A PR-1-like protein of Fusarium oxysporum functions in virulence on mammalian hosts.
ABSTRACT The pathogenesis-related PR-1-like protein family comprises secreted proteins from the animal, plant, and fungal kingdoms whose biological function remains poorly understood. Here we have characterized a PR-1-like protein, Fpr1, from Fusarium oxysporum, an ubiquitous fungal pathogen that causes vascular wilt disease on a wide range of plant species and can produce life-threatening infections in immunocompromised humans. Fpr1 is secreted and proteolytically processed by the fungus. The fpr1 gene is required for virulence in a disseminated immunodepressed mouse model, and its function depends on the integrity of the proposed active site of PR-1-like proteins. Fpr1 belongs to a gene family that has expanded in plant pathogenic Sordariomycetes. These results suggest that secreted PR-1-like proteins play important roles in fungal pathogenicity.
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ABSTRACT: The soil-borne plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum causes life-threatening invasive fusariosis in immunocompromised individuals. The mechanism of infection in mammalian hosts is largely unknown. In the present study we show that the symptoms of disseminated fusariosis caused by F. oxysporum in immunosuppressed mice are remarkably similar to those reported in humans. Distinct fungal structures were observed inside the host, depending on the infected organ. Invasive hyphae developed in the heart and kidney, causing massive colonization of the organs. By contrast, chlamydospore-like survival structures were found in lung, spleen and liver. Systemically infected mice also developed skin and eye infections, as well as thrombosis and necrosis in the tail. We further show that F. oxysporum can disseminate and persist in the organs of immunocompetent animals, and that these latent infections can lead to lethal systemic fusariosis if the host is later subjected to immunosuppressive treatment.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e89920. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fusarium oxysporum is an important plant pathogen and an opportunistic pathogen of humans. Here we investigated phagocytosis of F. oxysporum by J774.1 murine cell line macrophages using live cell video microscopy. Macrophages avidly migrated towards F. oxysporum germlings and were rapidly engulfed after cell-cell contact was established. F. oxysporum germlings continued hyphal growth after engulfment by macrophages, leading to associated macrophage lysis and escape. Macrophage killing depended on the multiplicity of infection. After engulfment, F. oxysporum inhibited macrophages from completing mitosis, resulting in large daughter cells fused together by means of a F. oxysporum hypha. These results shed new light on the initial stages of Fusarium infection and the innate immune response of the mammalian host.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e101999. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fungi have the capacity to cause devastating diseases of both plants and animals, causing significant harvest losses that threaten food security and human mycoses with high mortality rates. As a consequence, there is a critical need to promote development of new antifungal drugs, which requires a comprehensive molecular knowledge of fungal pathogenesis. In this review, we critically evaluate current knowledge of seven fungal organisms used as major research models for fungal pathogenesis. These includes pathogens of both animals and plants; Ashbya gossypii, Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans, Fusarium oxysporum, Magnaporthe oryzae, Ustilago maydis and Zymoseptoria tritici. We present key insights into the virulence mechanisms deployed by each species and a comparative overview of key insights obtained from genomic analysis. We then consider current trends and future challenges associated with the study of fungal pathogenicity.Fungal Genetics and Biology 07/2014; · 3.26 Impact Factor