Protein phosphatase CaPpz1 is involved in cation homeostasis, cell wall integrity and virulence of Candida albicans.
ABSTRACT The opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans has a single protein phosphatase Z (PPZ) candidate gene termed CaPPZ1, which shows significant allele variability. We demonstrate here that bacterially expressed CaPpz1 protein exhibits phosphatase activity which can be inhibited by recombinant Hal3, a known inhibitor of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ppz1. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments based on natural polymorphisms allowed the identification of three amino acid residues that affect enzyme activity or stability. The expression of CaPPZ1 in ppz1 S. cerevisiae and pzh1 Schizosaccharomyces pombe cells partially rescued the salt and caffeine phenotypes of the deletion mutants. CaPpz1 also complemented the slt2 S. cerevisiae mutant, which is crippled in the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase that mediates the cell wall integrity signalling pathway. Collectively, our results suggest that the orthologous PPZ enzymes have similar but not identical functions in different fungi. The deletion of the CaPPZ1 gene in C. albicans resulted in a mutant that was sensitive to salts such as LiCl and KCl, to caffeine, and to agents that affect cell wall biogenesis such as Calcofluor White and Congo red, but was tolerant to spermine and hygromycin B. Reintegration of the CaPPZ1 gene into the deletion mutant alleviated all of the mutant phenotypes tested. Thus CaPpz1 is involved in cation homeostasis, cell wall integrity and the regulation of the membrane potential of C. albicans. In addition, the germ tube growth rate, and virulence in the BALB/c mouse model, were reduced in the null mutant, suggesting a novel function for CaPpz1 in the yeast to hypha transition that may have medical relevance.
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ABSTRACT: Candida albicans, a major human fungal pathogen, is the primary cause of invasive candidiasis in a wide array of immunocompromised patients. C. albicans virulence requires the ability to undergo a reversible morphological transition from yeast to filaments in response to a variety of host environmental cues. These cues are sensed by the pathogen and activate multiple signal transduction pathways to induce filamentation. Reversible phosphorylation events are critical for regulation of many of these pathways. While a variety of protein kinases are known to function as components of C. albicans filamentous growth signal transduction pathways, considerably little is known about the role of phosphatases. Here we demonstrate that PPG1, encoding a putative type 2A-related protein phosphatase, is important for C. albicans filament extension, invasion and virulence in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis. PPG1 is also important for down-regulation of NRG1, a key transcriptional repressor of C. albicans filamentous growth, and is shown to affect the expression of several filament-specific target genes. An epistasis analysis suggests that PPG1 controls C. albicans filamentation via the cAMP-PKA signaling pathway. We demonstrate that Ppg1 possesses phosphatase activity and that a ppg1 catalytic mutant shows nearly equivalent filamentation, invasion and virulence defects when compared to those of a ppg1Δ/Δ strain. Overall, our results suggest that phosphatases, such as Ppg1, play critical roles in controlling and fine-tuning C. albicans filament extension and virulence as well as signal transduction pathways, transcriptional regulators and target genes associated with these processes.Eukaryotic Cell 10/2014; DOI:10.1128/EC.00199-14 · 3.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Potassium ion homeostasis plays an important role in regulating membrane potential and therefore resistance to cations, antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents in Schizosaccharomyces pombe and other yeasts. However, the precise relationship between drug resistance in S. pombe and external potassium concentrations (particularly in its natural habitats) remains unclear. S. pombe can tolerate a wide range of external potassium concentrations which in turn affect plasma membrane polarization. We thus hypothesized that high external potassium concentrations suppress the sensitivity of this yeast to various drugs. We have investigated the effect of external KCl concentrations on the sensitivity of S. pombe cells to a wide range of antibiotics, antimicrobial agents and chemotherapeutic drugs. We employed survival assays, immunoblotting and microscopy for these studies. We demonstrate that KCl, and to a lesser extent NaCl and RbCl can suppress the sensitivity of S. pombe to a wide range of antibiotics. Ammonium chloride and potassium hydrogen sulphate also suppressed drug sensitivity. This effect appears to depend in part on changes to membrane polarization and membrane transport proteins. Interestingly, we have found little relationship between the suppressive effect of KCl on sensitivity and the structure, polarity or solubility of the various compounds investigated. High concentrations of external potassium and other cations suppress sensitivity to a wide range of drugs in S. pombe. Potassium-rich environments may thus provide S. pombe a competitive advantage in nature. Modulating potassium ion homeostasis may sensitize pathogenic fungi to antifungal agents.PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0119297. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119297 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Phosphatases are known to play important roles in the regulation of various cellular processes in eukaryotes. However, systematic characterization of the phosphatome has not been reported in phytopathogenic fungi. The wheat scab fungus Fusarium graminearum contains 82 putative phosphatases. The biological functions of each phosphatase were investigated in this study. Although 11 phosphatase genes appeared to be essential, deletion mutants of the other 71 phosphatase genes were obtained and characterized for changes in 15 phenotypes, including vegetative growth, nutrient response and virulence. Overall, the deletion of 63 phosphatase genes resulted in changes in at least one of the phenotypes assayed. Interestingly, the deletion of four genes (Fg06297, Fg03333, Fg03826 and Fg07932) did not dramatically affect hyphal growth, but led to strongly reduced virulence. Western blot analyses showed that three phosphatases (Fg10516, Fg03333 and Fg12867) functioned as negative regulators of the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways. In addition, we found, for the first time, that FgCdc14 is dispensable for growth, but plays an important role in ribosome biogenesis. Overall, in this first functional characterization of the fungal phosphatome, phosphatases important for various aspects of hyphal growth, development, plant infection and secondary metabolism were identified in the phytopathogenic fungus F. graminearum. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.New Phytologist 03/2015; 207(1). DOI:10.1111/nph.13374 · 6.55 Impact Factor