Spatially resolving the secretome within the mycelium of the cell factory Aspergillus niger

J Proteome Res. 2012 May 4;11(5):2807-18. doi: 10.1021/pr201157b. Epub 2012 Apr 9.


Aspergillus niger is an important cell factory for the industrial production of enzymes. These enzymes are released into the culture medium, from which they can be easily isolated. Here, we determined with stable isotope dimethyl labeling the secretome of five concentric zones of 7-day-old xylose-grown colonies of A. niger that had either or not been treated with cycloheximide. As expected, cycloheximide blocked secretion of proteins at the periphery of the colony. Unexpectedly, protein release was increased by cycloheximide in the intermediate and central zones of the mycelium when compared to nontreated colonies. Electron microscopy indicated that this is due to partial degradation of the cell wall. In total, 124 proteins were identified in cycloheximide-treated colonies, of which 19 secreted proteins had not been identified before. Within the pool of 124 proteins, 53 secreted proteins were absent in nontreated colonies, and additionally, 35 proteins were released ≥4-fold in the central and subperipheral zones of cycloheximide-treated colonies when compared to nontreated colonies. The composition of the secretome in each of the five concentric zones differed. This study thus describes spatial release of proteins in A. niger, which is instrumental in understanding how fungi degrade complex substrates in nature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillus niger / drug effects
  • Aspergillus niger / metabolism*
  • Cell Wall / drug effects
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Culture Media / metabolism
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fungal Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Mycelium / drug effects
  • Mycelium / metabolism*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Secretory Pathway / drug effects
  • Time Factors
  • Xylose / metabolism


  • Culture Media
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Cycloheximide
  • Xylose