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Inhibition of classical and alternative modes of respiration in Candida albicans leads to cell wall remodelling and increased macrophage recognition

Duvenage, Lucian, Walker, Louise A., Bojarczuk, Aleksandra, Johnston, Simon A., Maccallum, Donna M., Munro, Carol, Gourlay, Campbell W. (2019) Inhibition of classical and alternative modes of respiration in Candida albicans leads to cell wall remodelling and increased macrophage recognition. mBio, 10 (1). Article Number 253518. ISSN 0095-1137. E-ISSN 2150-7511. (doi:10.1128/mBio.02535-18) (KAR id:71764)

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The human fungal pathogen Candida albicans requires respiratory function for normal growth, morphogenesis and virulence. Mitochondria therefore represent an enticing target for the development of new antifungal strategies. This possibility is bolstered by the presence of characteristics specific to fungi. However, respiration in C. albicans, as in many fungal organisms, is facilitated by redundant electron transport mechanisms, making direct inhibition a challenge. In addition, many chemicals known to target the electron transport chain are highly toxic. Here we make use of chemicals with low toxicity to efficiently inhibit respiration in C. albicans. We find that use of the Nitric Oxide donor, Sodium Nitroprusside (SNP), and the alternative oxidase inhibitor, SHAM, prevents respiration, leads to a loss of viability and to cell wall rearrangements that increase the rate of uptake by macrophages in vitro and in vivo. We propose that SNP+SHAM treatment leads to transcriptional changes that drive cell wall re-arrangement but which also prime cells to activate transition to hyphal growth. In line with this we find that pre-treatment of C. albicans with SNP+SHAM leads to an increase in virulence. Our data reveals strong links between respiration, cell wall remodelling and activation of virulence factors. Our findings demonstrate that respiration in C. albicans can be efficiently inhibited with chemicals, which are not damaging to the mammalian host, but that we need to develop a deeper understanding of the roles of mitochondria in cellular signalling if they are to be developed successfully as a target for new antifungals.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1128/mBio.02535-18
Projects: Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (WTSA) for Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology (MMFI)
Uncontrolled keywords: Candida, Pathogen, Fungal, Mitochondria, Alternative Oxidase, antifungal, yeast, medical mycology
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
Depositing User: Campbell Gourlay
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2019 12:53 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2022 22:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Gourlay, Campbell W.:
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