Candida albicans strain-dependent virulence and Rim13p-mediated filamentation in experimental keratomycosis.

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States
Investigative Ophthalmology &amp Visual Science (Impact Factor: 3.66). 03/2007; 48(2):774-80. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.06-0793
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To compare the virulence of wild-type Candida albicans strains in a murine model of corneal candidiasis and to investigate the role of fungal filamentation in disease progression.
Scarified corneas of immunocompetent or cyclophosphamide-treated BALB/c mice were topically inoculated with one of three human isolates of C. albicans, a homozygous mutant of the pH-dependent filamentation gene rim13 or a mutant reference strain control. Mock-inoculated eyes served as negative controls. Corneal disease was categorized daily for 8 days with quantitative fungal culturing of eyes at 6 hours, 1 day, 4 days, and 8 days after infection and histopathologic examination at 1 day and 4 days after infection.
Corneal disease severity differed significantly among wild-type strains (P < or = 0.02). The rim13(-/-) mutant Tn7-rim13 was fully attenuated, whereas the mutant control DAY286 was fully virulent. Pretreatment of mice with cyclophosphamide increased susceptibility to wild-type C. albicans and partially rescued the attenuated phenotype of the genetically deficient rim13(-/-) fungal mutant. All strains replicated with similar kinetics in vitro, and wild-type strains had similar clearance from infected eyes. Histopathologic findings correlated with disease severity.
Wild-type strains of C. albicans that differ significantly in ocular pathogenicity correlate with the ability of yeast to produce pseudohyphae and hyphae and to invade corneal tissue. Full attenuation of the fungal rim13(-/-) mutant is the first direct demonstration of a hyphal morphogenesis-related gene as a specific virulence factor for C. albicans during corneal infection.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fungi are exposed to broadly fluctuating environmental conditions, to which adaptation is crucial for their survival. An ability to respond to a wide pH range, in particular, allows them to cope with rapid changes in their extracellular settings. PacC/Rim signalling elicits the primary pH response in both model and pathogenic fungi and has been studied in multiple fungal species. In the predominant human pathogenic fungi, namely Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus neoformans, this pathway is required for many functions associated with pathogenesis and virulence. Aspects of this pathway are fungus-specific and do not exist in mammalian cells. In this review, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of PacC/Rim-mediated functions and discuss the growing interest in this cascade and its factors as potential drug targets for antifungal strategies. We focus on both conserved and distinctive features in model and pathogenic fungi, highlighting the specificities of PacC/Rim signalling in C. albicans, A. fumigatus and C. neoformans. We consider the role of this pathway in fungal virulence, including modulation of the host immune response. Finally, as now recognized for other signalling cascades, we highlight the role of pH in adaptation to antifungal drug pressure. By acting on the PacC/Rim pathway, it may therefore be possible (i) to ensure fungal specificity and to limit the side effects of drugs, (ii) to ensure broad-spectrum efficacy, (iii) to attenuate fungal virulence, (iv) to obtain additive or synergistic effects with existing antifungal drugs through tolerance inhibition and (v) to slow the emergence of resistant mutants.
    Eukaryotic Cell 01/2014; DOI:10.1128/EC.00313-13 · 3.18 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Keratitis treatment has become more complicated due to the emergence of bacterial or fungal pathogens with enhanced antibiotic resistance. The pharmaceutical applications of N-heterocyclic carbene complexes have received remarkable attention due to their antimicrobial properties. In this paper, the new precursor, 3,3'-(p-phenylenedimethylene) bis{1-(2- methyl-allyl)imidazolium} bromide (1a) and its analogous PF6 salt (1b) were synthesized. Furthermore, silver(I) and gold(I) -N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) complexes [Ag2LBr2/Au2LBr2; 2a/3a], [(Ag2L2)(PF6)2/(Au2L2)(PF6)2; 2b/3b] were developed from their corresponding ligands. All compounds were screened for their antimicrobial activities against multiple keratitis-associated human eye pathogens, including bacteria and fungi. Complexes 2a and 3a showed highest activity, and the effectiveness of 3a was also studied, focusing eradication of pathogen biofilm. Furthermore, the structures of 1a, 2a and 3b were determined using single crystal X-ray analysis, 2b and 3a were optimized theoretically. The mechanism of action of 3a was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy and docking experiments, suggesting that its target is the cell membrane. In summary, 3a may be helpful in developing antimicrobial therapies in patients suffering from keratitis-associated eye infections caused by multidrug-resistant pathogens.
    PLoS ONE 03/2013; 8(3):e58346. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0058346 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Phytopathogens cause economic losses in agribusiness. Plant-derived compounds have been proposed to overcome this problem, including the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). This paper reports the identification of Ps-AFP1, a novel AMP isolated from the Pisum sativum radicle. Ps-AFP1 was purified and evaluated against phytopathogenic fungi, showing clear effectiveness. In silico analyses were performed, suggesting an unusual fold and disulfide bond pattern. A novel fold and a novel AMP class were here proposed, the αβ-trumpet fold and αβ-trumpet peptides, respectively. The name αβ-trumpet was created due to the peptide's fold, which resembles the musical instrument. The Ps-AFP1 mechanism of action was also proposed. Microscopic analyses revealed that Ps-AFP1 could affect the fungus during the hyphal elongation from spore germination. Furthermore, confocal microscopy performed with Ps-AFP1 labeled with FITC shows that the peptide was localized at high concentration along the fungal cell surface. Due to low cellular disruption rates, it seems that the main target is the fungal cell wall. The binding thermogram and isothermal titration, molecular dynamics and docking analyses were also performed, showing that Ps-AFP1 could bind to chitin producing a stable complex. Data here reported provided novel structural-functional insights into the αβ-trumpet peptide fold.
    Biochimie 07/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.biochi.2013.06.027 · 3.12 Impact Factor


1 Download
Available from