The putative autophagy regulator Atg7 affects the physiology and pathogenic mechanisms of Cryptococcus neoformans

Debora L. Oliveira, Fernanda L. Fonseca, Daniel Zamith-Miranda, Leonardo Nimrichter, Jéssica Rodrigues, Marcos D. Pereira, Julia C.V. Reuwsaat, Augusto Schrank, Charley Staats, Livia Kmetzsch, Marilene H. Vainstein, Marcio L. Rodrigues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aim: We investigated the involvement of the autophagy protein 7 (Atg7) in physiology and pathogenic potential of Cryptococcus neoformans. Materials & methods: The C. neoformans gene encoding Atg7 was deleted by biolistic transformation for characterization of autophagy mechanisms, pigment formation, cell dimensions, interaction with phagocytes and pathogenic potential in vivo. Results & conclusion: ATG7 deletion resulted in defective autophagy mechanisms, enhanced pigmentation and increased cellular size both in vitro and in vivo. The atg7Δ mutant had decreased survival in the lung of infected mice, higher susceptibility to the killing machinery of different host phagocytes and reduced ability to kill an invertebrate host. These results connect Atg7 with mechanisms of pathogenicity in the C. neoformans model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1405-1419
Number of pages15
JournalFuture Microbiology
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ATG7
  • autophagy
  • Cryptococcus neoformans
  • macrophages
  • virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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