Paracoccin distribution supports its role in Paracoccidioides brasiliensis growth and dimorphic transformation.
ABSTRACT: Paracoccidioides brasiliensis yeast was reported to express paracoccin, a GlcNAc-binding protein that displays N-acetyl-?-d-glucosaminidase (NAGase) activity. Highly specific anti-paracoccin antibodies have been previously used to examine the localization of paracoccin in yeast and inhibit its growth in vitro. In the present study, anti-paracoccin antibodies were used to characterize, by scanning confocal microscopy, the distribution of paracoccin in P. brasiliensis hyphae, transition forms from hyphae to yeast, and mature yeast. In the mycelial phase, paracoccin was detected mainly in the hyphae tips, where it demonstrated a punctate distribution, and was associated with the cell wall. During the first 48 hours after a temperature shift from 26°C to 37°C, paracoccin expression in the differentiating hyphae was mainly detected in the budding regions, i.e. lateral protrusions, and inside the new daughter cells. There was an increased number of chlamydoconidia that expressed a high concentration of paracoccin on their surfaces and/or in their interiors 72-96 hours after the temperature shift. After 120 hours, yeast cells were the predominant form and their cytoplasm stained extensively for paracoccin, whereas Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) staining was predominant on their exterior walls. After 10 days at 37°C, the interior of both mother and daughter yeast cells, as well as the budding regions, stained intensely for paracoccin. The comparison of mRNA-expression in the different fungal forms showed that PCN transcripts, although detected in all evaluated morphological forms, were higher in hypha and yeast-to-hypha transition forms. In conclusion, the pattern of paracoccin distribution in all P. brasiliensis morphotypes supports prevalent beliefs that it plays important roles in fungal growth and dimorphic transformation.
Project description:Many fungal species are dimorphic, exhibiting both unicellular yeast-like and filamentous forms. Schizosaccharomyces japonicus, a member of the fission yeast clade, is one such dimorphic fungus. Here, we first identify fruit extracts as natural, stress-free, starvation-independent inducers of filamentation, which we use to describe the properties of the dimorphic switch. During the yeast-to-hypha transition, the cell evolves from a bipolar to a unipolar system with 10-fold accelerated polarized growth but constant width, vacuoles segregated to the nongrowing half of the cell, and hyper-lengthening of the cell. We demonstrate unusual features of S. japonicus hyphae: these cells lack a Spitzenkörper, a vesicle distribution center at the hyphal tip, but display more rapid cytoskeleton-based transport than the yeast form, with actin cables being essential for the transition. S. japonicus hyphae also remain mononuclear and undergo complete cell divisions, which are highly asymmetric: one daughter cell inherits the vacuole, the other the growing tip. We show that these elongated cells scale their nuclear size, spindle length, and elongation rates, but display altered division size controls. This establishes S. japonicus as a unique system that switches between symmetric and asymmetric modes of growth and division.
Project description:The dimorphic fungus Yarrowia lipolytica grows to form hyphae either in rich media or in media with GlcNAc as a carbon source. A visual screening, called FIL (filamentation minus), for Y. lipolytica yeast growth mutants has been developed. The FIL screen was used to identify three Y. lipolytica genes that abolish hypha formation in all media assayed. Y. lipolytica HOY1, a gene whose deletion prevents the yeast-hypha transition both in liquid and solid media, was characterized. HOY1 is predicted to encode a 509-amino-acid protein with a homeodomain homologous to that found in the chicken Hox4.8 gene. Analysis of the protein predicts a nuclear location. These observations suggest that Hoy1p may function as a transcriptional regulatory protein. In disrupted strains, reintroduction of HOY1 restored the capacity for hypha formation. Northern blot hybridization revealed the HOY1 transcript to be approximately 1.6 kb. Expression of this gene was detected when Y. lipolytica grew as a budding yeast, but an increase in its expression was observed by 1 h after cells had been induced to form hyphae. The possible functions of HOY1 in hyphal growth and the uses of the FIL screen to identify morphogenetic regulatory genes from heterologous organisms are discussed.
Project description:The yeast-to-hypha transition is a key feature in the cell biology of the dimorphic human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is required for this dimorphic switch in Candida. We show that C. albicans WAL1 mutants with both copies of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) homolog deleted do not form hyphae under all inducing conditions tested. Growth of the wild-type and wal1 mutant strains was monitored by in vivo time-lapse microscopy both during yeast-like growth and under hypha-inducing conditions. Isotropic bud growth produced round wal1 cells and unusual mother cell growth. Defects in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton resulted in the random localization of actin patches. Furthermore, wal1 cells exhibited defects in the endocytosis of the lipophilic dye FM4-64, contained increased numbers of vacuoles compared to the wild type, and showed defects in bud site selection. Under hypha-inducing conditions wal1 cells were able to initiate polarized morphogenesis, which, however, resulted in the formation of pseudohyphal cells. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged Wal1p showed patch-like localization in emerging daughter cells during the yeast growth phase and at the hyphal tips under hypha-inducing conditions. Wal1p-GFP localization largely overlapped with that of actin. Our results demonstrate that Wal1p is required for the organization of the actin cytoskeleton and hyphal morphogenesis in C. albicans as well as for endocytosis and vacuole morphology.
Project description:The gene ECE1 (extent of cell elongation 1) was isolated by differential hybridization screening of a Candida albicans cDNA library by using probes derived from populations of yeast cells or hyphae. Expression of this gene was not detected when C. albicans grew as a budding yeast cell but was observed within 30 min after cells had been induced to form hyphae. In all strains tested, regardless of the induction signal, ECE1 expression correlated with the extent of cell elongation. The genomic version of ECE1 was cloned and sequenced. The deduced 271-amino-acid polypeptide consisted of eight tandem repeats of a degenerate 34-amino-acid sequence which contained no discernible homology with other known sequences. An ECE1 null mutant displayed no morphological alterations, which demonstrated that ECE1 is not essential for cell elongation or hypha formation despite the strict morphological association of its expression.
Project description:Candida albicans is a gut commensal and opportunistic pathogen. The transition between yeast and invasive hyphae is central to virulence but has unknown functions during commensal growth. In a mouse model of colonization, yeast and hyphae co-occur throughout the gastrointestinal tract. However, competitive infections of C. albicans homozygous gene disruption mutants revealed an unanticipated, inhibitory role for the yeast-to-hypha morphogenesis program on commensalism. We show that the transcription factor Ume6, a master regulator of filamentation, inhibits gut colonization, not by effects on cell shape, but by activating the expression of a hypha-specific pro-inflammatory secreted protease, Sap6, and a hyphal cell surface adhesin, Hyr1. Like a ume6 mutant, strains lacking SAP6 exhibit enhanced colonization fitness, whereas SAP6-overexpression strains are attenuated in the gut. These results reveal a tradeoff between fungal programs supporting commensalism and virulence in which selection against hypha-specific markers limits the disease-causing potential of this ubiquitous commensal-pathogen.
Project description:Candida albicans is an opportunistic and polymorphic fungal pathogen that causes mucosal, disseminated and invasive infections in humans. Transition from the yeast form to the hyphal form is one of the key virulence factors in C. albicans contributing to macrophage evasion, tissue invasion and biofilm formation. Nontoxic small molecules that inhibit C. albicans yeast-to-hypha conversion and hyphal growth could represent a valuable source for understanding pathogenic fungal morphogenesis, identifying drug targets and serving as templates for the development of novel antifungal agents. Here, we have identified the triterpenoid saponin family of gymnemic acids (GAs) as inhibitor of C. albicans morphogenesis. GAs were isolated and purified from Gymnema sylvestre leaves, the Ayurvedic traditional medicinal plant used to treat diabetes. Purified GAs had no effect on the growth and viability of C. albicans yeast cells but inhibited its yeast-to-hypha conversion under several hypha-inducing conditions, including the presence of serum. Moreover, GAs promoted the conversion of C. albicans hyphae into yeast cells under hypha inducing conditions. They also inhibited conidial germination and hyphal growth of Aspergillus sp. Finally, GAs inhibited the formation of invasive hyphae from C. albicans-infected Caenorhabditis elegans worms and rescued them from killing by C. albicans. Hence, GAs could be useful for various antifungal applications due to their traditional use in herbal medicine.
Project description:In many fungal pathogens, infection is initiated by conidial germination. Subsequent stages involve germ tube elongation, conidiation, and vegetative hyphal fusion (anastomosis). Here, we used live-cell fluorescence to study the dynamics of green fluorescent protein (GFP)- and cherry fluorescent protein (ChFP)-labeled nuclei in the plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum. Hyphae of F. oxysporum have uninucleated cells and exhibit an acropetal nuclear pedigree, where only the nucleus in the apical compartment is mitotically active. In contrast, conidiation follows a basopetal pattern, whereby mononucleated microconidia are generated by repeated mitotic cycles of the subapical nucleus in the phialide, followed by septation and cell abscission. Vegetative hyphal fusion is preceded by directed growth of the fusion hypha toward the receptor hypha and followed by a series of postfusion nuclear events, including mitosis of the apical nucleus of the fusion hypha, migration of a daughter nucleus into the receptor hypha, and degradation of the resident nucleus. These previously unreported patterns of nuclear dynamics in F. oxysporum could be intimately related to its pathogenic lifestyle.
Project description:Current models that describe the extension of fungal hyphae and development of a mycelium either do not describe the role of vesicles in hyphal extension or do not correctly describe the experimentally observed profile for distribution of vesicles along the hypha. The present work uses the n-tanks-in-series approach to develop a model for hyphal extension that describes the intracellular transport of nutrient to a sub-apical zone where vesicles are formed and then transported to the tip, where tip extension occurs. The model was calibrated using experimental data from the literature for the extension of reproductive aerial hyphae of three different fungi, and was able to describe different profiles involving acceleration and deceleration of the extension rate. A sensitivity analysis showed that the supply of nutrient to the sub-apical vesicle-producing zone is a key factor influencing the rate of extension of the hypha. Although this model was used to describe the extension of a single reproductive aerial hypha, the use of the n-tanks-in-series approach to representing the hypha means that the model has the flexibility to be extended to describe the growth of other types of hyphae and the branching of hyphae to form a complete mycelium.
Project description:In response to a wide variety of environmental stimuli, the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans exits the budding cycle, producing germ tubes and hyphae concomitant with expression of virulence genes, such as that encoding hyphal wall protein 1 (HWP1). Biochemical studies implicate cyclic AMP (cAMP) increases in promoting bud-hypha transitions, but genetic evidence relating genes that control cAMP levels to bud-hypha transitions has not been reported. Adenylate cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) of nonpathogenic fungi interact with Ras and adenylate cyclase to increase cAMP levels under specific environmental conditions. To initiate studies on the relationship between cAMP signaling and bud-hypha transitions in C. albicans, we identified, cloned, characterized, and disrupted the C. albicans CAP1 gene. C. albicans strains with inactivated CAP1 budded in conditions that led to germ tube formation in isogenic strains with CAP1. The addition of 10 mM cAMP and dibutyryl cAMP promoted bud-hypha transitions and filamentous growth in the cap1/cap1 mutant in liquid and solid media, respectively, showing clearly that cAMP promotes hypha formation in C. albicans. Increases in cytoplasmic cAMP preceding germ tube emergence in strains having CAP1 were markedly diminished in the budding cap1/cap1 mutant. C. albicans strains with deletions of both alleles of CAP1 were avirulent in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis. The avirulence of a germ tube-deficient cap1/cap1 mutant coupled with the role of Cap1 in regulating cAMP levels shows that the Cap1-mediated cAMP signaling pathway is required for bud-hypha transitions, filamentous growth, and the pathogenesis of candidiasis.
Project description:Filamentous fungi that colonize microenvironments, such as animal or plant tissue or soil, must find optimal paths through their habitat, but the biological basis for negotiating growth in constrained environments is unknown. We used time-lapse live-cell imaging of Neurospora crassa in microfluidic environments to show how constraining geometries determine the intracellular processes responsible for fungal growth. We found that, if a hypha made contact with obstacles at acute angles, the Spitzenkörper (an assembly of vesicles) moved from the center of the apical dome closer to the obstacle, thus functioning as an internal gyroscope, which preserved the information regarding the initial growth direction. Additionally, the off-axis trajectory of the Spitzenkörper was tracked by microtubules exhibiting "cutting corner" patterns. By contrast, if a hypha made contact with an obstacle at near-orthogonal incidence, the directional memory was lost, due to the temporary collapse of the Spitzenkörper-microtubule system, followed by the formation of two "daughter" hyphae growing in opposite directions along the contour of the obstacle. Finally, a hypha passing a lateral opening in constraining channels continued to grow unperturbed, but a daughter hypha gradually branched into the opening and formed its own Spitzenkörper-microtubule system. These observations suggest that the Spitzenkörper-microtubule system is responsible for efficient space partitioning in microenvironments, but, in its absence during constraint-induced apical splitting and lateral branching, the directional memory is lost, and growth is driven solely by the isotropic turgor pressure. These results further our understanding of fungal growth in microenvironments relevant to environmental, industrial, and medical applications.