The copper chaperone CcsA coupling with superoxide dismutase SodA mediates oxidative stress response in Aspergillus fumigatus
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2021 Jun 23:AEM0101321. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01013-21. Online ahead of print.
Superoxide dismutases (SODs) are important metalloenzymes that protect fungal pathogens against the toxic effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by host defense mechanisms during the infection process. The activation of Cu/Zn-SOD1 is found to be dependent on its chaperone Ccs1 (copper chaperone for SOD1). However, the role of Ccs1 ortholog in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and how these SODs coordinate to mediate oxidative stress response remain elusive. Here, we demonstrated that A. fumigatus CcsA, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ccs1 ortholog, is required for cells in response to oxidative response and the activation of Sod1. Deletion of ccsA resulted in increased ROS accumulation and enhanced sensitivity to oxidative stress due to loss of SodA activity. Molecular characterization of CcsA revealed that the conserved CXC motif is required not only for the physical interaction with SodA but also for the oxidative stress adaption. Notably, addition of Mn2+ or overexpression of cytoplasmic Mn-SodC could rescue the defects of the ccsA or sodA deletion mutant, indicating the important role of Mn2+ and Mn-SodC in ROS detoxification; however, deletion of CcsA-SodA complex could not affect A. fumigatus virulence. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that CcsA functions as a Cu/Zn-Sod1 chaperone that participates in the adaptation to oxidative stress in A. fumigatus and provide a better understanding of the CcsA-SodA complex-mediated oxidative stress response in filamentous fungi. IMPORTANCE Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by phagocytes have been reported to participate in the killing of fungal pathogens. Superoxide dismutases (SODs) are considered to be the first defense line against superoxide anions. Characterizing the regulatory mechanisms of SOD activation is important for understanding how fungi adapt to oxidative stress in hosts. Our findings demonstrated that CcsA functions as a SodA chaperone in A. fumigatus and that the conserved CXC motif within CcsA is required for its interaction with SodA and the CcsA-SodA-mediated oxidative response. These data may provide new insights into how fungal pathogens adapt to oxidative stress via the CcsA-SodA complex.