Glucan Unmasking Identifies Regulators of Temperature-Induced Translatome Reprogramming in C. neoformans.

Affiliation

Bloom ALM(1), Goich D(1), Knowles CM(1), Panepinto JC(2).
Author information:
(1)Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, New York, USA.
(2)Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, New York, USA [Email]

Abstract

The cell walls of fungi are critical for cellular structure and rigidity but also serve as a major communicator to alert the cell to the changing environment. In response to stresses encountered in human hosts, pathogenic fungi remodel their cell walls. Masking the β-1,3-glucan component of the cell wall is critical to escape detection by innate immune cells. We previously demonstrated that β-1,3-glucan is unmasked in response to host temperature stress when translatome reprogramming is defective in Cryptococcus neoformans Here, we used β-1,3-glucan unmasking as an output to identify signaling modules involved both in masking and in translatome reprogramming in response to host temperature stress. We reveal that the high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG) mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is involved in translatome reprogramming and that mutants in this pathway display moderate unmasking when grown at 37°C. Additionally, we show that mutants of the cell wall integrity (CWI)/Mpk1 MAPK pathway extensively unmask β-1,3-glucan. While the CWI pathway does not impact translatome reprogramming, our data suggest that it may play a role in the posttranslational regulation of transcription factors that govern masking.IMPORTANCE Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that causes devastating morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised individuals. It possesses several virulence factors that aid in its evasion from the host immune system, including a large polysaccharide capsule that cloaks the antigenic cell wall. Studies investigating how the cell wall is remodeled to keep this pathogen disguised in response to stress have been limited. We previously found that host temperature stress results in translatome reprogramming that is necessary for keeping the highly antigenic β-(1, 3)-glucan component masked. Our data reveal signaling modules that trigger these responses and suggest the points of regulation at which these pathways act in achieving masking. Understanding these mechanisms may allow for therapeutic manipulation that may promote the immune recognition and clearance of this fungal pathogen.