Analysis of a novel calcium auxotrophy in Aspergillus nidulans.
ABSTRACT: In Aspergillus nidulans a combination of null mutations in halA, encoding a protein kinase, and sltA, encoding a zinc-finger transcription factor having no yeast homologues, results in an elevated calcium requirement ('calcium auxotrophy') without impairing net calcium uptake. sltA(-) (+/-halA(-)) mutations result in hypertrophy of the vacuolar system. In halA(-)sltA(-) (and sltA(-)) strains, transcript levels for pmcA and pmcB, encoding vacuolar Ca(2+)-ATPase homologues, are highly elevated, suggesting a regulatory relationship between vacuolar membrane area and certain vacuolar membrane ATPase levels. Deletion of both pmcA and pmcB strongly suppresses the 'calcium auxotrophy'. Therefore the 'calcium auxotrophy' possibly results from excessive vacuolar calcium sequestration, causing cytosolic calcium deprivation. Null mutations in nhaA, homologous to Saccharomyces cerevisiae NHA1, encoding a plasma membrane Na(+)/H(+) antiporter effluxing Na(+) and K(+), and a non-null mutation in trkB, homologous to S. cerevisiae TRK1, encoding a plasma membrane high affinity K(+) transporter, also suppress the calcium auxotrophy.
Project description:The transcriptional response to alkali metal cation stress is mediated by the zinc finger transcription factor SltA in Aspergillus nidulans and probably in other fungi of the pezizomycotina subphylum. A second component of this pathway has been identified and characterized. SltB is a 1272 amino acid protein with at least two putative functional domains, a pseudo-kinase and a serine-endoprotease, involved in signaling to the transcription factor SltA. Absence of SltB activity results in nearly identical phenotypes to those observed for a null sltA mutant. Hypersensitivity to a variety of monovalent and divalent cations, and to medium alkalinization are among the phenotypes exhibited by a null sltB mutant. Calcium homeostasis is an exception and this cation improves growth of slt? mutants. Moreover, loss of kinase HalA in conjunction with loss-of-function sltA or sltB mutations leads to pronounced calcium auxotrophy. sltA sltB double null mutants display a cation stress sensitive phenotype indistinguishable from that of single slt mutants showing the close functional relationship between these two proteins. This functional relationship is reinforced by the fact that numerous mutations in both slt loci can be isolated as suppressors of poor colonial growth resulting from certain null vps (vacuolar protein sorting) mutations. In addition to allowing identification of sltB, our sltB missense mutations enabled prediction of functional regions in the SltB protein. Although the relationship between the Slt and Vps pathways remains enigmatic, absence of SltB, like that of SltA, leads to vacuolar hypertrophy. Importantly, the phenotypes of selected sltA and sltB mutations demonstrate that suppression of null vps mutations is not dependent on the inability to tolerate cation stress. Thus a specific role for both SltA and SltB in the VPS pathway seems likely. Finally, it is noteworthy that SltA and SltB have a similar, limited phylogenetic distribution, being restricted to the pezizomycotina subphylum. The relevance of the Slt regulatory pathway to cell structure, intracellular trafficking and cation homeostasis and its restricted phylogenetic distribution makes this pathway of general interest for future investigation and as a source of targets for antifungal drugs.
Project description:Maintenance of cation homeostasis is essential for survival of all living organisms in their biological niches. It is also important for the survival of human pathogenic fungi in the host, where cation concentrations and pH will vary depending on different anatomical sites. However, the exact role of diverse cation transporters and ion channels in virulence of fungal pathogens remains elusive. In this study we functionally characterized ENA1 and NHA1, encoding a putative Na(+)/ATPase and Na(+)/H(+) antiporter, respectively, in Cryptococcus neoformans, a basidiomycete fungal pathogen which causes fatal meningoencephalitis. Expression of NHA1 and ENA1 is induced in response to salt and osmotic shock mainly in a Hog1-dependent manner. Phenotypic analysis of the ena1?, nha1?, and ena1?nha1? mutants revealed that Ena1 controls cellular levels of toxic cations, such as Na(+) and Li(+) whereas both Ena1 and Nha1 are important for controlling less toxic K(+) ions. Under alkaline conditions, Ena1 was highly induced and required for growth in the presence of low levels of Na(+) or K(+) salt and Nha1 played a role in survival under K(+) stress. In contrast, Nha1, but not Ena1, was essential for survival at acidic conditions (pH 4.5) under high K(+) stress. In addition, Ena1 and Nha1 were required for maintenance of plasma membrane potential and stability, which appeared to modulate antifungal drug susceptibility. Perturbation of ENA1 and NHA1 enhanced capsule production and melanin synthesis. However, Nha1 was dispensable for virulence of C. neoformans although Ena1 was essential. In conclusion, Ena1 and Nha1 play redundant and discrete roles in cation homeostasis, pH regulation, membrane potential, and virulence in C. neoformans, suggesting that these transporters could be novel antifungal drug targets for treatment of cryptococcosis.
Project description:The Alzheimer's disease (AD) susceptibility gene, CD2-associated protein (CD2AP), encodes an actin binding adaptor protein, but its function in the nervous system is largely unknown. Loss of the Drosophila ortholog cindr enhances neurotoxicity of human Tau, which forms neurofibrillary tangle pathology in AD. We show that Cindr is expressed in neurons and present at synaptic terminals. cindr mutants show impairments in synapse maturation and both synaptic vesicle recycling and release. Cindr associates and genetically interacts with 14-3-3?, regulates the ubiquitin-proteasome system, and affects turnover of Synapsin and the plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA). Loss of cindr elevates PMCA levels and reduces cytosolic calcium. Studies of Cd2ap null mice support a conserved role in synaptic proteostasis, and CD2AP protein levels are inversely related to Synapsin abundance in human postmortem brains. Our results reveal CD2AP neuronal requirements with relevance to AD susceptibility, including for proteostasis, calcium handling, and synaptic structure and function.
Project description:Ca(2+)-ATPases are likely to play critical roles in the biochemistry of Toxoplasma gondii, since these protozoa are obligate intracellular parasites and the Ca(2+) concentration in their intracellular location is three orders of magnitude lower than in the extracellular medium. Here, we report the cloning and sequencing of a gene encoding a plasma membrane-type Ca(2+)-ATPase (PMCA) of T.gondii (TgA1). The predicted protein (TgA1) exhibits 32-36% identity to vacuolar Ca(2+)-ATPases of Trypanosoma cruzi, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Entamoeba histolytica and Dictyostelium discoideum. Sequencing of both cDNA and genomic DNA from T.gondii indicated that TgA1 contains two introns near the C-terminus. A hydropathy profile of the protein suggests 10 transmembrane domains. TgA1 suppresses the Ca(2+) hypersensitivity of a mutant of S.cerevisiae that has a defect in vacuolar Ca(2+) accumulation. Indirect immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy analysis indicate that TgA1 localizes to the plasma membrane and co-localizes with the vacuolar H(+)-pyrophosphatase to intracellular vacuoles identified morphologically and by X-ray microanalysis as the acidocalcisomes. This vacuolar-type Ca(2+)-ATPase could play an important role in Ca(2+) homeostasis in T.gondii.
Project description:Aspergillus fumigatus is a primary and opportunistic pathogen, as well as a major allergen, of mammals. The Ca(+2)-calcineurin pathway affects virulence, morphogenesis and antifungal drug action in A. fumigatus. Here, we investigated three components of the A. fumigatus Ca(+2)-calcineurin pathway, pmcA,-B, and -C, which encode calcium transporters. We demonstrated that CrzA can directly control the mRNA accumulation of the pmcA-C genes by binding to their promoter regions. CrzA-binding experiments suggested that the 5'-CACAGCCAC-3' and 5'-CCCTGCCCC-3' sequences upstream of pmcA and pmcC genes, respectively, are possible calcineurin-dependent response elements (CDREs)-like consensus motifs. Null mutants were constructed for pmcA and -B and a conditional mutant for pmcC demonstrating pmcC is an essential gene. The ?pmcA and ?pmcB mutants were more sensitive to calcium and resistant to manganese and cyclosporin was able to modulate the sensitivity or resistance of these mutants to these salts, supporting the interaction between calcineurin and the function of these transporters. The pmcA-C genes have decreased mRNA abundance into the alveoli in the ?calA and ?crzA mutant strains. However, only the A. fumigatus ?pmcA was avirulent in the murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.
Project description:Potassium, a widely accepted macronutrient, is vital for many physiological processes such as regulation of cell volume, maintenance of intracellular pH, synthesis of proteins and activation of enzymes in filamentous fungi. Another cation, calcium, plays an essential role in many signaling processes from lower to higher eukaryotes. Imbalance in the intracellular ionic levels of potassium or calcium causes adverse effects on cell growth, morphology and development, and eventually death. Previous studies on the adaptation of Aspergillus nidulans to salt and osmotic stress conditions have revealed the role of SltA, a C?H? zinc finger transcription factor in cation homeostasis. SltA is highly conserved in the Ascomycota phylum with no identifiable homolog in S. cerevisiae and other yeast-like fungi, and prevents toxicity by the cations Na?, K?, Li?, Cs? and Mg²?, but not by Ca²?. However its role in morphology and biosynthesis of natural products such as mycotoxins remained unknown. This study shows the first characterization of the role of calcium and SltA fungal homologs in morphogenesis using the model system A. nidulans. Addition of potassium to sltA deletion mutants resulted in decreased levels of sterigmatocystin production. A similar phenotype was observed for both types of mutants in veA1 and veA? genetic background. Expression of the sterigmatocystin genes aflR and stcU was strongly reduced in sltA deletion mutant when K? was added. Additionally, increased concentrations of K? drastically reduced sexual and asexual development, as well as radial growth in deletion sltA colonies. This reduction was accompanied by lower expression of the morphology related genes nsdD, steA and brlA. Interestingly, addition of calcium was able to stimulate asexual and sexual development and remediate the deletion sltA phenotype, including defects in morphology and toxin production.
Project description:Plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase (PMCA) plays a vital role in maintaining cytosolic calcium concentration ([Ca2+] i ). Given that many diseases have modified PMCA expression and activity, PMCA is an important potential target for therapeutic treatment. This study demonstrates that the non-toxic, naturally-occurring polyphenol resveratrol (RES) induces increases in [Ca2+] i via PMCA inhibition in primary dermal fibroblasts and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Our results also illustrate that RES and the fluorescent intracellular calcium indicator Fura-2, are compatible for simultaneous use, in contrast to previous studies, which indicated that RES modulates the Fura-2 fluorescence independent of calcium concentration. Because RES has been identified as a PMCA inhibitor, further studies may be conducted to develop more specific PMCA inhibitors from RES derivatives for potential therapeutic use.
Project description:Many functions of vacuole depend on the activity of vacuolar ATPase which is essential to maintain an acidic lumen and create the driving forces for massive fluxes of ions and metabolites through vacuolar membrane. In filamentous fungus Magnaportheoryzae, subcellular colocalization and quinacrine staining suggested that the V1V0 domains of V-ATPase were fully assembled and the vacuoles were kept acidic during infection-related developments. Targeted gene disruption of MoVMA11 gene, encoding the putative c' subunit of V-ATPase, impaired vacuolar acidification and mimicked the phenotypes of yeast V-ATPase mutants in the poor colony morphology, abolished asexual and sexual reproductions, selective carbon source utilization, and increased calcium and heavy metals sensitivities, however, not in the typical pH conditional lethality. Strikingly, aerial hyphae of the MoVMA11 null mutant intertwined with each other to form extremely thick filamentous structures. The results also implicated that MoVMA11 was involved in cell wall integrity and appressorium formation. Abundant non-melanized swollen structures and rare, small appressoria without penetration ability were produced at the hyphal tips of the ?Movma11 mutant on onion epidermal cells. Finally, the MoVMA11 null mutant lost pathogenicity on both intact and wounded host leaves. Overall, our data indicated that MoVMA11, like other fungal VMA genes, is associated with numerous cellular functions and highlighted that V-ATPase is essential for infection-related morphogenesis and pathogenesis in M. oryzae.
Project description:Background:High glycolytic rate is a hallmark of cancer (Warburg effect). Glycolytic ATP is required for fuelling plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs), responsible for extrusion of cytosolic calcium, in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Phosphofructokinase-fructose-bisphosphatase-3 (PFKFB3) is a glycolytic driver that activates key rate-limiting enzyme Phosphofructokinase-1; we investigated whether PFKFB3 is required for PMCA function in PDAC cells. Methods:PDAC cell-lines, MIA PaCa-2, BxPC-3, PANC1 and non-cancerous human pancreatic stellate cells (HPSCs) were used. Cell growth, death and metabolism were assessed using sulforhodamine-B/tetrazolium-based assays, poly-ADP-ribose-polymerase (PARP1) cleavage and seahorse XF analysis, respectively. ATP was measured using a luciferase-based assay, membrane proteins were isolated using a kit and intracellular calcium concentration and PMCA activity were measured using Fura-2 fluorescence imaging. Results:PFKFB3 was highly expressed in PDAC cells but not HPSCs. In MIA PaCa-2, a pool of PFKFB3 was identified at the plasma membrane. PFKFB3 inhibitor, PFK15, caused reduced cell growth and PMCA activity, leading to calcium overload and apoptosis in PDAC cells. PFK15 reduced glycolysis but had no effect on steady-state ATP concentration in MIA PaCa-2. Conclusions:PFKFB3 is important for maintaining PMCA function in PDAC, independently of cytosolic ATP levels and may be involved in providing a localised ATP supply at the plasma membrane.
Project description:In this work, we set out to identify and characterize the calcium occluded intermediate(s) of the plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase (PMCA) to study the mechanism of calcium transport. To this end, we developed a procedure for measuring the occlusion of Ca(2+) in microsomes containing PMCA. This involves a system for overexpression of the PMCA and the use of a rapid mixing device combined with a filtration chamber, allowing the isolation of the enzyme and quantification of retained calcium. Measurements of retained calcium as a function of the Ca(2+) concentration in steady state showed a hyperbolic dependence with an apparent dissociation constant of 12 ± 2.2 ?M, which agrees with the value found through measurements of PMCA activity in the absence of calmodulin. When enzyme phosphorylation and the retained calcium were studied as a function of time in the presence of La(III) (inducing accumulation of phosphoenzyme in the E(1)P state), we obtained apparent rate constants not significantly different from each other. Quantification of EP and retained calcium in steady state yield a stoichiometry of one mole of occluded calcium per mole of phosphoenzyme. These results demonstrate for the first time that one calcium ion becomes occluded in the E(1)P-phosphorylated intermediate of the PMCA.