Distinct transcriptional responses to fludioxonil in Aspergillus fumigatus and its ΔtcsC and Δskn7 mutants reveal a crucial role for Skn7 in the cell wall reorganizations triggered by this antifungal.
Aspergillus fumigatus is a major fungal pathogen that causes severe problems due to its increasing resistance to many therapeutic agents. Fludioxonil is a compound that triggers a lethal activation of the fungal-specific High Osmolarity Glycerol pathway. Its pronounced antifungal activity against A. fumigatus and other pathogenic molds renders this agent an attractive lead substance for the development of new therapeutics. The group III hydride histidine kinase TcsC and its downstream target Skn7 are key elements of the multistep phosphorelay that represents the initial section of the High Osmolarity Glycerol pathway. Loss of tcsC results in resistance to fludioxonil, whereas a Δskn7 mutant is partially, but not completely resistant.