Involvement of the mitogen activated protein kinase Hog1p in the response of Candida albicans to iron availability.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Iron is an essential nutrient for almost all organisms, and generating iron limiting conditions for pathogens is one of the host defense strategies against microbial infections. Excess of iron can be toxic; therefore, iron uptake is tightly controlled. The high affinity iron uptake system of the opportunistic pathogenic yeast Candida albicans has been shown to be essential for virulence. Several transcription factors and regulators of iron uptake genes were identified, but the knowledge of signaling pathways is still limited. Gene expression profiling of the ?hog1 deletion mutant indicated an involvement of the mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase Hog1p. However, the function of Hog1p in the response of C. albicans to iron availability was not studied in detail. Thus, we analyzed phenotypic and molecular responses of C. albicans to different iron concentrations particularly with respect to the activity of the Hog1p MAP kinase module. RESULTS: We observed flocculation of yeast cells, when the iron ion concentration was equal to or higher than 5 ?M. This phenotype was dependent on the MAP kinase Hog1p and the corresponding MAP kinase kinase Pbs2p. Moreover, high extracellular iron ion concentrations led to hyper-phosphorylation of Hog1p. We determined lower amounts of multicopper ferroxidase (MCFO) proteins and lower ferric reductase activity, when the iron ion concentration in the medium was increased. This effect was also observed for the ?hog1 mutant. However, the amounts of MCFO proteins and the cell surface ferric reductase activity were increased in the ?hog1 in comparison to wild type cells. This effect was independent of iron availability in growth media. CONCLUSIONS: In C. albicans, the MAP kinase Hog1p is part of the network regulating the response of the organism to iron availability. Hog1p was transiently phosphorylated under high iron concentrations and was essential for a flocculent phenotype. Furthermore, deletion of HOG1 led to increased levels of components of the reductive iron uptake system in comparison to the wild-type, independent of iron concentrations in the media. However, the additional induction of this system by low iron concentrations was independent of HOG1.
Project description:The Candida albicans HOG1 gene (HOG1CA) was cloned by functional complementation of the osmosensitive phenotype associated with Saccharomyces cerevisiae hog1 delta mutants. HOG1CA codes for a 377-amino-acid protein, 78% identical to S. cerevisiae Hog1p. A C. albicans hog1 null mutant was found to be sensitive to osmotic stress and failed to accumulate glycerol on high-osmolarity media.
Project description:Iron acquisition is a crucial virulence determinant for many bacteria and fungi, including the opportunistic fungal pathogens Candida albicans and C. glabrata. While the diverse strategies used by C. albicans for obtaining iron from the host are well-described, much less is known about the acquisition of this micronutrient from host sources by C. glabrata - a distant relative of C. albicans with closer evolutionary ties to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which nonetheless causes severe clinical symptoms in humans. Here we show that C. glabrata is much more restricted than C. albicans in using host iron sources, lacking, for example, the ability to grow on transferrin and hemin/hemoglobin. Instead, C. glabrata is able to use ferritin and non-protein-bound iron (FeCl3) as iron sources in a pH-dependent manner. As in other fungal pathogens, iron-dependent growth requires the reductive high affinity (HA) iron uptake system. Typically highly conserved, this uptake mechanism normally relies on initial ferric reduction by cell-surface ferric reductases. The C. glabrata genome contains only three such putative ferric reductases, which were found to be dispensable for iron-dependent growth. In addition and in contrast to C. albicans and S. cerevisiae, we also detected no surface ferric reductase activity in C. glabrata. Instead, extracellular ferric reduction was found in this and the two other fungal species, which was largely dependent on an excreted low-molecular weight, non-protein ferric reductant. We therefore propose an iron acquisition strategy of C. glabrata which differs from other pathogenic fungi, such as C. albicans, in that it depends on a limited set of host iron sources and that it lacks the need for surface ferric reductases. Extracellular ferric reduction by a secreted molecule possibly compensates for the loss of surface ferric reductase activity in the HA iron uptake system.
Project description:The HOG signal pathway of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is defined by the PBS2 and HOG1 genes encoding members of the MAP kinase kinase and of the MAP kinase family, respectively. Mutations in this pathway (deletions of PBS2 or HOG1, or point mutations in HOG1) almost completely abolish the induction of transcription by osmotic stress that is mediated by stress response elements (STREs). We have demonstrated previously that STREs also mediate induction of transcription by heat shock, nitrogen starvation and oxidative stress. This study shows that they are also activated by low external pH, sorbate, benzoate or ethanol stress. Induction by these other stress signals appears to be HOG pathway independent. HOG1-dependent osmotic induction of transcription of the CTT1 gene encoding the cytosolic catalase T occurs in the presence of a protein synthesis inhibitor and can be detected rapidly after an increase of tyrosine phosphorylation of Hog1p triggered by high osmolarity. Consistent with a role of STREs in the induction of stress resistance, a number of other stress protein genes (e.g. HSP104) are regulated like CTT1. Furthermore, catalase T was shown to be important for viability under severe osmotic stress, and heat shock was demonstrated to provide cross-protection against osmotic stress.
Project description:In all eukaryotic kingdoms, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) play critical roles in cellular responses to environmental cues. These MAPKs are activated by phosphorylation at highly conserved threonine and tyrosine residues in response to specific inputs, leading to their accumulation in the nucleus and the activation of their downstream targets. A specific MAP kinase can regulate different downstream targets depending on the nature of the input signal, thereby raising a key question: what defines the stress-specific outputs of MAP kinases? We find that the Hog1 MAPK contributes to nitrosative-stress resistance in Candida albicans even though it displays minimal stress-induced phosphorylation under these conditions. We show that Hog1 becomes oxidized in response to nitrosative stress, accumulates in the nucleus, and regulates the nitrosative stress-induced transcriptome. Mutation of specific cysteine residues revealed that C156 and C161 function together to promote stress resistance, Hog1-mediated nitrosative-stress-induced gene expression, resistance to phagocytic killing, and C. albicans virulence. We propose that the oxidation of Hog1, rather than its phosphorylation, contributes to the nitrosative-stress-specific responses of this MAP kinase.IMPORTANCE Mitogen-activated protein kinases play key roles in the responses of eukaryotic cells to extracellular signals and are critical for environmental-stress resistance. The widely accepted paradigm is that MAP kinases are activated by phosphorylation, which then triggers their nuclear accumulation and the activation of target proteins and genes that promote cellular adaptation. Our data suggest that alternative forms of posttranslational modification can modulate MAP kinase functionality in Candida albicans We demonstrate that Hog1 is not significantly phosphorylated in response to nitrosative stress, yet it displays nuclear accumulation and contributes to the global transcriptional response to this stress, as well as promoting nitrosative-stress resistance. Instead, nitrosative stress triggers changes in the redox status of Hog1. We also show that specific Hog1 cysteine residues influence its activation of stress genes. Therefore, alternative posttranslational modifications appear to regulate the stress-specific outputs of MAP kinases.
Project description:Hyperosmotic stress activates an array of cellular detoxification mechanisms, including the high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway. We report here that vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) activity helps provide osmotic tolerance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. V-ATPase subunit genes exhibit complex haploinsufficiency interactions with HOG pathway components. vma mutants lacking V-ATPase function are sensitive to high concentrations of salt and exhibit Hog1p activation even at low salt concentrations, as demonstrated by phosphorylation of Hog1p, a shift in Hog1-green fluorescent protein localization, transcriptional activation of a subset of HOG pathway effectors, and transcriptional inhibition of parallel mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway targets. vma2? hog1? and vma3? pbs2? double mutants have a synthetic growth phenotype, poor salt tolerance, and an aberrant, hyper-elongated morphology on solid media, accompanied by activation of a filamentous response element-LacZ construct, indicating cross talk into the filamentous growth pathway. Vacuoles isolated from wild-type cells briefly exposed to salt show higher levels of V-ATPase activity, and Na(+)/H(+) exchange in isolated vacuolar vesicles suggests a biochemical basis for the genetic interactions observed. V-ATPase activity is upregulated during salt stress by increasing assembly of the catalytic V(1) sector with the membrane-bound V(o) sector. Together, these data suggest that the V-ATPase acts in parallel with the HOG pathway in order to mediate salt detoxification.
Project description:The Hog1 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) plays a central role in stress responses in the human pathogen Candida albicans. Here, we have investigated the MAPK kinase kinase (MAPKKK)-dependent regulation of the pathway. In contrast to the Hog1 pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is regulated by three MAPKKKs (Ssk2, Ssk22, and Ste11), our results demonstrate that Hog1 in C. albicans is regulated by a single MAPKKK Ssk2. Deletion of SSK2 results in comparable stress and morphological phenotypes exhibited by hog1Delta cells, and Ssk2 is required for the stress-induced phosphorylation and nuclear accumulation of Hog1, and for Hog1-dependent gene expression. Furthermore, phenotypes associated with deletion of SSK2 can be circumvented by expression of a phosphomimetic mutant of the MAPKK Pbs2, indicating that Ssk2 regulates Hog1 via activation of Pbs2. In S. cerevisiae, the Hog1 pathway is also regulated by the MAPKKK Ste11. However, we can find no connection between Ste11 and the regulation of Hog1 in C. albicans. Furthermore, expression of a chimeric Pbs2 protein containing the Ste11-dependent regulatory region of S. cerevisiae Pbs2, fails to stimulate Ste11-dependent stress signaling in C. albicans. Collectively, our data show that Ssk2 is the sole MAPKKK to relay stress signals to Hog1 in C. albicans and that the MAPK signaling network in C. albicans has diverged significantly from the corresponding network in S. cerevisiae.
Project description:In the present study, we have investigated the role of SSK2, PBS2, and HOG1, encoding modules of the high-osmolarity-glycerol mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in Candida lusitaniae. Functional analysis of mutants indicated that Ssk2p, Pbs2p, and Hog1p are involved in osmotolerance, drug sensitivity, and heavy metal tolerance but not in oxidant stress adaptation.
Project description:Iron is one of most abundant environmental metal ions but is highly limited in organisms. It is an important metal ion as it facilitates various biological processes, including catalysis of metabolic enzymes and DNA biogenesis. In bacteria, the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) protein controls iron uptake by regulating genes coding for iron transporters in response to iron concentration. This iron response is ascribed to Fur's intrinsic affinity for iron because its binding to iron dictates its regulatory function. However, we now report that the pathogen Salmonella achieves a proper response of Fur to changes in environmental iron concentrations via EIIANtr (a nitrogen metabolic phosphotransferase system component). We establish that EIIANtr increases expression of iron transporter-coding genes under low-iron conditions (i.e., nanomolar ranges) in a Fur-dependent manner, which promotes Salmonella growth under such conditions. EIIANtr directly hampers Fur binding to DNA, thereby inducing expression of those genes. This regulation allows Salmonella to express Fur-regulated genes under low-iron conditions. Our findings reveal a potentially widespread control mechanism of bacterial iron uptake systems operating in response to iron availability.IMPORTANCE Iron is a fundamental metal ion for living organisms as it facilitates various biological processes. The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) protein controls iron homeostasis in various bacterial species. It is believed that Fur's iron-dependent regulatory action is sufficient for it to function as an iron sensor. However, we now establish that the bacterial pathogen Salmonella enables Fur to properly reflect changes in surrounding iron availability by fine-tuning its responsiveness to iron. This process requires a protein that hampers Fur DNA binding at low iron concentrations. In this way, Salmonella broadens the range of iron concentrations that Fur responds to. Our findings reveal a potentially widespread control mechanism of bacterial iron homeostasis.
Project description:Thermal adaptation is essential in all organisms. In yeasts, the heat shock response is commanded by the heat shock transcription factor Hsf1. Here we have integrated unbiased genetic screens with directed molecular dissection to demonstrate that multiple signalling cascades contribute to thermal adaptation in the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. We show that the molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) interacts with and down-regulates Hsf1 thereby modulating short term thermal adaptation. In the longer term, thermal adaptation depends on key MAP kinase signalling pathways that are associated with cell wall remodelling: the Hog1, Mkc1 and Cek1 pathways. We demonstrate that these pathways are differentially activated and display cross talk during heat shock. As a result ambient temperature significantly affects the resistance of C. albicans cells to cell wall stresses (Calcofluor White and Congo Red), but not osmotic stress (NaCl). We also show that the inactivation of MAP kinase signalling disrupts this cross talk between thermal and cell wall adaptation. Critically, Hsp90 coordinates this cross talk. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of Hsp90 disrupts the Hsf1-Hsp90 regulatory circuit thereby disturbing HSP gene regulation and reducing the resistance of C. albicans to proteotoxic stresses. Hsp90 depletion also affects cell wall biogenesis by impairing the activation of its client proteins Mkc1 and Hog1, as well as Cek1, which we implicate as a new Hsp90 client in this study. Therefore Hsp90 modulates the short term Hsf1-mediated activation of the classic heat shock response, coordinating this response with long term thermal adaptation via Mkc1- Hog1- and Cek1-mediated cell wall remodelling.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Microorganisms use two-component signal transduction (TCST) systems to regulate the response of the organism to changes of environmental conditions. Such systems are absent from mammalian cells and are thus of interest as drug targets. Fungal TCST systems are usually composed of a hybrid histidine kinase, comprising the histidine kinase (HisKA) domain and a receiver domain, a histidine phosphotransfer protein and a response regulator. Among the 11 groups of fungal histidine kinases, group III histidine kinases are of particular relevance as they are essential for the activity of different groups of fungicides. A characteristic feature is the N-terminal amino acid repeat domain comprising multiple HAMP domains, of which the function is still largely unknown. In Candida albicans, a fungal human pathogen, three histidine kinases were identified, of which CaNik1p is a group III histidine kinase. Heterologous expression of this protein in Sacchromyces cerevisiae conferred susceptibility to different fungicides. Fungicide activity was associated with phosphorylation of the mitogen activated protein kinase Hog1p.<h4>Results</h4>We have constructed mutated versions of CaNik1p, from which either all HAMP domains were deleted (CaNik1p?HAMP) or in which the histidine kinase or the receiver domains were not-functional. Expression of CaNIK1?HAMP in S. cerevisiae led to severe growth inhibition. Normal growth could be restored by either replacing the phosphate-accepting histidine residue in CaNik1p?HAMP or by expressing CaNIK1?HAMP in S. cerevisiae mutants, in which single genes encoding several components of the HOG pathway were deleted. Expression of proteins with non-functional histidine kinase or receiver domains resulted in complete loss of susceptibility to antifungals, such as fludioxonil. Conditions leading to growth inhibition of transformants also led to phosphorylation of the MAP kinase Hog1p.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results show that functional histidine kinase and receiver domains of CaNik1p were essential for antifungal susceptibility and for activation of the Hog1p. Moreover, for the first time we show that deletion of all HAMP domains from CaNik1p led to activation of Hog1p without an external stimulus. This phenotype was similar to the effects obtained upon treatment with fungicides, as in both cases growth inhibition correlated with Hog1p activation and was dependent on the functionality of the conserved phosphate-accepting histidine residue.