A Systems Biology Approach to the Coordination of Defensive and Offensive Molecular Mechanisms in the Innate and Adaptive Host-Pathogen Interaction Networks.
ABSTRACT: Infected zebrafish coordinates defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms in response to Candida albicans infections, and invasive C. albicans coordinates corresponding molecular mechanisms to interact with the host. However, knowledge of the ensuing infection-activated signaling networks in both host and pathogen and their interspecific crosstalk during the innate and adaptive phases of the infection processes remains incomplete. In the present study, dynamic network modeling, protein interaction databases, and dual transcriptome data from zebrafish and C. albicans during infection were used to infer infection-activated host-pathogen dynamic interaction networks. The consideration of host-pathogen dynamic interaction systems as innate and adaptive loops and subsequent comparisons of inferred innate and adaptive networks indicated previously unrecognized crosstalk between known pathways and suggested roles of immunological memory in the coordination of host defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms to achieve specific and powerful defense against pathogens. Moreover, pathogens enhance intraspecific crosstalk and abrogate host apoptosis to accommodate enhanced host defense mechanisms during the adaptive phase. Accordingly, links between physiological phenomena and changes in the coordination of defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms highlight the importance of host-pathogen molecular interaction networks, and consequent inferences of the host-pathogen relationship could be translated into biomedical applications.
Project description:The clinical and biological significance of the study of fungal pathogen Candida albicans (C. albicans) has markedly increased. However, the explicit pathogenic and invasive mechanisms of such host-pathogen interactions have not yet been fully elucidated. Therefore, the essential functional modules involved in C. albicans-zebrafish interactions were investigated in this study. Adopting a systems biology approach, the early-stage and late-stage protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks for both C. albicans and zebrafish were constructed. By comparing PPI networks at the early and late stages of the infection process, several critical functional modules were identified in both pathogenic and defensive mechanisms. Functional modules in C. albicans, like those involved in hyphal morphogenesis, ion and small molecule transport, protein secretion, and shifts in carbon utilization, were seen to play important roles in pathogen invasion and damage caused to host cells. Moreover, the functional modules in zebrafish, such as those involved in immune response, apoptosis mechanisms, ion transport, protein secretion, and hemostasis-related processes, were found to be significant as defensive mechanisms during C. albicans infection. The essential functional modules thus determined could provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions during the infection process and thereby devise potential therapeutic strategies to treat C. albicans infection.
Project description:Candida albicans has emerged as an important model organism for the study of infectious disease. Using high-throughput simultaneously quantified time-course transcriptomics, this study constructed host-pathogen interspecies interaction networks between C. albicans and zebrafish during the adhesion, invasion, and damage stages. Given that iron and glucose have been identified as crucial resources required during the infection process between C. albicans and zebrafish, we focused on the construction of the interspecies networks associated with them. Furthermore, a randomization technique was proposed to identify differentially regulated proteins that are statistically eminent for the three infection stages. The behaviors of the highly connected or differentially regulated proteins identified from the resulting networks were further investigated. “Robustness” is an important system property that measures the ability of the system tolerating the intrinsic perturbations in a dynamic network. This characteristic provides a systematic and quantitative view to elucidate the dynamics of iron and glucose competition in terms of the interspecies interaction networks. Here, we further estimated the robustness of our constructed interspecies interaction networks for the three infection stages. The constructed networks and robustness analysis provided significant insight into dynamic interactions related to iron and glucose competition during infection and enabled us to quantify the system’s intrinsic perturbation tolerance ability during iron and glucose competition throughout the three infection stages. Moreover, the networks also assist in elucidating the offensive and defensive mechanisms of C. albicans and zebrafish during their competition for iron and glucose. Our proposed method can be easily extended to identify other such networks involved in the competition for essential resources during infection.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The immune system is a key biological system present in vertebrates. Exposure to pathogens elicits various defensive immune mechanisms that protect the host from potential threats and harmful substances derived from pathogens such as parasites, bacteria, and viruses. The complex immune system of humans and many other vertebrates can be divided into two major categories: the innate and the adaptive immune systems. At present, analysis of the complex interactions between the two subsystems that regulate host defense and inflammatory responses remains challenging. RESULTS: Based on time-course microarray data following primary and secondary infection of zebrafish by Candida albicans, we constructed two intracellular protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks for primary and secondary responses of the host. 57 proteins and 341 PPIs were identified for primary infection while 90 proteins and 385 PPIs were identified for secondary infection. There were 20 proteins in common while 37 and 70 proteins specific to primary and secondary infection. By inspecting the hub proteins of each network and comparing significant changes in the number of linkages between the two PPI networks, we identified TGF-? signaling and apoptosis as two of the main functional modules involved in primary and secondary infection. CONCLUSIONS: Our initial in silico analyses pave the way for further investigation into the interesting roles played by the TGF-? signaling pathway and apoptosis in innate and adaptive immunity in zebrafish. Such insights could lead to therapeutic advances and improved drug design in the continual battle against infectious diseases.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Despite clinical research and development in the last decades, infectious diseases remain a top global problem in public health today, being responsible for millions of morbidities and mortalities each year. Therefore, many studies have sought to investigate host-pathogen interactions from various viewpoints in attempts to understand pathogenic and defensive mechanisms, which could help control pathogenic infections. However, most of these efforts have focused predominately on the host or the pathogen individually rather than on a simultaneous analysis of both interaction partners. RESULTS: In this study, with the help of simultaneously quantified time-course Candida albicans-zebrafish interaction transcriptomics and other omics data, a computational framework was developed to construct the interspecies protein-protein interaction (PPI) network for C. albicans-zebrafish interactions based on the inference of ortholog-based PPIs and the dynamic modeling of regulatory responses. The identified C. albicans-zebrafish interspecies PPI network highlights the association between C. albicans pathogenesis and the zebrafish redox process, indicating that redox status is critical in the battle between the host and pathogen. CONCLUSIONS: Advancing from the single-species network construction method, the interspecies network construction approach allows further characterization and elucidation of the host-pathogen interactions. With continued accumulation of interspecies transcriptomics data, the proposed method could be used to explore progressive network rewiring over time, which could benefit the development of network medicine for infectious diseases.
Project description:In the arms race of host-microbe co-evolution, successful microbial pathogens have evolved ingenious ways to evade host immune responses. In this Review, we focus on 'crosstalk manipulation' - the microbial strategies that instigate, subvert or disrupt the molecular signalling crosstalk between receptors of the innate immune system. This proactive interference undermines host defences and contributes to microbial adaptive fitness and persistent infections. Understanding how pathogens exploit host receptor crosstalk mechanisms and infiltrate the host signalling network is essential for developing interventions to redirect the host response and achieve protective immunity.
Project description:Oral candidiasis, commonly referred to as "thrush," is an opportunistic fungal infection that commonly affects the oral mucosa. The main causative agent, Candida albicans, is a highly versatile commensal organism that is well adapted to its human host; however, changes in the host microenvironment can promote the transition from one of commensalism to pathogen. This transition is heavily reliant on an impressive repertoire of virulence factors, most notably cell surface adhesins, proteolytic enzymes, morphologic switching, and the development of drug resistance. In the oral cavity, the co-adhesion of C. albicans with bacteria is crucial for its persistence, and a wide range of synergistic interactions with various oral species were described to enhance colonization in the host. As a frequent colonizer of the oral mucosa, the host immune response in the oral cavity is oriented toward a more tolerogenic state and, therefore, local innate immune defenses play a central role in maintaining Candida in its commensal state. Specifically, in addition to preventing Candida adherence to epithelial cells, saliva is enriched with anti-candidal peptides, considered to be part of the host innate immunity. The T helper 17 (Th17)-type adaptive immune response is mainly involved in mucosal host defenses, controlling initial growth of Candida and inhibiting subsequent tissue invasion. Animal models, most notably the mouse model of oropharyngeal candidiasis and the rat model of denture stomatitis, are instrumental in our understanding of Candida virulence factors and the factors leading to host susceptibility to infections. Given the continuing rise in development of resistance to the limited number of traditional antifungal agents, novel therapeutic strategies are directed toward identifying bioactive compounds that target pathogenic mechanisms to prevent C. albicans transition from harmless commensal to pathogen.
Project description:Candida albicans (C. albicans) is the most prevalent fungal species. Although it is a healthy microbiota, genetic and epigenetic alterations in host and pathogen, and microenvironment changes would lead to thrush, vaginal yeast infection, and even hematogenously disseminated infection. Despite the fact that cytotoxicity is well-characterized, few studies discuss the genome-wide genetic and epigenetic molecular mechanisms between host and C. albicans. The aim of this study is to identify drug targets and design a multiple-molecule drug to prevent the infection from C. albicans. To investigate the common and specific pathogenic mechanisms in human oral epithelial OKF6/TERT-2 cells during the C. albicans infection in different strains, systems modeling and big databases mining were used to construct candidate host?pathogen genetic and epigenetic interspecies network (GEIN). System identification and system order detection are applied on two-sided next generation sequencing (NGS) data to build real host?pathogen cross-talk GEINs. Core host?pathogen cross-talk networks (HPCNs) are extracted by principal network projection (PNP) method. By comparing with core HPCNs in different strains of C. albicans, common pathogenic mechanisms were investigated and several drug targets were suggested as follows: orf19.5034 (YBP1) with the ability of anti-ROS; orf19.939 (NAM7), orf19.2087 (SAS2), orf19.1093 (FLO8) and orf19.1854 (HHF22) with high correlation to the hyphae growth and pathogen protein interaction; orf19.5585 (SAP5), orf19.5542 (SAP6) and orf19.4519 (SUV3) with the cause of biofilm formation. Eventually, five corresponding compounds-Tunicamycin, Terbinafine, Cerulenin, Tetracycline and Tetrandrine-with three known drugs could be considered as a potential multiple-molecule drug for therapeutic treatment of C. albicans.
Project description:The ability to adapt to diverse micro-environmental challenges encountered within a host is of pivotal importance to the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans. We have quantified C. albicans and M. musculus gene expression dynamics during phagocytosis by dendritic cells in a genome-wide, time-resolved analysis using simultaneous RNA-seq. A robust network inference map was generated from this dataset using NetGenerator, predicting novel interactions between the host and the pathogen. We experimentally verified predicted interdependent sub-networks comprising Hap3 in C. albicans, and Ptx3 and Mta2 in M. musculus. Remarkably, binding of recombinant Ptx3 to the C. albicans cell wall was found to regulate the expression of fungal Hap3 target genes as predicted by the network inference model. Pre-incubation of C. albicans with recombinant Ptx3 significantly altered the expression of Mta2 target cytokines such as IL-2 and IL-4 in a Hap3-dependent manner, further suggesting a role for Mta2 in host-pathogen interplay as predicted in the network inference model. We propose an integrated model for the functionality of these sub-networks during fungal invasion of immune cells, according to which binding of Ptx3 to the C. albicans cell wall induces remodeling via fungal Hap3 target genes, thereby altering the immune response to the pathogen. We show the applicability of network inference to predict interactions between host-pathogen pairs, demonstrating the usefulness of this systems biology approach to decipher mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis.
Project description:Armillaria mellea is a major plant pathogen. Yet, no large-scale "-omics" data are available to enable new studies, and limited experimental models are available to investigate basidiomycete pathogenicity. Here we reveal that the A. mellea genome comprises 58.35 Mb, contains 14473 gene models, of average length 1575 bp (4.72 introns/gene). Tandem mass spectrometry identified 921 mycelial (n = 629 unique) and secreted (n = 183 unique) proteins. Almost 100 mycelial proteins were either species-specific or previously unidentified at the protein level. A number of proteins (n = 111) was detected in both mycelia and culture supernatant extracts. Signal sequence occurrence was 4-fold greater for secreted (50.2%) compared to mycelial (12%) proteins. Analyses revealed a rich reservoir of carbohydrate degrading enzymes, laccases, and lignin peroxidases in the A. mellea proteome, reminiscent of both basidiomycete and ascomycete glycodegradative arsenals. We discovered that A. mellea exhibits a specific killing effect against Candida albicans during coculture. Proteomic investigation of this interaction revealed the unique expression of defensive and potentially offensive A. mellea proteins (n = 30). Overall, our data reveal new insights into the origin of basidiomycete virulence and we present a new model system for further studies aimed at deciphering fungal pathogenic mechanisms.
Project description:Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is an oral and systemic pathogen associated with aggressive forms of periodontitis and with endocarditis. Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) released by this species have been demonstrated to deliver effector proteins such as cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) and leukotoxin (LtxA) into human host cells and to act as triggers of innate immunity upon carriage of NOD1- and NOD2-active pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). To improve our understanding of the pathogenicity-associated functions that A. actinomycetemcomitans exports via OMVs, we studied the proteome of density gradient-purified OMVs from a rough-colony type clinical isolate, strain 173 (serotype e) using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). This analysis yielded the identification of 151 proteins, which were found in at least three out of four independent experiments. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002509. Through this study, we not only confirmed the vesicle-associated release of LtxA, and the presence of proteins, which are known to act as immunoreactive antigens in the human host, but we also identified numerous additional putative virulence-related proteins in the A. actinomycetemcomitans OMV proteome. The known and putative functions of these proteins include immune evasion, drug targeting, and iron/nutrient acquisition. In summary, our findings are consistent with an OMV-associated proteome that exhibits several offensive and defensive functions, and they provide a comprehensive basis to further disclose roles of A. actinomycetemcomitans OMVs in periodontal and systemic disease.