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2.  Reporters for the analysis of N-glycosylation in Candida albicans☆ 
Fungal Genetics and Biology  2013;56(100):107-115.
Highlights
•Reporters for dissection of N-glycosylation in Candida albicans.•Detection of glycosylation at the single site on epitope-tagged reporter.•Reporter faithfully reflects glycosylation defects in cell wall mutants.
A large proportion of Candida albicans cell surface proteins are decorated post-translationally by glycosylation. Indeed N-glycosylation is critical for cell wall biogenesis in this major fungal pathogen and for its interactions with host cells. A detailed understanding of N-glycosylation will yield deeper insights into host-pathogen interactions. However, the analysis of N-glycosylation is extremely challenging because of the complexity and heterogeneity of these structures. Therefore, in an attempt to reduce this complexity and facilitate the analysis of N-glycosylation, we have developed new synthetic C. albicans reporters that carry a single N-linked glycosylation site derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae Suc2. These glycosylation reporters, which carry C. albicans Hex1 or Sap2 signal sequences plus carboxy-terminal FLAG3 and His6 tags, were expressed in C. albicans from the ACT1 promoter. The reporter proteins were successfully secreted and hyperglycosylated by C. albicans cells, and their outer chain glycosylation was dependent on Och1 and Pmr1, which are required for N-mannan synthesis, but not on Mnt1 and Mnt2 which are only required for O-mannosylation. These reporters are useful tools for the experimental dissection of N-glycosylation and other related processes in C. albicans, such as secretion.
doi:10.1016/j.fgb.2013.03.009
PMCID: PMC3705205  PMID: 23608318
Candida albicans; Glycosylation; Cell wall; Glycosylation reporter
3.  Differential Adaptation of Candida albicans In Vivo Modulates Immune Recognition by Dectin-1 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(4):e1003315.
The β-glucan receptor Dectin-1 is a member of the C-type lectin family and functions as an innate pattern recognition receptor in antifungal immunity. In both mouse and man, Dectin-1 has been found to play an essential role in controlling infections with Candida albicans, a normally commensal fungus in man which can cause superficial mucocutaneous infections as well as life-threatening invasive diseases. Here, using in vivo models of infection, we show that the requirement for Dectin-1 in the control of systemic Candida albicans infections is fungal strain-specific; a phenotype that only becomes apparent during infection and cannot be recapitulated in vitro. Transcript analysis revealed that this differential requirement for Dectin-1 is due to variable adaptation of C. albicans strains in vivo, and that this results in substantial differences in the composition and nature of their cell walls. In particular, we established that differences in the levels of cell-wall chitin influence the role of Dectin-1, and that these effects can be modulated by antifungal drug treatment. Our results therefore provide substantial new insights into the interaction between C. albicans and the immune system and have significant implications for our understanding of susceptibility and treatment of human infections with this pathogen.
Author Summary
Dectin-1 is a pattern recognition receptor recognising the fungal cell-wall component, β-glucan, and plays an essential role in controlling C. albicans infections in both mouse and man. Candida albicans is part of the normal human microflora, yet is capable of causing superficial mucosal infections as well as life-threatening invasive diseases, particularly in patients whose immune function is compromised. Here we found that the contribution of Dectin-1 is limited to specific strains of C. albicans; effects which are due to the differential adaptation of these pathogens during infection. Importantly, C. albicans strains showed variations in both the composition and nature of their cell walls, and it was these differences which influenced the role of Dectin-1. Crucially, we found that we could alter the fungal cell wall, and subsequent interactions with the host, using antifungal drugs. These findings have substantial implications for our understanding of the factors contributing to human susceptibility to infections with C. albicans, but also treatment strategies.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003315
PMCID: PMC3630191  PMID: 23637604
4.  MAPK, MKP1 and c-Fos Discriminate Candida albicans Yeast from Hyphae in Epithelial Cells 
Cell host & microbe  2010;8(3):225-235.
SUMMARY
Host mechanisms enabling discrimination between the commensal and pathogenic states of opportunistic pathogens are critical in mucosal defense and homeostasis. Here, we demonstrate that oral epithelial cells orchestrate an innate response to the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans via NF-κB and a bi-phasic MAPK response. Activation of NF-κB and the first MAPK phase, constituting c-Jun activation, is independent of morphology and due to the recognition of fungal cell wall structures. Activation of the second MAPK phase, constituting MKP1 and c-Fos activation, is dependent upon hypha-formation and fungal burdens, and correlates with proinflammatory responses. This MAPK-based discriminatory pathway may provide a mechanism for epithelial tissues to remain quiescent in the presence of low fungal burdens whilst responding specifically and strongly to damage-inducing hyphae when burdens increase. MAPK/MKP1/c-Fos activation may thus comprise a `danger response' pathway in vivo and may be critical in identifying when this normally commensal fungus has become pathogenic.
doi:10.1016/j.chom.2010.08.002
PMCID: PMC2991069  PMID: 20833374
5.  A Biphasic Innate Immune MAPK Response Discriminates between the Yeast and Hyphal Forms of Candida albicans in Epithelial Cells 
Cell Host & Microbe  2010;8(3):225-235.
Summary
Discriminating between commensal and pathogenic states of opportunistic pathogens is critical for host mucosal defense and homeostasis. The opportunistic human fungal pathogen Candida albicans is also a constituent of the normal oral flora and grows either as yeasts or hyphae. We demonstrate that oral epithelial cells orchestrate an innate response to C. albicans via NF-κB and a biphasic MAPK response. Activation of NF-κB and the first MAPK phase, constituting c-Jun activation, is independent of morphology and due to fungal cell wall recognition. Activation of the second MAPK phase, constituting MKP1 and c-Fos activation, is dependent upon hypha formation and fungal burdens and correlates with proinflammatory responses. Such biphasic response may allow epithelial tissues to remain quiescent under low fungal burdens while responding specifically and strongly to damage-inducing hyphae when burdens increase. MAPK/MKP1/c-Fos activation may represent a “danger response” pathway that is critical for identifying and responding to the pathogenic switch of commensal microbes.
Highlights
► NF-κB and MAPK control epithelial effector responses against Candida albicans ► c-Jun activation is independent of morphology and due to fungal cell wall recognition ► MAPK/MKP-1/c-Fos pathway activation is dependent on fungal hyphae and burdens ► MAPK discriminatory response may dictate C. albicans mucosal colonization in vivo
doi:10.1016/j.chom.2010.08.002
PMCID: PMC2991069  PMID: 20833374
6.  Syk kinase is required for collaborative cytokine production induced through Dectin-1 and Toll-like receptors 
European Journal of Immunology  2008;38(2):500-506.
Recognition of microbial components by germ-line encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRR) initiates immune responses to infectious agents. We and others have proposed that pairs or sets of PRR mediate host immunity. One such pair comprises the fungal β-glucan receptor, Dectin-1, which collaborates through an undefined mechanism with Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) to induce optimal cytokine responses in macrophages. We show here that Dectin-1 signaling through the spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) pathway is required for this collaboration, which can also occur with TLR4, 5, 7 and 9. Deficiency of either Syk or the TLR adaptor MyD88 abolished collaborative responses, which include TNF, MIP-1α and MIP-2 production, and which are comparable to the previously described synergy between TLR2 and TLR4. Collaboration of the Syk and TLR/MyD88 pathways results in sustained degradation of the inhibitor of kB (IkB), enhancing NFkB nuclear translocation. These findings establish the first example of Syk- and MyD88-coupled PRR collaboration, further supporting the concept that paired receptors collaborate to control infectious agents.
doi:10.1002/eji.200737741
PMCID: PMC2430329  PMID: 18200499
C-type lectin; Innate immunity; Macrophage; Syk; TLR
7.  Syk kinase is required for collaborative cytokine production induced through Dectin-1 and Toll-like receptors 
European journal of immunology  2008;38(2):500-506.
Recognition of microbial components by germ-line encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRR) initiates immune responses to infectious agents. We and others have proposed that pairs or sets of PRR mediate host immunity. One such pair comprises the fungal β-glucan receptor, Dectin-1, which collaborates through an undefined mechanism with Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) to induce optimal cytokine responses in macrophages. We show here that Dectin-1 signaling through the spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) pathway is required for this collaboration, which can also occur with TLR4, 5, 7 and 9. Deficiency of either Syk or the TLR adaptor MyD88 abolished collaborative responses, which include TNF, MIP-1α and MIP-2 production, and which are comparable to the previously described synergy between TLR2 and TLR4. Collaboration of the Syk and TLR/MyD88 pathways results in sustained degradation of the inhibitor of kB (IkB), enhancing NFkB nuclear translocation. These findings establish the first example of Syk- and MyD88-coupled PRR collaboration, further supporting the concept that paired receptors collaborate to control infectious agents.
doi:10.1002/eji.200737741
PMCID: PMC2430329  PMID: 18200499
C-type lectin; Innate immunity; Macrophage; Syk; TLR

Results 1-7 (7)