Role of Bcr1-activated genes Hwp1 and Hyr1 in Candida albicans oral mucosal biofilms and neutrophil evasion.

Department of Microbiology, University of Texas, Houston, Texas, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 01/2011; 6(1):e16218. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016218
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Candida albicans triggers recurrent infections of the oropharyngeal mucosa that result from biofilm growth. Prior studies have indicated that the transcription factor Bcr1 regulates biofilm formation in a catheter model, both in vitro and in vivo. We thus hypothesized that Bcr1 plays similar roles in the formation of oral mucosal biofilms and tested this hypothesis in a mouse model of oral infection. We found that a bcr1/bcr1 mutant did not form significant biofilm on the tongues of immunocompromised mice, in contrast to reference and reconstituted strains that formed pseudomembranes covering most of the tongue dorsal surface. Overexpression of HWP1, which specifies an epithelial adhesin that is under the transcriptional control of Bcr1, partly but significantly rescued the bcr1/bcr1 biofilm phenotype in vivo. Since HWP1 overexpression only partly reversed the biofilm phenotype, we investigated whether additional mechanisms, besides adhesin down-regulation, were responsible for the reduced virulence of this mutant. We discovered that the bcr1/bcr1 mutant was more susceptible to damage by human leukocytes when grown on plastic or on the surface of a human oral mucosa tissue analogue. Overexpression of HYR1, but not HWP1, significantly rescued this phenotype. Furthermore a hyr1/hyr1 mutant had significantly attenuated virulence in the mouse oral biofilm model of infection. These discoveries show that Bcr1 is critical for mucosal biofilm infection via regulation of epithelial cell adhesin and neutrophil function.

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    ABSTRACT: Candida is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that colonizes the mucosal tract of humans. Pathogenic infection occurs in the presence of conditions causing perturbations to the commensal microbiota or host immunity. Early innate immune responses by the epithelium, including antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and cytokines, are critical for protection against overgrowth. Reduced salivary AMP levels are associated with oral Candida infection, and certain AMPs, including human β-defensins 1-3, have direct fungicidal activity. In this study, we demonstrate that murine β-defensin 1 (mBD1) is important for control of early mucosal Candida infection and plays a critical role in the induction of innate inflammatory mediators. Mice deficient in mBD1, as compared with wild-type mice, exhibit elevated oral and systemic fungal burdens. Neutrophil infiltration to the sites of mucosal Candida invasion, an important step in limiting fungal infection, is significantly reduced in mBD1-deficient mice. These mice also exhibit defects in the expression of other AMPs, including mBD2 and mBD4, which may have direct anti-Candida activity. We also show that mBD1 deficiency impacts the production of important antifungal inflammatory mediators, including IL-1β, IL-6, KC, and IL-17. Collectively, these studies demonstrate a role for the mBD1 peptide in early control of Candida infection in a murine model of mucosal candidiasis, as well as in the modulation of host immunity through augmentation of leukocyte infiltration and inflammatory gene regulation. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Candida albicans is a fungus that colonizes oral cavity surfaces, the gut, and the genital tract. Streptococcus gordonii is a ubiquitous oral bacterium that has been shown to form biofilm communities with C. albicans. Formation of dual-species S. gordonii-C. albicans biofilm communities involves interaction of the S. gordonii SspB protein with the Als3 protein on the hyphal filament surface of C. albicans. Mannoproteins comprise a major component of the C. albicans cell wall, and in this study we sought to determine if mannosylation in cell wall biogenesis of C. albicans was necessary for hyphal adhesin functions associated with interkingdom biofilm development. A C. albicans mnt1Δ mnt2Δ mutant, with deleted α-1,2-mannosyltransferase genes and thus defective in O-mannosylation, was abrogated in biofilm formation under various growth conditions and produced hyphal filaments that were not recognized by S. gordonii. Cell wall proteomes of hypha-forming mnt1Δ mnt2Δ mutant cells showed growth medium-dependent alterations, compared to findings for the wild type, in a range of protein components, including Als1, Als3, Rbt1, Scw1, and Sap9. Hyphal filaments formed by mnt1Δ mnt2Δ mutant cells, unlike wild-type hyphae, did not interact with C. albicans Als3 or Hwp1 partner cell wall proteins or with S. gordonii SspB partner adhesin, suggesting defective functionality of adhesins on the mnt1Δ mnt2Δ mutant. These observations imply that early stage O-mannosylation is critical for activation of hyphal adhesin functions required for biofilm formation, recognition by bacteria such as S. gordonii, and microbial community development. IMPORTANCE In the human mouth, microorganisms form communities known as biofilms that adhere to the surfaces present. Candida albicans is a fungus that is often found within these biofilms. We have focused on the mechanisms by which C. albicans becomes incorporated into communities containing bacteria, such as Streptococcus. We find that impairment of early stage addition of mannose sugars to C. albicans hyphal filament proteins deleteriously affects their subsequent performance in mediating formation of polymicrobial biofilms. Our analyses provide new understanding of the way that microbial communities develop, and of potential means to control C. albicans infections.
    mBio 02/2014; 5(2). · 6.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Candida albicans and streptococci of the mitis group colonize the oral cavities of the majority of healthy humans. While C. albicans is considered an opportunistic pathogen, streptococci of this group are broadly considered avirulent or even beneficial organisms. However, recent evidence suggests that multi-species biofilms with these organisms may play detrimental roles in host homeostasis and may promote infection. In this review we summarize the literature on molecular interactions between members of this streptococcal group and C. albicans, with emphasis on their potential role in the pathogenesis of opportunistic oral mucosal infections.
    Molecular Oral Microbiology 06/2014; 29(3):99-116. · 2.84 Impact Factor

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