Dataset Information


A defect in ATP-citrate lyase links acetyl-CoA production, virulence factor elaboration and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans

ABSTRACT: The interaction of Cryptococcus neoformans with phagocytic cells of the innate immune system is a key step in disseminated disease leading to meningoencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals. Transcriptional profiling of cryptococcal cells harvested from cell culture medium or from macrophages found differential expression of metabolic and other functions during fungal adaptation to the intracellular environment by SAGE analysis. We focused on the ACL1 gene for ATP-citrate lyase, which converts citrate to acetyl-CoA, because this gene showed elevated transcript levels in macrophages and because of the importance of acetyl-CoA as a central metabolite. Mutants lacking ACL1 showed delayed growth on medium containing glucose, reduced cellular levels of acetyl-CoA, defective production of virulence factors, increased susceptibility to the antifungal drug fluconazole and decreased survival within macrophages. Importantly, acl1 mutants were unabl e to cause disease in a murine inhalation model, a phenotype that was more extreme than other mutants with defects in acetyl-CoA production (e.g., an acetyl-CoA synthetase mutant). Loss of virulence is likely due to perturbation of critical physiological interconnections between virulence factor expression and metabolism in C. neoformans. Phylogenetic analysis and structural modeling of cryptococcal Acl1 identified three indels unique to fungal protein sequences; these differences may provide opportunities for the development of pathogen-specific inhibitors. SAGE analysis of C. neoformans cells isolated from macrophages The murine macrophage-like cell line J774A.1 was maintained at 37°C in 10% CO2 in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM) supplemented with 10% heat-inactivated fetal calf serum (FBS), 1% nonessential amino acids, 100 µg mL-1 penicillin-streptomycin, and 4 mM L-glutamine (Invitrogen). Cryptococcus cells were opsonized with monoclonal antibody 18B7 against capsule (1 µg mL-1), and macrophages were treated with recombinant mouse gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) (50 U mL-1) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (0.3 µg mL-1) prior to co-incubation at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 1:1. Macrophages were inoculated with H99 cells and washed after 1 h of inoculation to remove unattached, extracellular fungal cells. After 6 h of incubation, sterile, ice-cold distilled H2O was applied to each well to lyse the macrophages, and the fungal cells (4 x 107) were harvested by centrifugation. H99 control cells were prepared by growth under the same condition but without macrophages, and 108 cell s were harvested. SAGE library construction, sequencing and analysis SAGE library construction, sequencing and analysis were as previously described (Hu et al., 2007; Hu et al., 2008; Steen et al., 2002; Steen et al., 2003). Briefly, RNA was isolated from lyophilized cells by vortexing with glass beads (3.0 mm, acid-washed and RNase-free) for 15 min in 15 mL of TRIZOL extraction buffer (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA). The mixture was incubated for 15 min at room temperature and total RNA was isolated according to the manufacturer's instructions. Total RNA was used directly for SAGE library construction as described by Velculescu et al. (1995) using the I-Long SAGE kit (Invitrogen). The tagging enzyme for cDNA digestion was NlaIII and 29 PCR cycles were performed to amplify the ditags during library construction. Colonies were screened by PCR (M13F and M13R primers) to assess the average clone insert size and the percentage of recombinants. Clones from the libraries were sequenced by BigDye primer cycle sequencing on an ABI PRISM 3700 DNA analy zer. Sequence chromatograms were processed using PHRED (Ewing et al., 1998), and vector sequence was detected using Cross_match (Gordon et al., 1998). Fourteen-base-pair tags were extracted from the vector-clipped sequence, and an overall quality score for each tag was derived based on the cumulative PHRED score. Duplicate ditags and linker sequences were removed as described previously (Steen et al., 2002). Only tags with a predicted accuracy of 99% were used, and statistical differences between tag abundance in different libraries were determined as described (Audic and Claverie, 1997). The libraries yielded 23,904 tags from cells grown in media without macrophages for 6hr and 38,5444 tags from cells grown in media with macrophages for 6hr. An overview of the abundance classes for both SAGE libraries is presented in Table S1 in the supplementary material, with both the number of different tag sequences and the total number of tags present in each class for the cells from th e 6h infection and the control. All libraries were normalized to 23,904 to allow direct comparisons, and the tags that appeared less than once in any given library were removed. The EST database available for strain H99 at the University of Oklahoma's Advanced Center for Genome Technology was used for the preliminary assignment of tags to genes. When an EST sequence could not be identified for a particular tag, the genomic sequence for H99 at the Duke University Center for Genome Technology ( and the Broad Institute ( was used to identify contigs with unambiguous tag assignments. Note that a limitation of the SAGE approach is that some transcripts are not detected because of low abundance and/or the absence of an NlaIII site for transcript processing. The control (fungal cells alone) and cryptococcal-macrophage interaction SAGE datasets were deposited to the NCBI under accession number GSM986206 and GSM986207 respectively.

ORGANISM(S): Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii H99  

SUBMITTER: Emma Griffiths  

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-41066 | ArrayExpress | 2013-08-15



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