hapE and hmg1 Mutations Are Drivers of cyp51A-Independent Pan-Triazole Resistance in an Aspergillus fumigatus Clinical Isolate

Ana C.O. Souza, Wenbo Ge, Nathan P. Wiederhold, Jeffrey M. Rybak, Jarrod R. Fortwendel, P. David Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitous environmental mold that can cause severe disease in immunocompromised patients and chronic disease in individuals with underlying lung conditions. Triazoles are the most widely used class of antifungal drugs to treat A. fumigatus infections, but their use in the clinic is threatened by the emergence of triazole-resistant isolates worldwide, reinforcing the need for a better understanding of resistance mechanisms. The predominant mechanisms of A. fumigatus triazole resistance involve mutations affecting the promoter region or coding sequence of the target enzyme of the triazoles, Cyp51A. However, triazole-resistant isolates without cyp51A-associated mutations are frequently identified. In this study, we investigate a pan-triazole-resistant clinical isolate, DI15-105, that simultaneously carries the mutations hapEP88L and hmg1F262del, with no mutations in cyp51A. Using a Cas9-mediated gene-editing system, hapEP88L and hmg1F262del mutations were reverted in DI15-105. Here, we show that the combination of these mutations accounts for pan-triazole resistance in DI15-105. To our knowledge, DI15-105 is the first clinical isolate reported to simultaneously carry mutations in hapE and hmg1 and only the second with the hapEP88L mutation. IMPORTANCE Triazole resistance is an important cause of treatment failure and high mortality rates for A. fumigatus human infections. Although Cyp51A-associated mutations are frequently identified as the cause of A. fumigatus triazole resistance, they do not explain the resistance phenotypes for several isolates. In this study, we demonstrate that hapE and hmg1 mutations additively contribute to pan-triazole resistance in an A. fumigatus clinical isolate lacking cyp51-associated mutations. Our results exemplify the importance of and the need for a better understanding of cyp51A-independent triazole resistance mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2023


  • CCAAT box binding complex
  • hapE
  • hmg1
  • KEYWORDS Aspergillus fumigatus
  • triazole drug resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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