The filamentous fungus Aspergillus oryzae is an important industrial mold. Recent genomic analysis indicated that A. oryzae has a large number of biosynthetic genes for secondary metabolites (SMs), but many of the SMs they produce have not been identified. For better understanding of SMs production by A. oryzae, we screened a gene-disruption library of transcription factors including chromatin-remodeling factors and found two gene disruptions that show similarly altered SM production profiles. One is a homolog of Aspergillus nidulans cclA, a component of the histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methyltransferase complex of proteins associated with Set1 complex, and the other, sppA, is an ortholog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae SPP1, another component of a complex of proteins associated with Set1 complex. The cclA and sppA disruptions in A. oryzae are deficient in trimethylation of H3K4. Furthermore, one of the SMs that increased in the cclA disruptant was identified as astellolide F (14-deacetyl astellolide B). These data indicate that both cclA and sppA affect production of SMs including astellolides by affecting the methylation status of H3K4 in A. oryzae.
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