Methylation of lysine 9 of histone 3 is important for normal growth and development in Aspergillus fumigatus

Jonathan M. Palmer, Robyn M. Perrin, Nancy P. Keller

Author address: 

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, United States


Several lines of evidence have shown that chromatin remodeling mediates regulation of secondary metabolism gene clusters in the aspergilli. Preliminary results in A. nidulans hint that LaeA functions through chromatin remodeling, in essence activating euchromatin or inhibiting heterochromatin. In addition, deletion of the heterochromatin associated histone deacetylase, HdaA, results in an increase in secondary metabolites, suggesting that chromatin remodeling may regulate many secondary metabolite gene clusters. Methylation of lysine 9 of histone 3 (H3K9) is a hallmark of heterochromatin formation and subsequent gene silencing. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Clr4 has been shown to be the sole methyltransferase of H3K9. Disruption of the Clr4 homolog in the pathogenic mold A. fumigatus (clrD) resulted in several growth abnormalities; however, the 8710;clrD mutant did not show significant alterations in its secondary metabolite profile under the conditions tested. Developmental defects included a reduction in radial growth, delayed conidiation after developmental competence, and a reduction in conidial production. We confirmed by Western analysis that A. fumigatus ClrD methylates H3K9. In addition, heterologous complementation with the clrD homolog of A. nidulans rescued the phenotype, suggesting conserved H3K9 methylation machinery between Aspergillus species

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

    • ECFG 9th (2008)