Articles by Luca Issi in JoVE
The Nematode Caenorhabditis Elegans - A Versatile In Vivo Model to Study Host-microbe Interactions Luca Issi1, Meredith Rioux1, Reeta Rao1 1Biology and Biotechnology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Here, we present the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a versatile host model to study microbial interaction.
Other articles by Luca Issi on PubMed
Chemical Screening Identifies Filastatin, a Small Molecule Inhibitor of Candida Albicans Adhesion, Morphogenesis, and Pathogenesis Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Aug, 2013 | Pubmed ID: 23904484 Infection by pathogenic fungi, such as Candida albicans, begins with adhesion to host cells or implanted medical devices followed by biofilm formation. By high-throughput phenotypic screening of small molecules, we identified compounds that inhibit adhesion of C. albicans to polystyrene. Our lead candidate compound also inhibits binding of C. albicans to cultured human epithelial cells, the yeast-to-hyphal morphological transition, induction of the hyphal-specific HWP1 promoter, biofilm formation on silicone elastomers, and pathogenesis in a nematode infection model as well as alters fungal morphology in a mouse mucosal infection assay. We term this compound filastatin based on its strong inhibition of filamentation, and we use chemical genetic experiments to show that it acts downstream of multiple signaling pathways. These studies show that high-throughput functional assays targeting fungal adhesion can provide chemical probes for study of multiple aspects of fungal pathogenesis.
The Evolution of Drug Resistance in Clinical Isolates of Candida Albicans ELife. Feb, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 25646566 Candida albicans is both a member of the healthy human microbiome and a major pathogen in immunocompromised individuals. Infections are typically treated with azole inhibitors of ergosterol biosynthesis often leading to drug resistance. Studies in clinical isolates have implicated multiple mechanisms in resistance, but have focused on large-scale aberrations or candidate genes, and do not comprehensively chart the genetic basis of adaptation. Here, we leveraged next-generation sequencing to analyze 43 isolates from 11 oral candidiasis patients. We detected newly selected mutations, including single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), copy-number variations and loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) events. LOH events were commonly associated with acquired resistance, and SNPs in 240 genes may be related to host adaptation. Conversely, most aneuploidies were transient and did not correlate with drug resistance. Our analysis also shows that isolates also varied in adherence, filamentation, and virulence. Our work reveals new molecular mechanisms underlying the evolution of drug resistance and host adaptation.
Zinc Cluster Transcription Factors Alter Virulence in Candida Albicans Genetics. Feb, 2017 | Pubmed ID: 27932543 Almost all humans are colonized with Candida albicans However, in immunocompromised individuals, this benign commensal organism becomes a serious, life-threatening pathogen. Here, we describe and analyze the regulatory networks that modulate innate responses in the host niches. We identified Zcf15 and Zcf29, two Zinc Cluster transcription Factors (ZCF) that are required for C. albicans virulence. Previous sequence analysis of clinical C. albicans isolates from immunocompromised patients indicates that both ZCF genes diverged during clonal evolution. Using in vivo animal models, ex vivo cell culture methods, and in vitro sensitivity assays, we demonstrate that knockout mutants of both ZCF15 and ZCF29 are hypersensitive to reactive oxygen species (ROS), suggesting they help neutralize the host-derived ROS produced by phagocytes, as well as establish a sustained infection in vivo Transcriptomic analysis of mutants under resting conditions where cells were not experiencing oxidative stress revealed a large network that control macro and micronutrient homeostasis, which likely contributes to overall pathogen fitness in host niches. Under oxidative stress, both transcription factors regulate a separate set of genes involved in detoxification of ROS and down-regulating ribosome biogenesis. ChIP-seq analysis, which reveals vastly different binding partners for each transcription factor (TF) before and after oxidative stress, further confirms these results. Furthermore, the absence of a dominant binding motif likely facilitates their mobility, and supports the notion that they represent a recent expansion of the ZCF family in the pathogenic Candida species. Our analyses provide a framework for understanding new aspects of the interface between C. albicans and host defense response, and extends our understanding of how complex cell behaviors are linked to the evolution of TFs.