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Proteomic Analysis Reveals That Iron Availability Alters the Metabolic Status of the Pathogenic Fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis

By Ana F. A. Parente, Alexandre M. Bailão, Clayton L. Borges, Juliana A. Parente, Adriana D. Magalhães, Carlos A. O. Ricart and Célia M. A. Soares


Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is a thermodimorphic fungus and the causative agent of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM). The ability of P. brasiliensis to uptake nutrients is fundamental for growth, but a reduction in the availability of iron and other nutrients is a host defense mechanism many pathogenic fungi must overcome. Thus, fungal mechanisms that scavenge iron from host may contribute to P. brasiliensis virulence. In order to better understand how P. brasiliensis adapts to iron starvation in the host we compared the two-dimensional (2D) gel protein profile of yeast cells during iron starvation to that of iron rich condition. Protein spots were selected for comparative analysis based on the protein staining intensity as determined by image analysis. A total of 1752 protein spots were selected for comparison, and a total of 274 out of the 1752 protein spots were determined to have changed significantly in abundance due to iron depletion. Ninety six of the 274 proteins were grouped into the following functional categories; energy, metabolism, cell rescue, virulence, cell cycle, protein synthesis, protein fate, transcription, cellular communication, and cell fate. A correlation between protein and transcript levels was also discovered using quantitative RT-PCR analysis from RNA obtained from P. brasiliensis under iron restricting conditions and from yeast cells isolated from infected mouse spleens. In addition, western blot analysis and enzyme activity assays validated the differential regulation of proteins identified by 2-D gel analysis. We observed an increase in glycolytic pathway protein regulation while tricarboxylic acid cycle, glyoxylate and methylcitrate cycles, and electron transport chain proteins decreased in abundance under iron limiting conditions. These data suggest a remodeling of P. brasiliensis metabolism by prioritizing iron independent pathways

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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