Candida albicans is one of the most common human fungal pathogens. C. albicans pathogenesis is tightly linked to its ability to under a morphogenetic transition from typically budding yeast to filamentous forms of hyphae and pseudohyphae. Filamentous morphogenesis is the most intensively studied C. albicans virulence traits; however, nearly all of these studies have been based on in vitro induction of filamentation. Using an intravital imaging assay of filamentation during mammalian (mouse) infection, we have screened a library of transcription factor mutants to identify those that modulate both the initiation and maintenance of filamentation in vivo. We coupled this initial screen with genetic interaction analysis and in vivo transcription profiling to characterize the transcription factor network governing filamentation in infected mammalian tissue. Three core positive (Efg1, Brg1, and Rob1) and two core negative regulators (Nrg1 and Tup1) of filament initiation were identified. No previous systematic analysis of genes affecting the elongation step has been reported and we found that large set of transcription factors affect filament elongation in vivo including four (Hms1, Lys14, War1, Dal81) with no effect on in vitro elongation. We also show that the gene targets of initiation and elongation regulators are distinct. Genetic interaction analysis of the core positive and negative regulators revealed that the master regulator Efg1 primarily functions to mediate relief of Nrg1 repression and is dispensable for expression of hypha-associated genes in vitro and in vivo. Thus, our analysis not only provide the first characterization of the transcriptional network governing C. albicans filamentation in vivo but also revealed a fundamentally new mode of function for Efg1, one of the most widely studied C. albicans transcription factors.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript, supporting files, and source data files for Fig. 1, 2, and 8 are provided. Both the raw and processed gene expression data generated by Nanostring are provided in supplementary files 3,4, 5 and 6. No sequencing data was generated in this study.
- Damian J Krysan
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols at the University of Iowa as protocol 0092064.
- Arturo Casadevall, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States
© 2023, Wakade et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a major cell entry receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The induction of ACE2 expression may serve as a strategy by SARS-CoV-2 to facilitate its propagation. However, the regulatory mechanisms of ACE2 expression after viral infection remain largely unknown. Using 45 different luciferase reporters, the transcription factors SP1 and HNF4α were found to positively and negatively regulate ACE2 expression, respectively, at the transcriptional level in human lung epithelial cells (HPAEpiCs). SARS-CoV-2 infection increased the transcriptional activity of SP1 while inhibiting that of HNF4α. The PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, activated by SARS-CoV-2 infection, served as a crucial regulatory node, inducing ACE2 expression by enhancing SP1 phosphorylation—a marker of its activity—and reducing the nuclear localization of HNF4α. However, colchicine treatment inhibited the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, thereby suppressing ACE2 expression. In Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) infected with SARS-CoV-2, inhibition of SP1 by either mithramycin A or colchicine resulted in reduced viral replication and tissue injury. In summary, our study uncovers a novel function of SP1 in the regulation of ACE2 expression and identifies SP1 as a potential target to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The mitochondrial genomes of apicomplexans comprise merely three protein-coding genes, alongside a set of thirty to forty genes encoding small RNAs (sRNAs), many of which exhibit homologies to rRNA from E. coli. The expression status and integration of these short RNAs into ribosomes remains unclear and direct evidence for active ribosomes within apicomplexan mitochondria is still lacking. In this study, we conducted small RNA sequencing on the apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii to investigate the occurrence and function of mitochondrial sRNAs. To enhance the analysis of sRNA sequencing outcomes, we also re-sequenced the T. gondii mitochondrial genome using an improved organelle enrichment protocol and Nanopore sequencing. It has been established previously that the T. gondii genome comprises 21 sequence blocks that undergo recombination among themselves but that their order is not entirely random. The enhanced coverage of the mitochondrial genome allowed us to characterize block combinations at increased resolution. Employing this refined genome for sRNA mapping, we find that many small RNAs originated from the junction sites between protein-coding blocks and rRNA sequence blocks. Surprisingly, such block border sRNAs were incorporated into polysomes together with canonical rRNA fragments and mRNAs. In conclusion, apicomplexan ribosomes are active within polysomes and are indeed assembled through the integration of sRNAs, including previously undetected sRNAs with merged mRNA-rRNA sequences. Our findings lead to the hypothesis that T. gondii's block-based genome organization enables the dual utilization of mitochondrial sequences as both messenger RNAs and ribosomal RNAs, potentially establishing a link between the regulation of rRNA and mRNA expression.