled the identification of 20 essential genes from A. fumigatus; however, further use of this system required a better understanding of the mode of action of the transposon itself. Examination of a range of conditions indicated that impala is activated by prolonged exposure to low temperatures. This newly identified property was then harnessed to identify 96 loci that are critical for viability in A. fumigatus, including genes required for RNA metabolism, organelle organization, protein transport, ribosome biogenesis, and transcription, as well as a number of noncoding RNAs. A number of these genes represent potential targets for much-needed novel antifungal drugs.