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The antifungal plant defensin HsAFP1 induces autophagy, vacuolar dysfunction and cell cycle impairment in yeast

Authors
  • Struyfs, Caroline; 110084;
  • Cools, Tanne L;
  • De Cremer, Kaat;
  • Sampaio-Marques, Belem;
  • Ludovico, Paula;
  • Wasko, Brian M;
  • Kaeberlein, Matt;
  • Cammue, Bruno PA; 13209;
  • Thevissen, Karin; 16699;
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2020
Source
Lirias
Keywords
License
Unknown
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Abstract

The plant defensin HsAFP1 is characterized by broad-spectrum antifungal activity and induces apoptosis in Candida albicans. In this study, we performed a transcriptome analysis on C. albicans cultures treated with HsAFP1 to gain further insight in the antifungal mode of action of HsAFP1. Various genes coding for cell surface proteins, like glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins, and proteins involved in cation homeostasis, autophagy and in cell cycle were differentially expressed upon HsAFP1 treatment. The biological validation of these findings was performed in the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To discriminate between events linked to HsAFP1's antifungal activity and those that are not, we additionally used an inactive HsAFP1 mutant. We demonstrated that (i) HsAFP1-resistent S. cerevisiae mutants that are characterized by a defect in processing GPI-anchors are unable to internalize HsAFP1, and (ii) moderate doses (FC50, fungicidal concentration resulting in 50% killing) of HsAFP1 induce autophagy in S. cerevisiae, while high HsAFP1 doses result in vacuolar dysfunction. Vacuolar function is an important determinant of replicative lifespan (RLS) under dietary restriction (DR). In line, HsAFP1 specifically reduces RLS under DR. Lastly, (iii) HsAFP1 affects S. cerevisiae cell cycle in the G2/M phase. However, the latter HsAFP1-induced event is not linked to its antifungal activity, as the inactive HsAFP1 mutant also impairs the G2/M phase. In conclusion, we demonstrated that GPI-anchored proteins are involved in HsAFP1's internalization, and that HsAFP1 induces autophagy, vacuolar dysfunction and impairment of the cell cycle. Collectively, all these data provide novel insights in the mode of action of HsAFP1 as well as in S. cerevisiae tolerance mechanisms against this peptide. / status: published

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