Glycerophosphocholine utilization by Candida albicans: Role of the Git3 transporter in virulence.
Candida albicans contains four ORFs (GIT1,2,3,4) predicted to encode proteins involved in the transport of glycerophosphodiester metabolites. Previously, we reported that
Git1, encoded by ORF 19.34, is responsible for the transport of intact glycerophosphoinositol but not glycerophosphocholine
(GroPCho). Here, we report that a strain lacking both GIT3 (ORF 19.1979) and GIT4 (ORF 19.1980) is unable to transport [3H]GroPCho into the cell. In the absence of a GroPCho transporter, C. albicans can utilize GroPCho via a mechanism involving extracellular hydrolysis. Upon reintegration of either GIT3 or GIT4 into the genome, measurable uptake of [3H]GroPCho is observed. Transport assays and kinetic analyses indicate that Git3 has the greater transport velocity. We present
evidence that GDE1 (ORF 19.3936) codes for an enzyme with glycerophosphodiesterase activity against GroPCho. Homozygous deletion of GDE1 results in a buildup of internal GroPCho that is restored to wild type levels by reintegration of GDE1 into the genome. The transcriptional regulator, Pho4, is shown to regulate the expression of GIT3, GIT4, and GDE1. Finally, Git3 is shown to be required for full virulence in a mouse model of disseminated candidiasis, and Git3 sequence
orthologs are present in other pathogenic Candida species. In summary, we have characterized multiple aspects of GroPCho utilization by C. albicans and have demonstrated that GroPCho transport plays a key role in the growth of the organism in the host.
Available from: Abdul Haseeb Shah
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ABSTRACT: The Quinidine Drug Resistance (QDR) family of genes encodes transporters belonging to the Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) of proteins. We show that, QDR transporters, which are localized to the plasma membrane, do not play a role in drug transport. Hence, null mutants of QDR1, QDR2 and QDR3 display no alterations in susceptibility to azoles, polyenes, echinocandins, polyamines or quinolines, or to cell wall inhibitors and many other stresses. However, the deletion of QDR genes, individually or collectively, led to defects in biofilm architecture and thickness. Interestingly, QDR-lacking strains also displayed attenuated virulence, but the strongest effect was observed with qdr2∆, qdr3∆ and in qdr1/2/3∆ strains. Notably, the attenuated virulence and biofilm defects could be reversed upon reintegration of QDR genes. Transcripts profiling confirmed differential expression of many biofilm and virulence related genes in the deletion strains as compared with wild type C. albicans cells. Furthermore, lipidomic analysis of QDR deletion mutants suggests massive remodeling of lipids, which may affect cell signaling, leading to the defect in biofilm development and attenuation of virulence. In summary, our results show that QDR paralogues encoding MFS antiporters do not display conserved functional linkage as drug transporters and perform functions that significantly impact the virulence of C. albicans.
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ABSTRACT: Ypk1, the yeast homolog of the human serum and glucocorticoid-induced kinase (Sgk1), affects diverse cellular activities, including sphingolipid homeostasis. We now report that Ypk1 also impacts the turnover of the major phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine (PC). Pulse-chase radiolabeling reveals that a ypk1Δ mutant exhibits increased PC deacylation and glycerophosphocholine (GroPCho) production compared to wild type yeast. Deletion of PLB1, a gene encoding a B-type phospholipase that hydrolyzes PC, in a ypk1Δ mutant curtails the increased PC deacylation. In contrast to previous data, we find that Plb1 resides in the ER and in the medium. Consistent with a link between Ypk1 and Plb1, the levels of both Plb1 protein and PLB1 message are elevated in a ypk1Δ strain compared to wild type yeast. Furthermore, deletion of PLB1 in a ypk1Δ mutant exacerbates phenotypes associated with loss of YPK1, including slowed growth and sensitivity to cell wall perturbation, suggesting that increased Plb1 activity buffers against the loss of Ypk1. Since Plb1 lacks a consensus phosphorylation site for Ypk1, we probed other processes under the control of Ypk1 that might be linked to PC turnover. Inhibition of sphingolipid biosynthesis by the drug myriocin or through utilization of a lcb1-100 mutant results in increased PLB1 expression. Furthermore, we discovered that the increase in PLB1 expression observed upon inhibition of sphingolipid synthesis or loss of Ypk1 is under the control of the Crz1 transcription factor. Taken together, these results suggest a functional interaction between Ypk1 and Plb1 in which altered sphingolipid metabolism upregulates PLB1 expression via Crz1.
Available from: Wenjie Xu
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ABSTRACT: Gene expression dynamics have provided foundational insight into almost all biological processes. Here, we analyze expression of environmentally responsive genes and transcription factor genes to infer signals and pathways that drive pathogen gene regulation during invasive Candida albicans infection of a mammalian host. Environmentally responsive gene expression shows that there are early and late phases of infection. The early phase includes induction of zinc and iron limitation genes, genes that respond to transcription factor Rim101, and genes characteristic of invasive hyphal cells. The late phase includes responses related to phagocytosis by macrophages. Transcription factor gene expression also reflects early and late phases. Transcription factor genes that are required for virulence or proliferation in vivo are enriched among highly expressed transcription factor genes. Mutants defective in six transcription factor genes, three previously studied in detail (Rim101, Efg1, Zap1) and three less extensively studied (Rob1, Rpn4, Sut1), are profiled during infection. Most of these mutants have distinct gene expression profiles during infection as compared to in vitro growth. Infection profiles suggest that Sut1 acts in the same pathway as Zap1, and we verify that functional relationship with the finding that overexpression of either ZAP1 or the Zap1-dependent zinc transporter gene ZRT2 restores pathogenicity to a sut1 mutant. Perturbation with the cell wall inhibitor caspofungin also has distinct gene expression impact in vivo and in vitro. Unexpectedly, caspofungin induces many of the same genes that are repressed early during infection, a phenomenon that we suggest may contribute to drug efficacy. The pathogen response circuitry is tailored uniquely during infection, with many relevant regulatory relationships that are not evident during growth in vitro. Our findings support the principle that virulence is a property that is manifested only in the distinct environment in which host-pathogen interaction occurs.
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