Melanin targets LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP): A novel pathogenetic mechanism in fungal disease.
(2016) Melanin targets LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP): A novel pathogenetic mechanism in fungal disease. Autophagy 12(5), 888-889. (Review)
Intracellular swelling of conidia of the major human airborne fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus results in surface exposure of immunostimulatory pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and triggers activation of a specialized autophagy pathway called LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP) to promote fungal killing. We have recently discovered that, apart from PAMPs exposure, cell wall melanin removal during germination of A. fumigatus is a prerequisite for activation of LAP. Importantly, melanin promotes fungal pathogenicity via targeting LAP, as a melanin-deficient A. fumigatus mutant restores its virulence upon conditional inactivation of Atg5 in hematopoietic cells of mice. Mechanistically, fungal cell wall melanin selectively excludes the CYBA/p22phox subunit of NADPH oxidase from the phagosome to inhibit LAP, without interfering with signaling regulating cytokine responses. Notably, inhibition of LAP is a general property of melanin pigments, a finding with broad physiological implications.
doi: 10.1080/15548627.2016.1157242 PMID: 27028978