A proposed mechanism for the interaction between the Candida albicans Als3 adhesin and streptococcal cell wall proteins.
ABSTRACT: C. albicans binds various bacteria, including the oral commensal Streptococcus gordonii. Published reports documented the role of C. albicans Als3 and S. gordonii SspB in this interaction, and the importance of the Als N-terminal domain (NT-Als) in C. albicans adhesion. Here, we demonstrate that Als1 also binds S. gordonii. We also describe use of the NT-Als crystal structure to design mutations that precisely disrupt peptide-binding cavity (PBC) or amyloid-forming region (AFR) function in Als3. C. albicans displaying Als3 PBC mutant proteins showed significantly reduced binding to S. gordonii; mutation of the AFR did not affect the interaction. These observations present an enigma: the Als PBC binds free C termini of ligands, but the SspB C terminus is covalently linked to peptidoglycan and thus unavailable as a ligand. These observations and the predicted SspB elongated structure suggest that partial proteolysis of streptococcal cell wall proteins is necessary for recognition by Als adhesins.
Project description:The adhesive phenotype of Candida albicans contributes to its ability to colonize the host and cause disease. Als proteins are one of the most widely studied C. albicans virulence attributes; deletion of ALS3 produces the greatest reduction in adhesive function. Although adhesive activity is thought to reside within the N-terminal domain of Als proteins (NT-Als), the molecular mechanism of adhesion remains unclear. We designed mutations in NT-Als3 that test the contribution of the peptide-binding cavity (PBC) to C. albicans adhesion and assessed the adhesive properties of other NT-Als3 features in the absence of a functional PBC. Structural analysis of purified loss-of-PBC-function mutant proteins showed that the mutations did not alter the overall structure or surface properties of NT-Als3. The mutations were incorporated into full-length ALS3 and integrated into the ALS3 locus of a deletion mutant, under control of the native ALS3 promoter. The PBC mutant phenotype was evaluated in assays using monolayers of human pharyngeal epithelial and umbilical vein endothelial cells, and freshly collected human buccal epithelial cells in suspension. Loss of PBC function resulted in an adhesion phenotype that was indistinguishable from the ?als3/?als3 strain. The adhesive contribution of the Als3 amyloid-forming-region (AFR) was also tested using these methods. C. albicans strains producing cell surface Als3 in which the amyloidogenic potential was destroyed showed little contribution of the AFR to adhesion, instead suggesting an aggregative function for the AFR. Collectively, these results demonstrate the essential and principal role of the PBC in Als3 adhesion.
Project description:The opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans colonizes the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract. Adherence to host cells, extracellular matrix and salivary glycoproteins that coat oral surfaces, including prostheses, is an important prerequisite for colonization. In addition, interactions of C. albicans with commensal oral streptococci are suggested to promote retention and persistence of fungal cells in mixed-species communities. The hyphal filament specific cell wall protein Als3, a member of the Als protein family, is a major determinant in C. albicans adherence. Here, we utilized site-specific in-frame deletions within Als3 expressed on the surface of heterologous Saccharomyces cerevisiae to determine regions involved in interactions of Als3 with Streptococcus gordonii. N-terminal region amino acid residue deletions ?166-225, ?218-285, ?270-305 and ?277-286 were each effective in inhibiting binding of Strep. gordonii to Als3. In addition, these deletions differentially affected biofilm formation, hydrophobicity, and adherence to silicone and human tissue proteins. Deletion of the central repeat domain (?434-830) did not significantly affect interaction of Als3 with Strep. gordonii SspB protein, but affected other adherence properties and biofilm formation. Deletion of the amyloid-forming region (?325-331) did not affect interaction of Als3 with Strep. gordonii SspB adhesin, suggesting this interaction was amyloid-independent. These findings highlighted the essential function of the N-terminal domain of Als3 in mediating the interaction of C. albicans with S. gordonii, and suggested that amyloid formation is not essential for the inter-kingdom interaction.
Project description:Although it is widely recognized that disruption of ALS3 reduces the invasion of Candida albicans germ tubes into mammalian oral epithelial cells, the mechanism of this interaction was unexplored. C. albicans strains with structurally informed mutations to remove adhesive activity of the peptide-binding cavity (PBC) or aggregative activity mediated by the amyloid-forming region (AFR) were assessed for their ability to invade cultured human oropharyngeal epithelial cells. Initial assays utilized untreated fungal and epithelial cells. Subsequent work used epithelial cells treated with cytochalasin D and C. albicans cells treated with thimerosal to investigate invasion mediated by active penetration of germ tubes and epithelial cell induced endocytosis, respectively. Results demonstrated the importance of the PBC for the invasion process: loss of PBC function resulted in the same reduced-invasion phenotype as a C. albicans strain that did not produce Als3 on its surface. Invasion via active penetration was particularly compromised without PBC function. Loss of AFR function produced a wild-type phenotype in the untreated and thimerosal-treated invasion assays but increased invasion in cytochalasin D-treated epithelial cells. In previous work, reduced AFR-mediated Als3 aggregation increased C. albicans adhesion to cultured epithelial cell monolayers, presumably via increased PBC accessibility for ligand binding. Collectively, results presented here demonstrate that Als3 PBC-mediated adhesion is integral to its invasive function. These new data add to the mechanistic understanding of the role of Als3 in C. albicans invasion into mammalian oral epithelial cells.
Project description:Candida albicans is a fungus that colonizes oral cavity surfaces, the gut, and the genital tract. Streptococcus gordonii is a ubiquitous oral bacterium that has been shown to form biofilm communities with C. albicans. Formation of dual-species S. gordonii-C. albicans biofilm communities involves interaction of the S. gordonii SspB protein with the Als3 protein on the hyphal filament surface of C. albicans. Mannoproteins comprise a major component of the C. albicans cell wall, and in this study we sought to determine if mannosylation in cell wall biogenesis of C. albicans was necessary for hyphal adhesin functions associated with interkingdom biofilm development. A C. albicans mnt1? mnt2? mutant, with deleted ?-1,2-mannosyltransferase genes and thus defective in O-mannosylation, was abrogated in biofilm formation under various growth conditions and produced hyphal filaments that were not recognized by S. gordonii. Cell wall proteomes of hypha-forming mnt1? mnt2? mutant cells showed growth medium-dependent alterations, compared to findings for the wild type, in a range of protein components, including Als1, Als3, Rbt1, Scw1, and Sap9. Hyphal filaments formed by mnt1? mnt2? mutant cells, unlike wild-type hyphae, did not interact with C. albicans Als3 or Hwp1 partner cell wall proteins or with S. gordonii SspB partner adhesin, suggesting defective functionality of adhesins on the mnt1? mnt2? mutant. These observations imply that early stage O-mannosylation is critical for activation of hyphal adhesin functions required for biofilm formation, recognition by bacteria such as S. gordonii, and microbial community development. IMPORTANCE In the human mouth, microorganisms form communities known as biofilms that adhere