Components of a new gene family of ferroxidases involved in virulence are functionally specialized in fungal dimorphism.
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Author/sNavarro Mendoza, María Isabel; Pérez Arques, Carlos; Murcia Flores, Laura; Martínez García, Pablo; Lax, Carlos; [et al.]
Mucormycosis is an emerging angio-invasive infection caused by Mucorales that presents unacceptable mortality rates. Iron uptake has been related to mucormycosis, since serum iron availability predisposes the host to suffer this infection. In addition, iron uptake has been described as a limiting factor that determines virulence in other fungal infections, becoming a promising field to study virulence in Mucorales. Here, we identified a gene family of three ferroxidases in Mucor circinelloides, fet3a, fet3b and fet3c, which are overexpressed during infection in a mouse model for mucormycosis, and their expression in vitro is regulated by the availability of iron in the culture media and the dimorphic state. Thus, only fet3a is specifically expressed during yeast growth under anaerobic conditions, whereas fet3b and fet3c are specifically expressed in mycelium during aerobic growth. A deep genetic analysis revealed partially redundant roles of the three genes, showing a predominant role ...