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Division of labour in response to host oxidative burst drives a fatal Cryptococcus gattii outbreak

Voelz, Kerstin, Johnston, Simon A., Smith, Leanne M., Hall, Rebecca A., Idnurm, Alexander, May, Robin C. (2014) Division of labour in response to host oxidative burst drives a fatal Cryptococcus gattii outbreak. Nature Communications, 5 . Article Number 5194. E-ISSN 2041-1723. (doi:10.1038/ncomms6194) (KAR id:86617)

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Cryptococcus gattii is an emerging intracellular pathogen and the cause of the largest primary outbreak of a life-threatening fungal disease in a healthy population. Outbreak strains share a unique mitochondrial gene expression profile and an increased ability to tubularize their mitochondria within host macrophages. However, the underlying mechanism that causes this lineage of C. gattii to be virulent in immunocompetent individuals remains unexplained. Here we show that a subpopulation of intracellular C. gattii adopts a tubular mitochondrial morphology in response to host reactive oxygen species. These fungal cells then facilitate the rapid growth of neighbouring C. gattii cells with non-tubular mitochondria, allowing for effective establishment of the pathogen within a macrophage intracellular niche. Thus, host reactive oxygen species, an essential component of the innate immune response, act as major signalling molecules to trigger a ‘division of labour’ in the intracellular fungal population, leading to increased pathogenesis within this outbreak lineage.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/ncomms6194
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Depositing User: Becky Hall
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2021 10:38 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 22:04 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Hall, Rebecca A.:
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