Damage to the host

The mechanism by which Candida albicans damages host cells has been considered to be multi-factorial, and presumed to rely on a combination of adhesion, invasion, hyphal extension, turgor pressure and the secretion of hydrolytic enzymes. Although toxin production by C. albicans has long been postulated and the culture supernatants of C. albicans hyphae shown to exhibit haemolytic activity, the mechanism underlying C. albicans ability to lyse host cells has remained elusive. It is clear, however, that hyphae are essential for adhesion, invasion and damage. Thus, damage is caused by hyphae and/or a hyphal associated factor. However, the exact molecular mechanisms by which C. albicans destroys these host cells has remained enigmatic.

We have identified a peptide toxin, secreted by C. albicans, which has remarkable similarities with melittin – the major component of bee venom. By deleting the encoding gene and in vitro synthesis of the fragment, we have shown that this peptide is, in itself, essential and sufficient for the lysis of host cells. In collaboration with Dr Julian Naglik, Kings College London/UK, and Dr Thomas Gutsmann, Forschungszentrum Borstel/Germany, we are now examining the mechanism by which this potent C. albicans cytolysin disrupts host cell integrity.

We presume that the cytolysin disrupts the host cell integrity by intercalating in the double phospholipid layer and forming pores.
We presume that the cytolysin disrupts the host cell integrity by intercalating in the double phospholipid layer and forming pores.
Publications

Drummond RA, Swamydas M, Oikonomou V, Zhai B, Dambuza IM, Schaefer BC, Bohrer AC, Mayer-Barber KD, Lira SA, Iwakura Y, Filler SG, Brown GD, Hube B, Naglik JR, Hohl TM, Lionakis MS (2019) CARD9+ microglia promote antifungal immunity via IL-1β- and CXCL1-mediated neutrophil recruitment. Nat Immunol 20(5), 559-570. Details PubMed

Westman J, Hube B, Fairn GD (2019) Integrity under stress: Host membrane remodelling and damage by fungal pathogens. Cell Microbiol 21(4), e13016. Details PubMed Open Access

Allert S*, Förster TM*, Svensson C-M, Richardson JP, Pawlik T, Hebecker B, Rudolphi S, Juraschitz M, Schaller M, Blagojevic M, Morschhäuser J, Figge MT, Jacobsen ID, Naglik JR, Kasper L, Mogavero S, Hube B; *authors contributed equally (2018) Candida albicans-induced epithelial damage mediates translocation through intestinal barriers. mBio 9(3), e00915-18. Details PubMed Open Access

Lazić J, Ajdačić V, Vojnovic S, Zlatović M, Pekmezovic M, Mogavero S, Opsenica I, Nikodinovic-Runic J (2018) Bis-guanylhydrazones as efficient anti-Candida compounds through DNA interaction. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 102(4), 1889-1901. Details PubMed

Richardson JP, Mogavero S, Moyes DL, Blagojevic M, Krüger T, Verma AH, Coleman BM, De La Cruz Diaz J, Schulz D, Ponde NO, Carrano G, Kniemeyer O, Wilson D, Bader O, Enoiu SI, Ho J, Kichik N, Gaffen SL, Hube B, Naglik JR (2018) Processing of Candida albicans Ece1p is critical for Candidalysin maturation and fungal virulence. MBio 9(1), pii: e02178-17. Details PubMed Open Access

Richardson JP, Willems HME, Moyes DL, Shoaie S, Barker KS, Tan SL, Palmer GE, Hube B, Naglik JR, Peters BM (2017) Candidalysin drives epithelial signaling, neutrophil recruitment, and immunopathology at the vaginal mucosa. Infect Immun , pii: IAI.00645-17. Details PubMed

Moyes DL*, Wilson D*, Richardson JP*, Mogavero S*, Tang SX, Wernecke J, Höfs S, Gratacap RL, Robbins J, Runglall M, Murciano C, Blagojevic M, Thavaraj S, Förster TM, Hebecker B, Kasper L, Vizcay G, Iancu SI, Kichik N, Häder A, Kurzai O, Luo T, Krüger T, Kniemeyer O, Cota E, Bader O, Wheeler RT, Gutsmann T, Hube B, Naglik JR (2016) Candidalysin is a fungal peptide toxin critical for mucosal infection. Nature 532(7597), 64-68. Details PubMed Open Access

Wilson D, Naglik JR, Hube B (2016) The missing link between Candida albicans hyphal morphogenesis and host cell damage. PLOS Pathog 12(10), e1005867. (Review) Details PubMed

Mech F, Wilson D, Lehnert T, Hube B, Figge MT (2014) Epithelial invasion outcompetes hypha development during Candida albicans infection as revealed by an image-based systems biology approach. Cytometry A 85(2), 126-139. Details PubMed

Wilson D, Mayer FL, Miramón P, Citiulo F, Slesiona S, Jacobsen ID, Hube B (2014) Distinct roles of Candida albicans-specific genes in host-pathogen interactions. Eukaryot Cell 13(8), 977-989. Details PubMed

Martin R, Moran GP, Jacobsen ID, Heyken A, Domey J, Sullivan DJ, Kurzai O, Hube B (2011) The Candida albicans-specific gene EED1 encodes a key regulator of hyphal extension. PLOS One 6(4), e18394. Details PubMed

Martin R, Wächtler B, Schaller M, Wilson D, Hube B (2011) Host-pathogen interactions and virulence-associated genes during Candida albicans oral infections. Int J Med Microbiol 301(5), 417-422. (Review) Details PubMed

Wächtler B, Wilson D, Haedicke K, Dalle F, Hube B (2011) From attachment to damage: defined genes of Candida albicans mediate adhesion, invasion and damage during interaction with oral epithelial cells. PLOS One 6(2), e17046. Details PubMed Open Access

Staff

Ann-Kristin Kaune

Phone: +49 3641 532-1105 Email: ann-kristin.kaune@leibniz-hki.de

Antonia Last

Phone: +49 3641 532-1595 Email: antonia.last@leibniz-hki.de

Dr. Selene Mogavero

Phone: +49 3641 532-1568 Email: selene.mogavero@leibniz-hki.de

Rita Müller

Phone: +49 3641 532-1391 Email: rita.mueller@leibniz-hki.de

Marina Pekmezović

Phone: +49 3641 532-1439 Email: marina.pekmezovic@leibniz-hki.de