Two CDC42 paralogues modulate Cryptococcus neoformans thermotolerance and morphogenesis under host physiological conditions.
ABSTRACT The precise regulation of morphogenesis is a key mechanism by which cells respond to a variety of stresses, including those encountered by microbial pathogens in the host. The polarity protein Cdc42 regulates cellular morphogenesis throughout eukaryotes, and we explore the role of Cdc42 proteins in the host survival of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Uniquely, C. neoformans has two functional Cdc42 paralogues, Cdc42 and Cdc420. Here we investigate the contribution of each paralogue to resistance to host stress. In contrast to non-pathogenic model organisms, C. neoformans Cdc42 proteins are not required for viability under non-stress conditions but are required for resistance to high temperature. The paralogues play differential roles in actin and septin organization and act downstream of C. neoformans Ras1 to regulate its morphogenesis sub-pathway, but not its effects on mating. Cdc42, and not Cdc420, is upregulated in response to temperature stress and is required for virulence in a murine model of cryptococcosis. The C. neoformans Cdc42 proteins likely perform complementary functions with other Rho-like GTPases to control cell polarity, septin organization and hyphal transitions that allow survival in the environment and in the host.
Article: Pleiotropic effects of deubiquitinating enzyme Ubp5 on growth and pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ubiquitination is a reversible protein modification that influences various cellular processes in eukaryotic cells. Deubiquitinating enzymes remove ubiquitin, maintain ubiquitin homeostasis and regulate protein degradation via the ubiquitination pathway. Cryptococcus neoformans is an important basidiomycete pathogen that causes life-threatening meningoencephalitis primarily in the immunocompromised population. In order to understand the possible influence deubiquitinases have on growth and virulence of the model pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, we generated deletion mutants of seven putative deubiquitinase genes. Compared to other deubiquitinating enzyme mutants, a ubp5Δ mutant exhibited severely attenuated virulence and many distinct phenotypes, including decreased capsule formation, hypomelanization, defective sporulation, and elevated sensitivity to several external stressors (such as high temperature, oxidative and nitrosative stresses, high salts, and antifungal agents). Ubp5 is likely the major deubiquitinating enzyme for stress responses in C. neoformans, which further delineates the evolutionary divergence of Cryptococcus from the model yeast S. cerevisiae, and provides an important paradigm for understanding the potential role of deubiquitination in virulence by other pathogenic fungi. Other putative deubiquitinase mutants (doa4Δ and ubp13Δ) share some phenotypes with the ubp5Δ mutant, illustrating functional overlap among deubiquitinating enzymes in C. neoformans. Therefore, deubiquitinating enzymes (especially Ubp5) are essential for the virulence composite of C. neoformans and provide an additional yeast survival and propagation advantage in the host.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e38326. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Cryptococcus neoformans histone acetyltransferase Gcn5 regulates fungal adaptation to the host.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cryptococcus neoformans is an environmental fungus and an opportunistic human pathogen. Previous studies have demonstrated major alterations in its transcriptional profile as this microorganism enters the hostile environment of the human host. To assess the role of chromatin remodeling in host-induced transcriptional responses, we identified the C. neoformans Gcn5 histone acetyltransferase and demonstrated its function by complementation studies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The C. neoformans gcn5Delta mutant strain has defects in high-temperature growth and capsule attachment to the cell surface, in addition to increased sensitivity to FK506 and oxidative stress. Treatment of wild-type cells with the histone acetyltransferase inhibitor garcinol mimics cellular effects of the gcn5Delta mutation. Gcn5 regulates the expression of many genes that are important in responding to the specific environmental conditions encountered by C. neoformans inside the host. Accordingly, the gcn5Delta mutant is avirulent in animal models of cryptococcosis. Our study demonstrates the importance of chromatin remodeling by the conserved histone acetyltransferase Gcn5 in regulating the expression of specific genes that allow C. neoformans to respond appropriately to the human host.Eukaryotic Cell 08/2010; 9(8):1193-202. · 3.60 Impact Factor