The plant defensin RsAFP2 induces cell wall stress, septin mislocalization and accumulation of ceramides in Candida albicans

Karin Thevissen, Patricia De Mello Tavares, Deming Xu, Jill Blankenship, Davy Vandenbosch, Jolanta Idkowiak-Baldys, Gilmer Govaert, Anna Bink, Sonia Rozental, Piet W.J. De Groot, Talya R. Davis, Carol A. Kumamoto, Gabriele Vargas, Leonardo Nimrichter, Tom Coenye, Aaron Mitchell, Terry Roemer, Yusuf A. Hannun, Bruno P.A. Cammue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

The antifungal plant defensin RsAFP2 isolated from radish interacts with fungal glucosylceramides and induces apoptosis in Candida albicans. To further unravel the mechanism of RsAFP2 antifungal action and tolerance mechanisms, we screened a library of 2868 heterozygous C. albicans deletion mutants and identified 30 RsAFP2-hypersensitive mutants. The most prominent group of RsAFP2 tolerance genes was involved in cell wall integrity and hyphal growth/septin ring formation. Consistent with these genetic data, we demonstrated that RsAFP2 interacts with the cell wall of C. albicans, which also contains glucosylceramides, and activates the cell wall integrity pathway. Moreover, we found that RsAFP2 induces mislocalization of septins and blocks the yeast-to-hypha transition in C. albicans. Increased ceramide levels have previously been shown to result in apoptosis and septin mislocalization. Therefore, ceramide levels in C. albicans membranes were analysed following RsAFP2 treatment and, as expected, increased accumulation of phytoC24-ceramides in membranes of RsAFP2-treated C. albicans cells was detected. This is the first report on the interaction of a plant defensin with glucosylceramides in the fungal cell wall, causing cell wall stress, and on the effects of a defensin on septin localization and ceramide accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-180
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume84
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The plant defensin RsAFP2 induces cell wall stress, septin mislocalization and accumulation of ceramides in Candida albicans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this