Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen with a unique intracellular pathogenic strategy that includes nonlytic exocytosis, a phenomenon whereby fungal cells are expunged from macrophages without lysing the host cell. The exact mechanism and specific proteins involved in this process have yet to be completely defined. Using murine macrophages deficient in the membrane phospholipid binding protein, annexin A2 (ANXA2), we observed a significant decrease in both phagocytosis of yeast cells and the frequency of nonlytic exocytosis. Cryptococcal cells isolated from Anxa2-deficient (Anxa2-/-) bone marrow-derived macrophages and lung parenchyma displayed significantly larger capsules than those isolated from wild-type macrophages and tissues. Concomitantly, we observed significant differences in the amount of reactive oxygen species produced between Anxa2-/- and Anxa2+/+ macrophages. Despite comparable fungal burden, Anxa2-/- mice died more rapidly than wild-type mice when infected with C. neoformans, and Anxa2-/- mice exhibited enhanced inflammatory responses, suggesting that the reduced survival reflected greater immune-mediated damage. Together, these findings suggest a role for ANXA2 in the control of cryptococcal infection, macrophage function, and fungal morphology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy