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Efficient production and characterization of the novel and highly active antifungal protein AfpB from Penicillium digitatum

AuthorsGarrigues, Sandra; Gandía Gómez, Mónica ; Popa, Crina; Borics, A.; Marx, Florentine; Coca, María ; Marcos López, José Francisco ; Manzanares, Paloma
KeywordsAntifungal agents
Issue Date7-Nov-2017
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationScientific Reports 7: 14663 (2017)
AbstractFilamentous fungi encode distinct antifungal proteins (AFPs) that offer great potential to develop new antifungals. Fungi are considered immune to their own AFPs as occurs in Penicillium chrysogenum, the producer of the well-known PAF. The Penicillium digitatum genome encodes only one afp gene (afpB), and the corresponding protein (AfpB) belongs to the class B phylogenetic cluster. Previous attempts to detect AfpB were not successful. In this work, immunodetection confirmed the absence of AfpB accumulation in wild type and previous recombinant constitutive P. digitatum strains. Biotechnological production and secretion of AfpB were achieved in P. digitatum with the use of a P. chrysogenum-based expression cassette and in the yeast Pichia pastoris with the α-factor signal peptide. Both strategies allowed proper protein folding, efficient production and single-step purification of AfpB from culture supernatants. AfpB showed antifungal activity higher than the P. chrysogenum PAF against the majority of the fungi tested, especially against Penicillium species and including P. digitatum, which was highly sensitive to the self-AfpB. Spectroscopic data suggest that native folding is not required for activity. AfpB also showed notable ability to withstand protease and thermal degradation and no haemolytic activity, making AfpB a promising candidate for the control of pathogenic fungi.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-15277-w
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