One Small Step for a Yeast - Microevolution within Macrophages Renders Hypervirulent Due to a Single Point Mutation


Evolution is not limited to making new species emerge and others perish over the millennia. It is also a central force in shorter-term interactions between microbes and hosts. A good example can be found in fungi, which are an underestimated cause of human diseases. Some fungi exist as commensals, and have adapted well to life on human epithelia. But as facultative pathogens, they face a different, hostile environment. We tested the ability of C. glabrata, a pathogen closely related to baker's yeast, to adapt to macrophages. We found that by adaptation, it changed its growth type completely. This allowed the fungus to escape the phagocytes, and increased its virulence in a mouse model. Sequencing the complete genome revealed surprisingly few mutations. Further analyses allowed us to detect the single mutation responsible for the phenotype, and to recreate it in the parental strain. Our work shows that fungi can adapt to immune cells, and that this adaptation can lead to an increased virulence. Since commensals are continuously exposed to host cells, we suggest that this ability could lead to unexpected phenotype changes, including an increase in virulence potential.


Vyšlo v časopise: One Small Step for a Yeast - Microevolution within Macrophages Renders Hypervirulent Due to a Single Point Mutation. PLoS Pathog 10(10): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004478
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1004478

Souhrn

Evolution is not limited to making new species emerge and others perish over the millennia. It is also a central force in shorter-term interactions between microbes and hosts. A good example can be found in fungi, which are an underestimated cause of human diseases. Some fungi exist as commensals, and have adapted well to life on human epithelia. But as facultative pathogens, they face a different, hostile environment. We tested the ability of C. glabrata, a pathogen closely related to baker's yeast, to adapt to macrophages. We found that by adaptation, it changed its growth type completely. This allowed the fungus to escape the phagocytes, and increased its virulence in a mouse model. Sequencing the complete genome revealed surprisingly few mutations. Further analyses allowed us to detect the single mutation responsible for the phenotype, and to recreate it in the parental strain. Our work shows that fungi can adapt to immune cells, and that this adaptation can lead to an increased virulence. Since commensals are continuously exposed to host cells, we suggest that this ability could lead to unexpected phenotype changes, including an increase in virulence potential.


Zdroje

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Hygiena a epidemiológia Infekčné lekárstvo Laboratórium

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