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2.  How Does It Kill?: Understanding the Candidacidal Mechanism of Salivary Histatin 5 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):958-964.
Histatins are salivary cationic peptides that provide the first line of defense against oral candidiasis caused by Candida albicans. This minireview presents a critical evaluation of our knowledge of the candidacidal mechanism of histatin 5 (Hst 5). Hst 5 is the most potent among all histatin family members with regard to its antifungal activity. The mode of action of Hst 5 has been a subject of intense debate. Unlike other classical host innate immune proteins, pore formation or membrane lysis by Hst 5 has largely been disproven, and it is now known that all targets of Hst 5 are intracellular. Hst 5 binds C. albicans cell wall proteins (Ssa1/2) and glycans and is taken up by the cells through fungal polyamine transporters in an energy-dependent manner. Once inside the fungal cells, Hst 5 may affect mitochondrial functions and cause oxidative stress; however, the ultimate cause of cell death is by volume dysregulation and ion imbalance triggered by osmotic stress. Besides these diverse targets, a novel mechanism based on the metal binding abilities of Hst 5 is discussed. Finally, translational approaches for Hst 5, based on peptide design and synergy with other known drugs, are considered a step forward for bench-to-bed application of Hst 5.
doi:10.1128/EC.00095-14
PMCID: PMC4135785  PMID: 24951439
3.  F-Box Protein RcyA Controls Turnover of the Kinesin-7 Motor KipA in Aspergillus nidulans 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):1085-1094.
Fungal filamentous growth depends on continuous membrane insertion at the tip, the delivery of membrane-bound positional markers, and the secretion of enzymes for cell wall biosynthesis. This is achieved through exocytosis. At the same time, polarized growth requires membrane and protein recycling through endocytosis. Endocytic vesicles are thought to enter the protein degradation pathway or recycle their content to the cell surface. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Rcy1 F-box protein is involved in the recycling process of a v-SNARE protein. We identified a Rcy1 orthologue, RcyA, in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans as a protein interacting with the KipA kinesin-7 motor protein in a yeast two-hybrid screen. The interaction was confirmed through bimolecular fluorescence complementation. RcyA possesses an F-box domain at the N terminus and a prenylation (CaaX) motif at the C terminus. RcyA shows also similarity to Sec10, a component of the exocyst complex. The RcyA protein localized to the hyphal tip and forming septa, likely through transportation on secretory vesicles and partially on early endosomes, but independently of KipA. Deletion of rcyA did not cause severe morphological changes but caused partial defects in the recycling of the SynA v-SNARE protein and the positioning of the cell end markers TeaA and TeaR. In addition, deletion of rcyA led to increased concentrations of the KipA protein, whereas the transcript concentration was unaffected. These results suggest that RcyA probably labels KipA for degradation and thereby controls the protein amount of KipA.
doi:10.1128/EC.00042-14
PMCID: PMC4135786  PMID: 24951440
4.  Interplay between Candida albicans and the Antimicrobial Peptide Armory 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):950-957.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are key elements of innate immunity, which can directly kill multiple bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens. The medically important fungus Candida albicans colonizes different host niches as part of the normal human microbiota. Proliferation of C. albicans is regulated through a complex balance of host immune defense mechanisms and fungal responses. Expression of AMPs against pathogenic fungi is differentially regulated and initiated by interactions of a variety of fungal pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) with pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on human cells. Inflammatory signaling and other environmental stimuli are also essential to control fungal proliferation and to prevent parasitism. To persist in the host, C. albicans has developed a three-phase AMP evasion strategy, including secretion of peptide effectors, AMP efflux pumps, and regulation of signaling pathways. These mechanisms prevent C. albicans from the antifungal activity of the major AMP classes, including cathelicidins, histatins, and defensins leading to a basal resistance. This minireview summarizes human AMP attack and C. albicans resistance mechanisms and current developments in the use of AMPs as antifungal agents.
doi:10.1128/EC.00093-14
PMCID: PMC4135787  PMID: 24951441
5.  Aspergillus parasiticus SU-1 Genome Sequence, Predicted Chromosome Structure, and Comparative Gene Expression under Aflatoxin-Inducing Conditions: Evidence that Differential Expression Contributes to Species Phenotype 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):1113-1123.
The filamentous fungi Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus produce the carcinogenic secondary metabolite aflatoxin on susceptible crops. These species differ in the quantity of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 produced in culture, in the ability to produce the mycotoxin cyclopiazonic acid, and in morphology of mycelia and conidiospores. To understand the genetic basis for differences in biochemistry and morphology, we conducted next-generation sequence (NGS) analysis of the A. parasiticus strain SU-1 genome and comparative gene expression (RNA sequence analysis [RNA Seq]) analysis of A. parasiticus SU-1 and A. flavus strain NRRL 3357 (3357) grown under aflatoxin-inducing and -noninducing culture conditions. Although A. parasiticus SU-1 and A. flavus 3357 are highly similar in genome structure and gene organization, we observed differences in the presence of specific mycotoxin gene clusters and differential expression of specific mycotoxin genes and gene clusters that help explain differences in the type and quantity of mycotoxins synthesized. Using computer-aided analysis of secondary metabolite clusters (antiSMASH), we demonstrated that A. parasiticus SU-1 and A. flavus 3357 may carry up to 93 secondary metabolite gene clusters, and surprisingly, up to 10% of the genome appears to be dedicated to secondary metabolite synthesis. The data also suggest that fungus-specific zinc binuclear cluster (C6) transcription factors play an important role in regulation of secondary metabolite cluster expression. Finally, we identified uniquely expressed genes in A. parasiticus SU-1 that encode C6 transcription factors and genes involved in secondary metabolism and stress response/cellular defense. Future work will focus on these differentially expressed A. parasiticus SU-1 loci to reveal their role in determining distinct species characteristics.
doi:10.1128/EC.00108-14
PMCID: PMC4135788  PMID: 24951444
6.  Toxoplasma gondii Development of Its Replicative Niche: in Its Host Cell and Beyond 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):965-976.
Intracellular pathogens can replicate efficiently only after they manipulate and modify their host cells to create an environment conducive to replication. While diverse cellular pathways are targeted by different pathogens, metabolism, membrane and cytoskeletal architecture formation, and cell death are the three primary cellular processes that are modified by infections. Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan that infects ∼30% of the world's population and causes severe and life-threatening disease in developing fetuses, in immune-comprised patients, and in certain otherwise healthy individuals who are primarily found in South America. The high prevalence of Toxoplasma in humans is in large part a result of its ability to modulate these three host cell processes. Here, we highlight recent work defining the mechanisms by which Toxoplasma interacts with these processes. In addition, we hypothesize why some processes are modified not only in the infected host cell but also in neighboring uninfected cells.
doi:10.1128/EC.00081-14
PMCID: PMC4135789  PMID: 24951442
7.  The Volatome of Aspergillus fumigatus 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):1014-1025.
Early detection of invasive aspergillosis is absolutely required for efficient therapy of this fungal infection. The identification of fungal volatiles in patient breath can be an alternative for the detection of Aspergillus fumigatus that still remains problematic. In this work, we investigated the production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by A. fumigatus in vitro, and we show that volatile production depends on the nutritional environment. A. fumigatus produces a multiplicity of VOCs, predominantly terpenes and related compounds. The production of sesquiterpenoid compounds was found to be strongly induced by increased iron concentrations and certain drugs, i.e., pravastatin. Terpenes that were always detectable in large amounts were α-pinene, camphene, and limonene, as well as sesquiterpenes, identified as α-bergamotene and β-trans-bergamotene. Other substance classes that were found to be present in the volatome, such as 1-octen-3-ol, 3-octanone, and pyrazines, were found only under specific growth conditions. Drugs that interfere with the terpene biosynthesis pathway influenced the composition of the fungal volatome, and most notably, a block of sesquiterpene biosynthesis by the bisphosphonate alendronate fundamentally changed the VOC composition. Using deletion mutants, we also show that a terpene cyclase and a putative kaurene synthase are essential for the synthesis of volatile terpenes by A. fumigatus. The present analysis of in vitro volatile production by A. fumigatus suggests that VOCs may be used in the diagnosis of infections caused by this fungus.
doi:10.1128/EC.00074-14
PMCID: PMC4135790  PMID: 24906414
8.  Editorial Board 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):A1.
doi:10.1128/EC.masthead.13-8
PMCID: PMC4135791
9.  Articles of Significant Interest Selected from This Issue by the Editors 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):949.
doi:10.1128/EC.00156-14
PMCID: PMC4135792
10.  Normal Telomere Length Maintenance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Requires Nuclear Import of the Ever Shorter Telomeres 1 (Est1) Protein via the Importin Alpha Pathway 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):1036-1050.
The Est1 (ever shorter telomeres 1) protein is an essential component of yeast telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein complex that restores the repetitive sequences at chromosome ends (telomeres) that would otherwise be lost during DNA replication. Previous work has shown that the telomerase RNA component (TLC1) transits through the cytoplasm during telomerase biogenesis, but mechanisms of protein import have not been addressed. Here we identify three nuclear localization sequences (NLSs) in Est1p. Mutation of the most N-terminal NLS in the context of full-length Est1p reduces Est1p nuclear localization and causes telomere shortening—phenotypes that are rescued by fusion with the NLS from the simian virus 40 (SV40) large-T antigen. In contrast to that of the TLC1 RNA, Est1p nuclear import is facilitated by Srp1p, the yeast homolog of importin α. The reduction in telomere length observed at the semipermissive temperature in a srp1 mutant strain is rescued by increased Est1p expression, consistent with a defect in Est1p nuclear import. These studies suggest that at least two nuclear import pathways are required to achieve normal telomere length homeostasis in yeast.
doi:10.1128/EC.00115-14
PMCID: PMC4135794  PMID: 24906415
11.  PFP1, a Gene Encoding an Epc-N Domain-Containing Protein, Is Essential for Pathogenicity of the Barley Pathogen Rhynchosporium commune 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):1026-1035.
Scald caused by Rhynchosporium commune is an important foliar disease of barley. Insertion mutagenesis of R. commune generated a nonpathogenic fungal mutant which carries the inserted plasmid in the upstream region of a gene named PFP1. The characteristic feature of the gene product is an Epc-N domain. This motif is also found in homologous proteins shown to be components of histone acetyltransferase (HAT) complexes of fungi and animals. Therefore, PFP1 is suggested to be the subunit of a HAT complex in R. commune with an essential role in the epigenetic control of fungal pathogenicity. Targeted PFP1 disruption also yielded nonpathogenic mutants which showed wild-type-like growth ex planta, except for the occurrence of hyphal swellings. Complementation of the deletion mutants with the wild-type gene reestablished pathogenicity and suppressed the hyphal swellings. However, despite wild-type-level PFP1 expression, the complementation mutants did not reach wild-type-level virulence. This indicates that the function of the protein complex and, thus, fungal virulence are influenced by a position-affected long-range control of PFP1 expression.
doi:10.1128/EC.00043-14
PMCID: PMC4135795  PMID: 24906413
12.  Cross Talk between NDR Kinase Pathways Coordinates Cytokinesis with Cell Separation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):1104-1112.
NDR (nuclear Dbf-2-related) kinases constitute key regulatory nodes in signaling networks that control multiple biological processes such as growth, proliferation, mitotic exit, morphogenesis, and apoptosis. Two NDR pathways called the septation initiation network (SIN) and the morphogenesis Orb6 network (MOR) exist in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The SIN promotes cytokinesis, and the MOR drives cell separation at the end of cytokinesis and polarized growth during interphase. We showed previously that cross talk exists between these two pathways, with the SIN inhibiting the MOR during cytokinesis through phosphorylation of the MOR component Nak1 by the SIN Sid2 kinase. The reason for this inhibition remained uncertain. We show here that failure to inhibit MOR signaling during cytokinesis results in cell lysis at the site of septum formation. Time-lapse analysis revealed that MOR signaling during cytokinesis causes cells to prematurely initiate septum degradation/cell separation. The cell lysis phenotype is due to premature initiation of cell separation because it can be rescued by mutations in genes required for cell separation/septum degradation. We also shed further light on how the SIN inhibits the MOR. Sid2 phosphorylation of the MOR proteins Sog2 and Nak1 is required to prevent cell lysis during cytokinesis. Together, these results show that SIN inhibition of the MOR enforces proper temporal ordering of cytokinetic events.
doi:10.1128/EC.00129-14
PMCID: PMC4135796  PMID: 24972934
13.  BEM46 Shows Eisosomal Localization and Association with Tryptophan-Derived Auxin Pathway in Neurospora crassa 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):1051-1063.
BEM46 proteins are evolutionarily conserved, but their functions remain elusive. We reported previously that the BEM46 protein in Neurospora crassa is targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and is essential for ascospore germination. In the present study, we established a bem46 knockout strain of N. crassa. This Δbem46 mutant exhibited a level of ascospore germination lower than that of the wild type but much higher than those of the previously characterized bem46-overexpressing and RNA interference (RNAi) lines. Reinvestigation of the RNAi transformants revealed two types of alternatively spliced bem46 mRNA; expression of either type led to a loss of ascospore germination. Our results indicated that the phenotype was not due to bem46 mRNA downregulation or loss but was caused by the alternatively spliced mRNAs and the peptides they encoded. Using the N. crassa ortholog of the eisosomal protein PILA from Aspergillus nidulans, we further demonstrated the colocalization of BEM46 with eisosomes. Employing the yeast two-hybrid system, we identified a single interaction partner: anthranilate synthase component II (encoded by trp-1). This interaction was confirmed in vivo by a split-YFP (yellow fluorescent protein) approach. The Δtrp-1 mutant showed reduced ascospore germination and increased indole production, and we used bioinformatic tools to identify a putative auxin biosynthetic pathway. The genes involved exhibited various levels of transcriptional regulation in the different bem46 transformant and mutant strains. We also investigated the indole production of the strains in different developmental stages. Our findings suggested that the regulation of indole biosynthesis genes was influenced by bem46 overexpression. Furthermore, we uncovered evidence of colocalization of BEM46 with the neutral amino acid transporter MTR.
doi:10.1128/EC.00061-14
PMCID: PMC4135797  PMID: 24928924
14.  Intracellular β-Glucosidases CEL1a and CEL1b Are Essential for Cellulase Induction on Lactose in Trichoderma reesei 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):1001-1013.
Lactose (1,4-O-β-d-galacto-pyranosyl-d-glucose) induces cellulolytic enzymes in Trichoderma reesei and is in fact one of the most important soluble carbon sources used to produce cellulases on an industrial level. The mechanism underlying the induction is, however, not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the cellular functions of the intracellular β-glucosidases CEL1a and CEL1b in the induction of cellulase genes by lactose in T. reesei. We demonstrated that while CEL1a and CEL1b were functionally equivalent in mediating the induction, the simultaneous absence of these intracellular β-glucosidases abolished cbh1 gene expression on lactose. d-Galactose restored the efficient cellulase gene induction in the Δcel1a strain independently of its reductive metabolism, but not in the Δcel1a Δcel1b strain. A further comparison of the transcriptional responses of the Δcel1a Δcel1b strain complemented with wild-type CEL1a or a catalytically inactive CEL1a version and the Δcel1a strain constitutively expressing CEL1a or the Kluyveromyces lactis β-galactosidase LAC4 showed that both the CEL1a protein and its glycoside hydrolytic activity were indispensable for cellulase induction by lactose. We also present evidence that intracellular β-glucosidase-mediated lactose induction is further conveyed to XYR1 to ensure the efficiently induced expression of cellulase genes.
doi:10.1128/EC.00100-14
PMCID: PMC4135799  PMID: 24879125
15.  Heterochromatin Controls γH2A Localization in Neurospora crassa 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):990-1000.
In response to genotoxic stress, ATR and ATM kinases phosphorylate H2A in fungi and H2AX in animals on a C-terminal serine. The resulting modified histone, called γH2A, recruits chromatin-binding proteins that stabilize stalled replication forks or promote DNA double-strand-break repair. To identify genomic loci that might be prone to replication fork stalling or DNA breakage in Neurospora crassa, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) of γH2A followed by next-generation sequencing (ChIP-seq). γH2A-containing nucleosomes are enriched in Neurospora heterochromatin domains. These domains are comprised of A·T-rich repetitive DNA sequences associated with histone H3 methylated at lysine-9 (H3K9me), the H3K9me-binding protein heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1), and DNA cytosine methylation. H3K9 methylation, catalyzed by DIM-5, is required for normal γH2A localization. In contrast, γH2A is not required for H3K9 methylation or DNA methylation. Normal γH2A localization also depends on HP1 and a histone deacetylase, HDA-1, but is independent of the DNA methyltransferase DIM-2. γH2A is globally induced in dim-5 mutants under normal growth conditions, suggesting that the DNA damage response is activated in these mutants in the absence of exogenous DNA damage. Together, these data suggest that heterochromatin formation is essential for normal DNA replication or repair.
doi:10.1128/EC.00117-14
PMCID: PMC4135800  PMID: 24879124
16.  VeA Is Associated with the Response to Oxidative Stress in the Aflatoxin Producer Aspergillus flavus 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):1095-1103.
Survival of fungal species depends on the ability of these organisms to respond to environmental stresses. Osmotic stress or high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can cause stress in fungi resulting in growth inhibition. Both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells have developed numerous mechanisms to counteract and survive the stress in the presence of ROS. In many fungi, the HOG signaling pathway is crucial for the oxidative stress response as well as for osmotic stress response. This study revealed that while the osmotic stress response is only slightly affected by the master regulator veA, this gene, also known to control morphological development and secondary metabolism in numerous fungal species, has a profound effect on the oxidative stress response in the aflatoxin-producing fungus Aspergillus flavus. We found that the expression of A. flavus homolog genes involved in the HOG signaling pathway is regulated by veA. Deletion of veA resulted in a reduction in transcription levels of oxidative stress response genes after exposure to hydrogen peroxide. Furthermore, analyses of the effect of VeA on the promoters of cat1 and trxB indicate that the presence of VeA alters DNA-protein complex formation. This is particularly notable in the cat1 promoter, where the absence of VeA results in abnormally stronger complex formation with reduced cat1 expression and more sensitivity to ROS in a veA deletion mutant, suggesting that VeA might prevent binding of negative transcription regulators to the cat1 promoter. Our study also revealed that veA positively influences the expression of the transcription factor gene atfB and that normal formation of DNA-protein complexes in the cat1 promoter is dependent on AtfB.
doi:10.1128/EC.00099-14
PMCID: PMC4135802  PMID: 24951443
17.  Distinct Roles of Candida albicans-Specific Genes in Host-Pathogen Interactions 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):977-989.
Human fungal pathogens are distributed throughout their kingdom, suggesting that pathogenic potential evolved independently. Candida albicans is the most virulent member of the CUG clade of yeasts and a common cause of both superficial and invasive infections. We therefore hypothesized that C. albicans possesses distinct pathogenicity mechanisms. In silico genome subtraction and comparative transcriptional analysis identified a total of 65 C. albicans-specific genes (ASGs) expressed during infection. Phenotypic characterization of six ASG-null mutants demonstrated that these genes are dispensable for in vitro growth but play defined roles in host-pathogen interactions. Based on these analyses, we investigated two ASGs in greater detail. An orf19.6688Δ mutant was found to be fully virulent in a mouse model of disseminated candidiasis and to induce higher levels of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) following incubation with murine macrophages. A pga16Δ mutant, on the other hand, exhibited attenuated virulence. Moreover, we provide evidence that secondary filamentation events (multiple hyphae emerging from a mother cell and hyphal branching) contribute to pathogenicity: PGA16 deletion did not influence primary hypha formation or extension following contact with epithelial cells; however, multiple hyphae and hyphal branching were strongly reduced. Significantly, these hyphae failed to damage host cells as effectively as the multiple hypha structures formed by wild-type C. albicans cells. Together, our data show that species-specific genes of a eukaryotic pathogen can play important roles in pathogenicity.
doi:10.1128/EC.00051-14
PMCID: PMC4135803  PMID: 24610660
18.  Insect Stage-Specific Receptor Adenylate Cyclases Are Localized to Distinct Subdomains of the Trypanosoma brucei Flagellar Membrane 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(8):1064-1076.
Increasing evidence indicates that the Trypanosoma brucei flagellum (synonymous with cilium) plays important roles in host-parasite interactions. Several studies have identified virulence factors and signaling proteins in the flagellar membrane of bloodstream-stage T. brucei, but less is known about flagellar membrane proteins in procyclic, insect-stage parasites. Here we report on the identification of several receptor-type flagellar adenylate cyclases (ACs) that are specifically upregulated in procyclic T. brucei parasites. Identification of insect stage-specific ACs is novel, as previously studied ACs were constitutively expressed or confined to bloodstream-stage parasites. We show that procyclic stage-specific ACs are glycosylated, surface-exposed proteins that dimerize and possess catalytic activity. We used gene-specific tags to examine the distribution of individual AC isoforms. All ACs examined localized to the flagellum. Notably, however, while some ACs were distributed along the length of the flagellum, others specifically localized to the flagellum tip. These are the first transmembrane domain proteins to be localized specifically at the flagellum tip in T. brucei, emphasizing that the flagellum membrane is organized into specific subdomains. Deletion analysis reveals that C-terminal sequences are critical for targeting ACs to the flagellum, and sequence comparisons suggest that differential subflagellar localization might be specified by isoform-specific C termini. Our combined results suggest insect stage-specific roles for a subset of flagellar adenylate cyclases and support a microdomain model for flagellar cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling in T. brucei. In this model, cAMP production is compartmentalized through differential localization of individual ACs, thereby allowing diverse cellular responses to be controlled by a common signaling molecule.
doi:10.1128/EC.00019-14
PMCID: PMC4135804  PMID: 24879126
20.  Calcineurin Controls Hyphal Growth, Virulence, and Drug Tolerance of Candida tropicalis 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(7):844-854.
Candida tropicalis, a species closely related to Candida albicans, is an emerging fungal pathogen associated with high mortality rates of 40 to 70%. Like C. albicans and Candida dubliniensis, C. tropicalis is able to form germ tubes, pseudohyphae, and hyphae, but the genes involved in hyphal growth machinery and virulence remain unclear in C. tropicalis. Recently, echinocandin- and azole-resistant C. tropicalis isolates have frequently been isolated from various patients around the world, making treatment difficult. However, studies of the C. tropicalis genes involved in drug tolerance are limited. Here, we investigated the roles of calcineurin and its potential target, Crz1, for core stress responses and pathogenesis in C. tropicalis. We demonstrate that calcineurin and Crz1 are required for hyphal growth, micafungin tolerance, and virulence in a murine systemic infection model, while calcineurin but not Crz1 is essential for tolerance of azoles, caspofungin, anidulafungin, and cell wall-perturbing agents, suggesting that calcineurin has both Crz1-dependent and -independent functions in C. tropicalis. In addition, we found that calcineurin and Crz1 have opposite roles in controlling calcium tolerance. Calcineurin serves as a negative regulator, while Crz1 plays a positive role for calcium tolerance in C. tropicalis.
doi:10.1128/EC.00302-13
PMCID: PMC4135728  PMID: 24442892
21.  Articles of Significant Interest Selected from This Issue by the Editors 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(7):843.
doi:10.1128/EC.00133-14
PMCID: PMC4135729
22.  A Large Nonconserved Region of the Tethering Protein Leashin Is Involved in Regulating the Position, Movement, and Function of Woronin Bodies in Aspergillus oryzae 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(7):866-877.
The Woronin body is a Pezizomycotina-specific organelle that is typically tethered to the septum, but upon hyphal wounding, it plugs the septal pore to prevent excessive cytoplasmic loss. Leashin (LAH) is a large Woronin body tethering protein that contains highly conserved N- and C-terminal regions and a long (∼2,500-amino-acid) nonconserved middle region. As the involvement of the nonconserved region in Woronin body function has not been investigated, here, we functionally characterized individual regions of the LAH protein of Aspergillus oryzae (AoLAH). In an Aolah disruptant, no Woronin bodies were tethered to the septum, and hyphae had a reduced ability to prevent excessive cytoplasmic loss upon hyphal wounding. Localization analysis revealed that the N-terminal region of AoLAH associated with Woronin bodies dependently on AoWSC, which is homologous to Neurospora crassa WSC (Woronin body sorting complex), and that the C-terminal region was localized to the septum. Elastic movement of Woronin bodies was observed when visualized with an AoLAH N-terminal-region–enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) fusion protein. An N- and C-terminal fusion construct lacking the nonconserved middle region of AoLAH was sufficient for the tethering of Woronin bodies to the septum. However, Woronin bodies were located closer to the septum and exhibited impaired elastic movement. Moreover, expression of middle-region-deleted AoLAH in the Aolah disruptant did not restore the ability to prevent excessive cytoplasmic loss. These findings indicate that the nonconserved middle region of AoLAH has functional importance for regulating the position, movement, and function of Woronin bodies.
doi:10.1128/EC.00060-14
PMCID: PMC4135730  PMID: 24813188
23.  Editorial Board 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(7):A1.
doi:10.1128/EC.masthead.13-7
PMCID: PMC4135732
24.  Aminopeptidase N1 (EtAPN1), an M1 Metalloprotease of the Apicomplexan Parasite Eimeria tenella, Participates in Parasite Development 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(7):884-895.
Aminopeptidases N are metalloproteases of the M1 family that have been reported in numerous apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, and Eimeria. While investigating the potency of aminopeptidases as therapeutic targets against coccidiosis, one of the most important avian diseases caused by the genus Eimeria, we identified and characterized Eimeria tenella aminopeptidase N1 (EtAPN1). Its inhibition by bestatin and amastatin, as well as its reactivation by divalent ions, is typical of zinc-dependent metalloproteases. EtAPN1 shared a similar sequence, three-dimensional structure, and substrate specificity and similar kinetic parameters with A-M1 from Plasmodium falciparum (PfA-M1), a validated target in the treatment of malaria. EtAPN1 is synthesized as a 120-kDa precursor and cleaved into 96-, 68-, and 38-kDa forms during sporulation. Further, immunolocalization assays revealed that, similar to PfA-M1, EtAPN1 is present during the intracellular life cycle stages in both the parasite cytoplasm and the parasite nucleus. The present results support the hypothesis of a conserved role between the two aminopeptidases, and we suggest that EtAPN1 might be a valuable target for anticoccidiosis drugs.
doi:10.1128/EC.00062-14
PMCID: PMC4135734  PMID: 24839124
25.  UPC2 Is Universally Essential for Azole Antifungal Resistance in Candida albicans 
Eukaryotic Cell  2014;13(7):933-946.
In Candida albicans, the transcription factor Upc2 is central to the regulation of ergosterol biosynthesis. UPC2-activating mutations contribute to azole resistance, whereas disruption increases azole susceptibility. In the present study, we investigated the relationship of UPC2 to fluconazole susceptibility, particularly in azole-resistant strains. In addition to the reduced fluconazole MIC previously observed with UPC2 disruption, we observed a lower minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) for a upc2Δ/Δ mutant than for its azole-susceptible parent, SC5314. Moreover, the upc2Δ/Δ mutant was unable to grow on a solid medium containing 10 μg/ml fluconazole and exhibited increased susceptibility and a clear zone of inhibition by Etest. Time-kill analysis showed higher fungistatic activity against the upc2Δ/Δ mutant than against SC5314. UPC2 disruption in strains carrying specific resistance mutations also resulted in reduced MICs and MFCs. UPC2 disruption in a highly azole resistant clinical isolate containing multiple resistance mechanisms likewise resulted in a reduced MIC and MFC. This mutant was unable to grow on a solid medium containing 10 μg/ml fluconazole and exhibited increased susceptibility and a clear zone of inhibition by Etest. Time-kill analysis showed increased fungistatic activity against the upc2Δ/Δ mutant in the resistant background. Microarray analysis showed attenuated induction by fluconazole of genes involved in sterol biosynthesis, iron transport, or iron homeostasis in the absence of UPC2. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the UPC2 transcriptional network is universally essential for azole resistance in C. albicans and represents an attractive target for enhancing azole antifungal activity.
doi:10.1128/EC.00221-13
PMCID: PMC4135735  PMID: 24659578

Results 1-25 (2352)