Amphotericin B (AMB) is an antifungal drug that binds to ergosterol and forms pores at the cell membrane, causing the loss of ions. In addition, AMB induces the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and although these molecules have multiple deleterious effects on fungal cells, their specific role in the action mechanism of AMB remains unknown. In this work, we studied the role of ROS in the action mechanism of AMB. We determined the intracellular induction of ROS in 44 isolates of different pathogenic yeast species (Candida albicans, Candida parapsilosis, Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis, Candida krusei, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Cryptococcus gattii). We also characterized the production of ROS in AMB-resistant isolates. We found that AMB induces the formation of ROS in all the species tested. The inhibition of the mitochondrial respiratory chain by rotenone blocked the induction of ROS by AMB and provided protection from the killing action of the antifungal. Moreover, this phenomenon was absent in strains that displayed resistance to AMB. These strains showed an alteration in the respiration rate and mitochondrial membrane potential and also had higher catalase activity than that of the AMB-susceptible strains. Consistently, AMB failed to induce protein carbonylation in the resistant strains. Our data demonstrate that the production of ROS by AMB is a universal and important action mechanism that is correlated with the fungicidal effect and might explain the low rate of resistance to the molecule. Finally, these data provide an opportunity to design new strategies to improve the efficacy of this antifungal.
The non-reducing disaccharide trehalose is a singular molecule, which has been strictly conserved throughout evolution in prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea), lower eukaryotes, plants, and invertebrates, but is absent in vertebrates and-more specifically-in mammals. There are notable differences regarding the pivotal roles played by trehalose among distantly related organisms as well as in the specific metabolic pathways of trehalose biosynthesis and/or hydrolysis, and the regulatory mechanisms that control trehalose expression genes and enzymatic activities. The success of trehalose compared with that of other structurally related molecules is attributed to its exclusive set of physical properties, which account for its physiological roles and have also promoted important biotechnological applications. However, an intriguing question still remains: why are vertebrates in general, and mammals in particular, unable (or have lost the capacity) to synthesize trehalose? The search for annotated genomes of vertebrates reveals the absence of any functional trehalose synthase gene. Indeed, this is also true for the human genome, which contains, however, two genes encoding for isoforms of the hydrolytic activity (trehalase). Although we still lack a convincing answer, this striking difference might reflect the divergent evolutionary lineages followed by invertebrates and vertebrates. Alternatively, some clinical data point to trehalose as a toxic molecule when stored inside the human body.
An ORF named CPAR2-208980 on contig 005809 was identified by screening a Candida parapsilosis genome data base. Its 67% identity with the acid trehalase sequence from C. albicans (ATC1) led us to designate it CpATC1. Homozygous mutants that lack acid trehalase activity were constructed by gene disruption at the two CpATC1 chromosomal alleles. Phenotypic characterization showed that atc1? null cells were unable to grow on exogenous trehalose as carbon source, and also displayed higher resistance to environmental challenges, such as saline exposure (1.2 M NaCl), heat shock (42°C) and both mild and severe oxidative stress (5 and 50 mM H2O2). Significant amounts of intracellular trehalose were specifically stored in response to the thermal upshift in both wild type and mutant strains. Analysis of their antioxidant activities revealed that catalase was only triggered in response to heat shock in atc1? cells, whereas glutathione reductase was activated upon mild oxidative stress in wild type and reintegrant strains, and in response to the whole set of stress treatments in the homozygous mutant. Furthermore, yeast cells with double CpATC1 deletion were significantly attenuated in non-mammalian infection models, suggesting that CpATC1 is required for the pathobiology of the fungus. Our results demonstrate the involvement of CpAtc1 protein in the physiological hydrolysis of external trehalose in C. parapsilosis, where it also plays a major role in stress resistance and virulence.
The jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas plays an important role in marine food webs both as predator and prey. We investigated the ontogenetic and spatiotemporal variability of the diet composition of jumbo squid in the northern Humboldt Current system. For that purpose we applied several statistical methods to an extensive dataset of 3,618 jumbo squid non empty stomachs collected off Peru from 2004 to 2011. A total of 55 prey taxa was identified that we aggregated into eleven groups. Our results evidenced a large variability in prey composition as already observed in other systems. However, our data do not support the hypothesis that jumbo squids select the most abundant or energetic taxon in a prey assemblage, neglecting the other available prey. Indeed, multinomial model predictions showed that stomach fullness increased with the number of prey taxa, while most stomachs with low contents contained one or two prey taxa only. Our results therefore question the common hypothesis that predators seek locally dense aggregations of monospecific prey. In addition D. gigas consumes very few anchovy Engraulis ringens in Peru, whereas a tremendous biomass of anchovy is potentially available. It seems that D. gigas cannot reach the oxygen unsaturated waters very close to the coast, where the bulk of anchovy occurs. Indeed, even if jumbo squid can forage in hypoxic deep waters during the day, surface normoxic waters are then required to recover its maintenance respiration (or energy?). Oxygen concentration could thus limit the co-occurrence of both species and then preclude predator-prey interactions. Finally we propose a conceptual model illustrating the opportunistic foraging behaviour of jumbo squid impacted by ontogenetic migration and potentially constrained by oxygen saturation in surface waters.
The Candida albicans gene PGA26 encodes a small cell wall protein and is upregulated during de novo wall synthesis in protoplasts. Disruption of PGA26 caused hypersensitivity to cell wall-perturbing compounds (Calcofluor white and Congo red) and to zymolyase, which degrades the cell wall ?-1,3-glucan network. However, susceptibility to caspofungin, an inhibitor of ?-1,3-glucan synthesis, was decreased. In addition, pga26? mutants show increased susceptibility to antifungals (fluconazol, posaconazol or amphotericin B) that target the plasma membrane and have altered sensitivities to environmental (heat, osmotic and oxidative) stresses. Except for a threefold increase in ?-1,6-glucan and a slightly widened outer mannoprotein layer, the cell wall composition and structure was largely unaltered. Therefore, Pga26 is important for proper cell wall integrity, but does not seem to be directly involved in the synthesis of cell wall components. Deletion of PGA26 further leads to hyperfilamentation, increased biofilm formation and reduced virulence in a mouse model of disseminated candidiasis. We propose that deletion of PGA26 may cause an imbalance in the morphological switching ability of Candida, leading to attenuated dissemination and infection.
Cephalopods play a major role in marine ecosystems, but knowledge of their feeding ecology is limited. In particular, intra- and inter-individual variations in their use of resources has not been adequatly explored, although there is growing evidence that individual organisms can vary considerably in the way they use their habitats and resources.
The yeast Candida albicans has developed a variety of strategies to resist macrophage killing. In yeasts, accumulation of trehalose is one of the principal defense mechanisms under stress conditions. The gene-encoding trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS1), which is responsible for trehalose synthesis, is induced in response to oxidative stress, as in phagolysosomes. Mutants unable to synthesize trehalose are sensitive to oxidative stress in vitro. In mice, the TPS1-deficient strain, tps1/tps1, displays a lower infection rate than its parental strain (CAI4). We have previously demonstrated the reduced binding capacity of tps1/tps1 and its lower resistance to macrophages. At the same time, its outer cell wall layer was seen to be altered. In this study, we show that depending on the culture conditions, the tps1/tps1 strain regulates the carbohydrate metabolism in a different way to CAI4, as reflected by the enhanced ?-mannosylation of cell wall components, especially at the level of the 120 kDa glycoprotein species, accessible at the cell surface of tps1/tps1 when cultured in liquid medium, but not on solid medium. This leads to changes in its surface properties, as revealed by decreased hydrophobicity, and the lower levels of ERK1/2 phosphorylation and tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) production in macrophages, thus increasing the resistance to these cells. In contrast, in solid medium, in which over-glycosylation was less evident, tps1/tps1 showed similar macrophage interaction properties to CAI4, but was less resistant to killing, confirming the protective role of trehalose. Thus, the lack of trehalose is compensated by an over-glycosylation of the cell wall components in the tps1/tps1 mutant, which reduces susceptibility to killing.
Enzymes involved in trehalose metabolism have been proposed as potential targets for new antifungals. To analyse this proposal, the susceptibility to Amphotericin B (AmB) of the C. albicans trehalose-deficient mutant tps1?/tps1?, was examined.
In the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans, the MAP-kinase Hog1 mediates an essential protective role against oxidative stress, a feature shared with the transcription factor Cap1. We analysed the adaptive oxidative response of strains with both elements altered. Pretreatment with gentle doses of oxidants or thermal upshifts (28-->37 and 37-->42 degrees C) improved survival in the face of high concentrations of oxidants (50 mM H(2)O(2) or 40 mM menadione), pointing to a functional cross-protective mechanism in the mutants. The oxidative challenge promoted a marked intracellular synthesis of trehalose, although hog1 (but not cap1) cells always displayed high basal trehalose levels. Hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) induced mRNA expression of the trehalose biosynthetic genes (TPS1 and TPS2) in the tested strains. Furthermore, oxidative stress also triggered a differential activation of various antioxidant activities, whose intensity was greater after HOG1 and CAP1 deletion. The pattern of activity was dependent on the oxidant dosage applied: low concentrations of H(2)O(2) (0.5-5 mM) clearly induced catalase and glutathione reductase (GR), whereas drastic H(2)O(2) exposure (50 mM) increased Mn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) isozyme-mediated SOD activity. These results firmly support the existence in C. albicans of both Hog1- and Cap1-independent mechanisms against oxidative stress.
Two enzymes endowed with trehalase activity are present in Candida albicans. The cytosolic trehalase (Ntc1p), displayed high activity in exponential phase regardless of the carbon source (glucose, trehalose or glycerol). Ntc1p activity was similar in neutral (pH 7.1) or acid (pH 4.5) conditions, strongly inhibited by ATP, weakly stimulated by divalent cations (Ca(2+)or Mn(2+)) and unaffected in the presence of cyclic AMP. The Ntc1p activity decreased in stationary phase, except in glycerol-grown cultures, but the catalytic properties did not change. In turn, the cell wall-linked trehalase (Atc1p) showed elevated activity in resting cells or in cultures growing on trehalose or glycerol. Although Atc1p is subjected to glucose repression, exhaustion of glucose in itself did not increased the activity. Significant Atc1p values could also be measured at neutral or acid pH, but Atc1p was insensitive to ATP, cyclic AMP and divalent cations. These results are in direct contrast with the current classification of yeast trehalases based on their optimum pH. They are also relevant in the light of the proposed use of trehalase inhibitors for the treatment of candidiasis.
Disruption of the TPS2 gene encoding the only trehalose-6P phosphatase activity in Candida albicans caused a pleiotropic defective phenotype, maintaining the cell wall integrity and the ability to form chlamydospores. A homozygous tps2Delta/tps2Delta showed reduced growth at high temperatures and a marked sensitivity to heat shock (42 degrees C) and severe oxidative exposure (50mM H(2)O(2)). Reintroduction of the TPS2 gene reversed these alterations. A more detailed study of the antioxidant response showed that exponential tps2Delta null cells displayed an adaptive response to oxidative stress as well as cross-tolerance between temperature and oxidative stress. Differential measurement of trehalose and trehalose-6P, using reliable new HPLC methodology, revealed a significant accumulation of trehalose-6P in tps2Delta cells, which was enhanced after oxidative exposure. In contrast, the level of trehalose-6P in parental cells was virtually undetectable, and oxidative treatment only induced the synthesis of free trehalose. A transitory increase in the expression of TPS2 and TPS1 genes was promoted in wild-type cells in response to acute (50mM) but not gentle (5mM) oxidative exposure. TPS1 and TPS2 oxidative-induced transcriptions were completely absent from the tps2Delta mutant. Exponential blastoconidia from both parental and tps2Delta/tps2Delta strains were completely phagocytosed by murine and human macrophages, triggering a subsequent proinflammatory response manifested by the release of TNF-alpha. Reflecting the lower resistance to oxidative stress displayed by the tps2Delta mutant, intracellular survival in resting and IFN-gamma and LPS-stimulated macrophages was also diminished. Taken together, our results confirm the mainly protective role played by the trehalose biosynthetic pathway in the cellular response to oxidative stress and subsequently in the resistance to phagocytosis in C. albicans, a defensive mechanism in which TPS2 would be involved.
Candida albicans exponential yeast cells are able to face environmental challenges by mounting a rapid and efficient "general stress response". Here we show that one of the main components of this response consists of the intracellular protective accumulation of the non-reducing disaccharide trehalose and two polyols, glycerol and D-arabitol, an accumulation that occurs in a stress-specific dependent manner. Thus, oxidative exposures promoted a marked increase in both trehalose and D-arabitol in the wild type strain, RM-100, whereas the glycerol content remained virtually unaffected with respect to basal levels. In contrast, osmotic challenges induced the significant storage of glycerol accompanied by minor changes, or even a slight drop, in the intracellular content of trehalose and D-arabitol. We examined the hypothetical role in this process of the MAP kinase Hog1, which regulates the protective responses in C. albicans against both oxidative and osmotic stress. Interestingly, unlike glycerol synthesis, the stress-induced trehalose accumulation was always Hog1-independent, whereas the ability to synthesize D-arabitol was only partially dependent on a functional Hog1 pathway.
The putative candicidal activity of resveratrol is currently a matter of controversy. Here, the antifungal activity as well as the antioxidant response of resveratrol against Candida albicans, have been tested in a set of strains with a well-established genetic background At the doses usually employed in antifungal tests (10-40 ?g/ml), resveratrol has no effect on the exponential growth of the C. albicans CAI.4 strain, a tenfold increase (400 ?g/ml) was required in order to record a certain degree of cell killing, which was negligible in comparison with the strong antifungal effect caused by the addition of amphotericin B (5 ?g/ml). An identical pattern was recorded in the prototrophic strains of C. albicans SC5314 and RM-100, whereas the oxidative sensitive trehalose-deficient mutant (tps1/tps1 strain) was totally refractory to the presence of resveratrol. In turn, the serum-induced yeast-to-hypha transition remained unaffected upon addition of different concentrations of resveratrol. Determination of endogenous trehalose and catalase activity, two antioxidant markers in C. albicans; revealed no significant changes in their basal contents induced by resveratrol. Collectively, our results seem to dismiss a main antifungal role as well as the therapeutic application of resveratrol against the infections caused by C. albicans.
Developmental programming by maternal stress during pregnancy is found to influence behavioral development in the offspring. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of maternal sodium depletion in rats during pregnancy on the development of thirst mechanisms in the offspring. Pregnant rats underwent 3 episodes of saline depletion, induced by injecting sc 10 mg of Furosemide in saline (0.5 ml). The treatment, given on the 14th, 17th and 20th days post-conception, is thought to induce acute sodium depletion on dams. The offspring were tested for their drinking responses to Isoproterenol (500 µg/kg sc). In accordance to the known sequence of ontogenic development of drinking mechanisms, all groups of pups drunk after being stimulated with Isoproterenol at 6 days of age. The offspring from Furosemide-treated dams drank significantly less than the control group after Isoproterenol (p<0.001). Nevertheless, basal intake (water drunk after vehicle-saline only) was also significantly lower in these pups (p<0.001). In conclusion, offspring exposed to saline depletion in utero, modify their thirst responses at 6 day of age. This confirms that in utero conditions determine thirst responses in the offspring and they could provide adaptive advantages.
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