Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 27025253
Link to DOI – 10.1128/mBio.00331-16e00331-16
mBio 2016 Mar; 7(2): e00331
Following phagocytosis, microbes are exposed to an array of antimicrobial weapons that include reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cationic fluxes. This is significant as combinations of oxidative and cationic stresses are much more potent than the corresponding single stresses, triggering the synergistic killing of the fungal pathogenCandida albicansby “stress pathway interference.” Previously we demonstrated that combinatorial oxidative plus cationic stress triggers a dramatic increase in intracellular ROS levels compared to oxidative stress alone. Here we show that activation of Cap1, the major regulator of antioxidant gene expression inC. albicans, is significantly delayed in response to combinatorial stress treatments and to high levels of H2O2 Cap1 is normally oxidized in response to H2O2; this masks the nuclear export sequence, resulting in the rapid nuclear accumulation of Cap1 and the induction of Cap1-dependent genes. Here we demonstrate that following exposure of cells to combinatorial stress or to high levels of H2O2, Cap1 becomes trapped in a partially oxidized form, Cap1(OX-1) Notably, Cap1-dependent gene expression is not induced when Cap1 is in this partially oxidized form. However, while Cap1(OX-1)readily accumulates in the nucleus and binds to target genes following high-H2O2stress, the nuclear accumulation of Cap1(OX-1)following combinatorial H2O2and NaCl stress is delayed due to a cationic stress-enhanced interaction with the Crm1 nuclear export factor. These findings define novel mechanisms that delay activation of the Cap1 transcription factor, thus preventing the rapid activation of the stress responses vital for the survival ofC. albicanswithin the host.Combinatorial stress-mediated synergistic killing represents a new unchartered area in the field of stress signaling. This phenomenon contrasts starkly with “stress cross-protection,” where exposure to one stress protects against subsequent exposure to a different stress. Previously we demonstrated that the pathogenCandida albicansis acutely sensitive to combinations of cationic and oxidative stresses, because the induction of H2O2-responsive genes is blocked in the presence of cationic stress. We reveal that this is due to novel mechanisms that delay activation of the Cap1 AP-1-like transcription factor, the major regulator of the H2O2-induced regulon. Cap1 becomes trapped in a partially oxidized form following simultaneous exposure to oxidative and cationic stresses. In addition, cationic stress promotes the interaction of Cap1 with the Crm1 nuclear export factor, thus inhibiting its nuclear accumulation. These mechanisms probably explain the potency of neutrophils, which employ multiple stresses to kill fungal pathogens.