Bioinformatic and expression analysis of the putative gliotoxin biosynthetic gene cluster of Aspergillus fumigatus.

Author: 

Gardiner DM, Howlett BJ.
FEMS Microbiology Letters 248 (2005) 241-248

Abstract: 

Gliotoxin is a secondary metabolite produced by several fungi including the opportunistic animal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. It is a member of the epipolythiodioxopiperazine (ETP) class of toxins characterised by a disulphide bridged cyclic dipeptide. A putative cluster of 12 genes involved in gliotoxin biosynthesis has been identified in A. fumigatus by a comparative genomics approach based on homology to genes from the sirodesmin (another ETP) biosynthetic gene cluster of Leptosphaeria maculans. The physical limits of the cluster in A. fumigatus have been defined by bioinformatics and by identifying the genes that are co-regulated and whose timing of expression correlates with the production of gliotoxin in culture.