Candida pathogens induce protective mitochondria-associated type I interferon signalling and a damage-driven response in vaginal epithelial cells.

Pekmezovic M, Hovhannisyan H, Gresnigt MS, Iracane E, Oliveira-Pacheco J, Siscar-Lewin S, Seemann E, Qualmann B, Kalkreuter T, Müller S, Kamradt T, Mogavero S, Brunke S, Butler G, Gabaldón T, Hube B (2021) Candida pathogens induce protective mitochondria-associated type I interferon signalling and a damage-driven response in vaginal epithelial cells. Nat Microbiol 6(5), 643-657.

Abstract

Vaginal candidiasis is an extremely common disease predominantly caused by four phylogenetically diverse species: Candida albicans; Candida glabrata; Candida parapsilosis; and Candida tropicalis. Using a time course infection model of vaginal epithelial cells and dual RNA sequencing, we show that these species exhibit distinct pathogenicity patterns, which are defined by highly species-specific transcriptional profiles during infection of vaginal epithelial cells. In contrast, host cells exhibit a homogeneous response to all species at the early stages of infection, which is characterized by sublethal mitochondrial signalling inducing a protective type I interferon response. At the later stages, the transcriptional response of the host diverges in a species-dependent manner. This divergence is primarily driven by the extent of epithelial damage elicited by species-specific mechanisms, such as secretion of the toxin candidalysin by C. albicans. Our results uncover a dynamic, biphasic response of vaginal epithelial cells to Candida species, which is characterized by protective mitochondria-associated type I interferon signalling and a species-specific damage-driven response.

Leibniz-HKI-Authors

Bernhard Hube
Sascha Brunke
Selene Mogavero
Marina Pekmezović
Sofía Siscar Lewin
Mark Gresnigt
Till Kalkreuter

Awards

Publication award der DMykG, Selected as Paper of the month by the DGHM

Identifier

doi: 10.1038/s41564-021-00875-2

PMID: 33753919