Fucose-specific lectin of Aspergillus fumigatus: binding properties and effects on immune response stimulation.


Sakai K, Hiemori K, Tateno H, Hirabayashi J, Gonoi T.
Med Mycol. 2019 Jan 1;57(1):71-83.


Aspergillus fumigatus is the major causative fungus of aspergillosis, and many studies have explored the relationship between A. fumigatus and pathogenicity. In the current study, we focused on a fucose-specific lectin, FleA, as a novel molecule which related to the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus. The disruption of the fleA gene did not lead to clear morphological changes compared to parental strain under several stress conditions in culture, but germination become earlier. In comparison with parental strain, the pathogenicity of disruptant was enhanced in a mouse infection model. The pattern of conidial phagocytosis and adhesion to cultured cells did not explain this enhanced pathogenicity. FleA was reported to contain six conserved fucose-binding sites; the analysis of constructed FleA point mutants revealed nonequivalent contribution of the fucose-binding sites to fucose binding. Based on the immune response induced in the cultured cells upon exposure to wild-type and mutant FleA, we propose a model of the FleA molecule in A. fumigatus infection.