Biotinylated surfome profiling identifies potential biomarkers for diagnosis and therapy of Aspergillus fumigatus infection


Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common airborne molds capable of causing mycoses and allergies in humans. During infection, fungal surface proteins mediate the first contact with the human immune system to evade immune responses or to induce hypersensitivity. Several methods have been established for surface proteomics (surfomics). Biotinylation coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) identification of peptides is a particularly efficient method to identify the surface-exposed regions of proteins that potentially mediate interaction with the host. After biotinylation of surface proteins during spore germination, we detected 231 different biotinylated surface proteins (including several well-known proteins such as RodA, CcpA, and DppV; allergens; and heat shock proteins [HSPs]), as well as some previously undescribed surface proteins. The dynamic change of the surface proteome was illustrated by detection of a relatively high number of proteins exclusively at one developmental stage. Using immunofluorescence microscopy, we confirmed the surface localization of several HSPs of the HSP70 family, which may have moonlighting functions. Collectively, by comparing our data with data representative of previously published A. fumigatus surface proteomes, our study generated a comprehensive data set corresponding to the A. fumigatus surfome and uncovered the surface-exposed regions of many proteins on the surface of conidia or hyphae. These surface-exposed regions are candidates for direct interaction with host cells and may represent antigenic epitopes that either induce protective immune responses or mediate immune evasion. Thus, our data sets provided and compiled here represent reasonable immunotherapy and diagnostic targets for future investigations.