Exposure to the Pseudomonas aeruginosa secretome alters the proteome and secondary metabolite production of Aspergillus fumigatus
Microbiology (Reading). 2022 Mar;168(3). doi: 10.1099/mic.0.001164.
The fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is frequently cultured from the sputum of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients along with the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A. fumigatus secretes a range of secondary metabolites, and one of these, gliotoxin, has inhibitory effects on the host immune response. The effect of P. aeruginosa culture filtrate (CuF) on fungal growth and gliotoxin production was investigated. Exposure of A. fumigatus hyphae to P. aeruginosa cells induced increased production of gliotoxin and a decrease in fungal growth. In contrast, exposure of A. fumigatus hyphae to P. aeruginosa CuF led to increased growth and decreased gliotoxin production. Quantitative proteomic analysis was used to characterize the proteomic response of A. fumigatus upon exposure to P. aeruginosa CuF. Changes in the profile of proteins involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis (e.g. gliotoxin, fumagillin, pseurotin A), and changes to the abundance of proteins involved in oxidative stress (e.g. formate dehydrogenase) and detoxification (e.g. thioredoxin reductase) were observed, indicating that the bacterial secretome had a profound effect on the fungal proteome. Alterations in the abundance of proteins involved in detoxification and oxidative stress highlight the ability of A. fumigatus to differentially regulate protein synthesis in response to environmental stresses imposed by competitors such as P. aeruginosa. Such responses may ultimately have serious detrimental effects on the host.