Identifying genetic susceptibility to Aspergillus fumigatus infection using collaborative cross mice and RNA-Seq approach

Roa'a H.S. Yosief, Iqbal M. Lone, Aharon Nachshon, Heinz Himmelbauer, Irit Gat-Viks, Fuad A. Iraqi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) is one of the most ubiquitous fungi and its infection potency is suggested to be strongly controlled by the host genetic background. The aim of this study was to search for candidate genes associated with host susceptibility to Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) using an RNAseq approach in CC lines and hepatic gene expression. Methods: We studied 31 male mice from 25 CC lines at 8 weeks old; the mice were infected with Af. Liver tissues were extracted from these mice 5 days post-infection, and next-generation RNA-sequencing (RNAseq) was performed. The GENE-E analysis platform was used to generate a clustered heat map matrix. Results: Significant variation in body weight changes between CC lines was observed. Hepatic gene expression revealed 12 top prioritized candidate genes differentially expressed in resistant versus susceptible mice based on body weight changes. Interestingly, three candidate genes are located within genomic intervals of the previously mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL), including Gm16270 and Stox1 on chromosome 10 and Gm11033 on chromosome 8. Conclusions: Our findings emphasize the CC mouse model's power in fine mapping the genetic components underlying susceptibility towards Af. As a next step, eQTL analysis will be performed for our RNA-Seq data. Suggested candidate genes from our study will be further assessed with a human cohort with aspergillosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-47
Number of pages12
JournalAnimal models and experimental medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • RNA-Seq
  • aspergillus fumigatus infection
  • collaborative cross (CC) mice
  • gene expression profile
  • gene-network
  • host susceptibility
  • quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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