The AUR1 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mutations in which confer resistance to the antibiotic aureobasidin A, is necessary for inositol phosphorylceramide (IPC) synthase activity. We report the molecular cloning and characterization of the Aspergillus nidulans aurA gene, which is homologous to AURI. A single point mutation in the aurA gene of A. nidulans confers a high level of resistance to aureobasidin A. The A. nidulans aurA gene was used to identify its homologs in other Aspergillus species, including A. fumigatus, A. niger, and A. oryzae. The deduced amino acid sequence of an aurA homolog from the pathogenic fungus A. fumigatus showed 87% identity to that of A. nidulans. The AurA proteins of A. nidulans and A. fumigatus shared common characteristics in primary structure, including sequence, hydropathy profile, and N-glycosylation sites, with their S. cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and Candida albicans counterparts. These results suggest that the aureobasidin resistance gene is conserved evolutionarily in various fungi.
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