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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inactivation of CaMIT1 inhibits Candida albicans phospholipomannan beta-mannosylation, reduces virulence, and alters cell wall protein beta-mannosylation.

Studies on Candida albicans phospholipomannan have suggested a novel biosynthetic pathway for yeast glycosphingolipids. This pathway is thought to diverge from the usual pathway at the mannose-inositol-phospho-ceramide (MIPC) step. To confirm this hypothesis, a C. albicans gene homologue for the Saccharomyces cerevisiae SUR1 gene was identified and named MIT1 as it coded for GDP-mannose:inositol-phospho-ceramide mannose transferase. Two copies of this gene were disrupted. Western blots of cell extracts revealed that strain mit1Delta contained no PLM. Thin layer chromatography and mass spectrometry confirmed that mit1Delta did not synthesize MIPC, demonstrating a role of MIT1 in the mannosylation of C. albicans IPCs. As MIT1 disruption prevented downstream beta-1,2 mannosylation, mit1Delta represents a new C. albicans mutant affected in the expression of these specific virulence attributes, which act as adhesins/immunomodulators. mit1Delta was less virulent during both the acute and chronic phases of systemic infection in mice (75 and 50% reduction in mortality, respectively). In vitro, mit1Delta was not able to escape macrophage lysis through down-regulation of the ERK1/2 phosphorylation pathway previously shown to be triggered by PLM. Phenotypic analysis also revealed pleiotropic effects of MIT1 disruption. The most striking observation was a reduced beta-mannosylation of phosphopeptidomannan. Increased beta-mannosylation of mannoproteins was observed under growth conditions that prevented the association of beta-oligomannosides with phosphopeptidomannan, but not with PLM. This suggests that C. albicans has strong regulatory mechanisms associating beta-oligomannoses with different cell wall carrier molecules. These mechanisms and the impact of the different presentations of beta-oligomannoses on the host response need to be defined.[1]


  1. Inactivation of CaMIT1 inhibits Candida albicans phospholipomannan beta-mannosylation, reduces virulence, and alters cell wall protein beta-mannosylation. Mille, C., Janbon, G., Delplace, F., Ibata-Ombetta, S., Gaillardin, C., Strecker, G., Jouault, T., Trinel, P.A., Poulain, D. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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