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Genomic and functional analyses unveil the response to hyphal wall stress in Candida albicans cells lacking β(1,3)-glucan remodeling

AuthorsRodríguez-Peña, José Manuel; Arroyo, Javier; Popolo, Laura
KeywordsMAP kinases
Cell integrity
Cell wall
Hyphal growth
Family GH72
Issue Date2016
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationBMC Genomics 17: 482 (2016)
Abstract[Background]: The cell wall is essential for the yeast to hypha (Y-H) transition that enables Candida albicans to invade human tissues and evade the immune system. The main constituent, β(1,3)-glucan, is remodeled by glucanosyltransferases of the GH72 family. Phr1p is responsible of glucan remodeling at neutral-alkaline pH and is essential for morphogenesis and virulence. Due to the pH-regulated expression of PHR1, the phr1 phenotype is manifested at pH > 6 and its severity increases with the rise in pH. We exploited the pH-conditional nature of a PHR1 null mutant to analyze the impact of glucan remodeling on the hyphal transcriptional program and the role of chitin synthases in the hyphal wall stress (HWS) response. [Results]: In hyphal growth inducing conditions, phr1 germ tubes are defective in elongation, accumulate chitin, and constitutively activate the signaling pathways mediated by the MAP kinases Mkc1p, Cek1p and Hog1p. The transcriptional profiles revealed an increase of transcript levels for genes involved in cell wall formation (CHS2 and CHS8, CRH11, PGA23, orf19.750, RBR1, RBT4, ECM331, PGA6, PGA13), protein N-glycosylation and sorting in the ER (CWH8 and CHS7), signaling (CPP1, SSK2), ion transport (FLC2, YVC1), stress response and metabolism and a reduced expression of adhesins. A transient up-regulation of DNA replication genes associated with entry into S-phase occurred whereas cell-cycle regulating genes (PCL1, PCL2, CCN1, GIN4, DUN1, CDC28) were persistently up-regulated. To test the physiological relevance of altered CHS gene expression, phr1 chsx (x = 2,3,8) mutant phenotypes were analyzed during the Y-H transition. PHR1 deletion was synthetic lethal with CHS3 loss on solid M199 medium-pH 7.5 and with CHS8 deletion on solid M199-pH 8. On Spider medium, PHR1 was synthetic lethal with CHS3 or CHS8 at pH 8. [Conclusions]: The absence of Phr1p triggers an adaptive response aimed to reinforce the hyphal cell wall and restore homeostasis. Chs3p is essential in preserving phr1 cell integrity during the Y-H transition. Our findings also unveiled an unanticipated essential role of Chs8p during filamentation on solid media. These results highlight the flexibility of fungal cells in maintaining cell wall integrity and contribute to assessments of glucan remodeling as a target for therapy.
DescriptionThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.-- et al.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016-2853-5
Identifiersdoi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2853-5
e-issn: 1471-2164
Appears in Collections:(IBFG) Artículos
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