The primary goal of this Program Project is to use a synergistic combination of genomics, molecular genetics and natural products chemistry to identify and purify potentially useful secondary metabolites of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. The recently published sequencing of genomes of three species of Aspergillus has revealed that these species have a surprisingly large number of secondary metabolism pathways that are potential sources of new and useful natural products. The products of most of the A. nidulans secondary metabolism pathways are currently unknown and the three research groups will work together towards the goal of identifying and purifying the product(s) of each of the secondary metabolism gene clusters in A. nidulans. Project #1 is headed by Dr. Berl Oakley at Ohio State University, the overall P.I., who will develop tools for systematic promoter exchanges and for the systematic disruption of genes through targeted gene replacements. A complete library of A. nidulans strains carrying deletions of key nonribosomal peptide synthetase or polyketide synthase genes will be created. Project #2 is headed by Dr. Nancy Keller at the University of Wisconsin, who will focus on chromatin mutants to enhance the production of minimally expressed clusters and to activate "silent" clusters. Project #3 is headed by Dr. Clay Wang at the University of Southern California, who will focus on isolation and characterization of secondary metabolites produced by A. nidulans strains from the Oakley and Keller laboratories. In summary, this multidisciplinary collaboration will discover new secondary metabolites from Aspergillus nidulans and develop methods that can be used to mine the secondary metabolomes of other species of fungi for valuable natural products.

Public Health Relevance

to public health: The three investigators will use a multi-disciplinary synergistic approach directed towards elucidating the products of previously unexplored secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathways of the organism Aspergillus nidulans. We expect the project to generate a large number of exciting new natural products for testing and development as a new generation of chemotherapeutics, antimicrobials and other medically valuable classes of compounds.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-GGG-T (40))
Program Officer
Gerratana, Barbara
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Kansas Lawrence
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Lim, Fang Yun; Ames, Brian; Walsh, Christopher T et al. (2014) Co-ordination between BrlA regulation and secretion of the oxidoreductase FmqD directs selective accumulation of fumiquinazoline C to conidial tissues in Aspergillus fumigatus. Cell Microbiol 16:1267-83
Bok, Jin Woo; Wiemann, Philipp; Garvey, Graeme S et al. (2014) Illumina identification of RsrA, a conserved C2H2 transcription factor coordinating the NapA mediated oxidative stress signaling pathway in Aspergillus. BMC Genomics 15:1011
Liu, Ting; Sanchez, James F; Chiang, Yi-Ming et al. (2014) Rational domain swaps reveal insights about chain length control by ketosynthase domains in fungal nonreducing polyketide synthases. Org Lett 16:1676-9
Yaegashi, Junko; Oakley, Berl R; Wang, Clay C C (2014) Recent advances in genome mining of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters and the development of heterologous expression systems in Aspergillus nidulans. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 41:433-42
Ishikawa, Noriyasu; Tanaka, Hidenori; Koyama, Fumi et al. (2014) Non-heme dioxygenase catalyzes atypical oxidations of 6,7-bicyclic systems to form the 6,6-quinolone core of viridicatin-type fungal alkaloids. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 53:12880-4
Paranjape, Smita R; Chiang, Yi-Ming; Sanchez, James F et al. (2014) Inhibition of Tau aggregation by three Aspergillus nidulans secondary metabolites: 2,?-dihydroxyemodin, asperthecin, and asperbenzaldehyde. Planta Med 80:77-85
Guo, Chun-Jun; Sun, Wei-Wen; Bruno, Kenneth S et al. (2014) Molecular genetic characterization of terreic acid pathway in Aspergillus terreus. Org Lett 16:5250-3
Yin, Wen-Bing; Reinke, Aaron W; Szilagyi, Melinda et al. (2013) bZIP transcription factors affecting secondary metabolism, sexual development and stress responses in Aspergillus nidulans. Microbiology 159:77-88
Karimi-Aghcheh, Razieh; Bok, Jin Woo; Phatale, Pallavi A et al. (2013) Functional analyses of Trichoderma reesei LAE1 reveal conserved and contrasting roles of this regulator. G3 (Bethesda) 3:369-78
Guo, Chun-Jun; Knox, Benjamin P; Sanchez, James F et al. (2013) Application of an efficient gene targeting system linking secondary metabolites to their biosynthetic genes in Aspergillus terreus. Org Lett 15:3562-5

Showing the most recent 10 out of 40 publications