Role of the Fungal Cell Wall in Pathogenesis and Resistance to Antifungal Drugs

A special issue of Microbiology Research (ISSN 2036-7481).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2022) | Viewed by 7973

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Division of Natural Sciences, University of Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
Interests: fungal cell wall; virulence factors; host–fungus interaction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Departamento de Biología, División de Ciencias Naturales y Exactas, Campus Guanajuato, Universidad de Guanajuato, Noria Alta s/n, Col. Noria Alta, C.P. 36050, Guanajuato, Gto., México
Interests: antifungal drugs; innate immune; fungi; pathogenesis and resistance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although the fungal cell wall has been studied for decades, this continues as a very active research area. The wall is essential for cell survival and in pathogenic organisms works as a molecular scaffold to display molecules involved in host damage and disguising the immune system. The conceptualization of the cell-wall-like protective armor, and a tough and impenetrable shield is no longer accepted, and instead, our current visualization of this organelle is like a dynamic, flexible, porous, and plastic wall. This malleability is in response to adaptation to different environments and the presence of stressors and harmful compounds, such as drugs. Because of the nature of its components, the wall is also a source of pathogen-associated molecular patterns recognized by immune receptors, a fundamental step in the establishment of an innate immune response that leads to protective antifungal immunity. In this issue, we seek to gather outstanding contributions on these subjects to generate a specialized repository of up-to-date information about the relevance of the fungal cell wall in pathogenesis and resistance to antifungal drugs.

Prof. Dr. Hector M. Mora-Montes
Dr. José A. Martínez-Álvarez
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • cell wall
  • virulence
  • glycoproteins
  • glucan
  • melanin
  • chitin, antifungal drugs
  • innate immune sensing
  • N-linked glycan
  • O-linked glycan

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 6092 KiB  
Article
Glucosylceramides from Cladosporium and Their Roles in Fungi–Plant Interaction
by Mariana Ingrid Dutra da Silva Xisto, Mariana Collodetti Bernardino, Rodrigo Rollin-Pinheiro, Caroline Barros Montebianco, Andrêina Paula da Silva, Renata Oliveira Rocha Calixto, Bianca Braz Mattos, Maite Freitas Silva Vaslin and Eliana Barreto-Bergter
Microbiol. Res. 2022, 13(3), 350-365; https://doi.org/10.3390/microbiolres13030028 - 24 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Cladosporium species are widely distributed filamentous fungi. One of the most important species is C. herbarum, which is related to infections in a variety of plants and of concern in plantations. Fungal cerebrosides, such as glucosylceramide (GlcCer), have been described as playing [...] Read more.
Cladosporium species are widely distributed filamentous fungi. One of the most important species is C. herbarum, which is related to infections in a variety of plants and of concern in plantations. Fungal cerebrosides, such as glucosylceramide (GlcCer), have been described as playing important roles in fungal growth and pathogenesis, but GlcCer from C. herbarum has not been characterized so far. For this reason, the present study aimed to elucidate the chemical structure of GlcCer from C. herbarum and its role in the interaction with Passiflora edulis. Mass spectrometry characterization of purified GlcCer revealed two major molecular ions, m/z 760 and m/z 774, and it reacts with monoclonal anti-GlcCer antibodies and is exposed on the fungal surface. P. edulis treatment with GlcCer induced increased levels of superoxide as well as the expression of some genes related to plant defense, such as PR3, POD, LOX and PAL. GlcCer also enhanced growth parameters, such as plant height and root weight. All these results suggest that C. herbarum GlcCer can stimulate plant defense mechanisms, which could help plants to face fungal infections. Full article
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9 pages, 922 KiB  
Communication
Does DHN-Melanin Always Protect Fungi against Antifungal Drugs? The Fonsecaea/Micafungin Paradigm
by Rowena Alves Coelho, Maria Helena Galdino Figueiredo-Carvalho, Juliana Vitória dos Santos Silva, Dario Correa-Junior, Susana Frases, Rosely Maria Zancopé-Oliveira, Dayvison Francis Saraiva Freitas and Rodrigo Almeida-Paes
Microbiol. Res. 2022, 13(2), 201-209; https://doi.org/10.3390/microbiolres13020017 - 6 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2207
Abstract
Several human pathogenic fungi produce melanin. One of its properties during parasitism is the protection against antifungal drugs. This occurs with the agents of chromoblastomycosis, in which DHN-melanin reduces antifungal susceptibility to terbinafine and itraconazole. Since these agents are resistant to some antifungal [...] Read more.
Several human pathogenic fungi produce melanin. One of its properties during parasitism is the protection against antifungal drugs. This occurs with the agents of chromoblastomycosis, in which DHN-melanin reduces antifungal susceptibility to terbinafine and itraconazole. Since these agents are resistant to some antifungal drugs, we investigated the role of DHN-melanin on the Fonsecaea susceptibility to amphotericin B, micafungin, fluconazole, and flucytosine, drugs that usually present high minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) to this genus. Seven strains from three Fonsecaea human pathogenic species were treated with tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor, and the MIC of the treated and untreated cells were compared. A survival assay was performed to confirm the alterations in the susceptibility of strains with reduced melanization, and the chitin levels of the strains were estimated by fluorescence. Tricyclazole did not affect fluconazole and flucytosine MIC, while melanin inhibition increased susceptibility to amphotericin B. Surprisingly, DHN-melanin inhibition decreased the susceptibility to micafungin. Survival assays confirmed this result on five strains. Cell wall chitin levels of the strains were not associated with the decrease in micafungin susceptibility. The results show that DHN-melanin does not have a role in the intrinsic resistance of Fonseacaea spp. to amphotericin B, fluconazole, and flucytosine, and its inhibition may promote micafungin resistance. Full article
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15 pages, 2620 KiB  
Article
Melanin Pathway Determination in Sclerotium cepivorum Berk Using Spectrophotometric Assays, Inhibition Compound, and Protein Validation
by Luis M. Salazar-García, Rocío Ivette Ortega-Cuevas, José A. Martínez-Álvarez, Sandra E. González-Hernández, Román Antonio Martínez-Álvarez, Diana Mendoza-Olivares, Miguel Ángel Vázquez, Alberto Flores-Martínez and Patricia Ponce-Noyola
Microbiol. Res. 2022, 13(2), 152-166; https://doi.org/10.3390/microbiolres13020013 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2677
Abstract
Sclerotium cepivorum Berk is the etiological agent of white rot disease that affects plants of the genus Allium. This fungus produces resistance structures called sclerotia that are formed by a rolled mycelium with a thick layer of melanin and it can remain [...] Read more.
Sclerotium cepivorum Berk is the etiological agent of white rot disease that affects plants of the genus Allium. This fungus produces resistance structures called sclerotia that are formed by a rolled mycelium with a thick layer of melanin and it can remain dormant for many years in the soil. Current interest in S. cepivorum has arisen from economic losses in Allium crops in the agricultural sector. Melanin is a component that protects the sclerotia from adverse environmental conditions In many organisms, it plays an important role in the infectious process; in S. cepivorum, the pathway by which this component is synthetized is not fully described. By using infrared spectrophotometric assays applied direct to the sclerotia and a melanin extract followed by an NMR analysis and a tricyclazole melanin inhibition experiment, it allowed us to determine the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin pathway by which S. cepivorum performs its melanin synthesis. Moreover, we focused on studying scytalone dehydratase (SDH) as a key enzyme of the DHN-melanin synthesis. We obtained the recombinant SDH enzyme and tested its activity by a zymogram assay. Thereby, the S. cepivorum melanogenic route was established as a DHN pathway. Full article
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