1,574 research outputs found

    <em>Cryptococcus neoformans</em>-Host Interactions Determine Disease Outcomes

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    The fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans can infect the central nervous system (CNS) and cause fatal meningoencephalitis, which accounts for an estimated 180,000 deaths per year. Cryptococcal meningoencephalitis (CM) occurs mainly in the individuals with compromised immune systems. Thus, cryptococcal disease in the CNS has been predominantly attributed to insufficient immune responses and subsequent uncontrolled fungal growth. However, evidence has emerged that an inappropriate immune response, as much as an insufficient response, may promote clinical deterioration and pathogenesis. In this chapter, we will review the different types of immune responses to C. neoformans and their contribution to tissue damage and diseases

    Sho1 and Msb2 Play Complementary but Distinct Roles in Stress Responses, Sexual Differentiation, and Pathogenicity of Cryptococcus neoformans

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    The high-osmolarity glycerol response (HOG) pathway is pivotal in environmental stress response, differentiation, and virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans, which causes fatal meningoencephalitis. A putative membrane sensor protein, Sho1, has been postulated to regulate HOG pathway, but its regulatory mechanism remains elusive. In this study, we characterized the function of Sho1 with relation to the HOG pathway in C. neoformans. Sho1 played minor roles in osmoresistance, thermotolerance, and maintenance of membrane integrity mainly in a HOG-independent manner. However, it was dispensable for cryostress resistance, primarily mediated through the HOG pathway. A mucinlike transmembrane (TM) protein, Msb2, which interacts with Sho1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was identified in C. neoformans, but found not to interact with Sho1. MSB2 codeletion with SHO1 further decreased osmoresistance and membrane integrity, but not thermotolerance, of sho1Δ mutant, indicating that both factors play to some level redundant but also discrete roles in C. neoformans. Sho1 and Msb2 played redundant roles in promoting the filamentous growth in sexual differentiation in a Cpk1-independent manner, in contrast to the inhibitory effect of the HOG pathway in the process. Both factors also played redundant roles in maintaining cell wall integrity in the absence of Mpk1. Finally, Sho1 and Msb2 play distinct but complementary roles in the pulmonary virulence of C. neoformans. Overall, Sho1 and Msb2 play complementary but distinct roles in stress response, differentiation, and pathogenicity of C. neoformans

    The \u3ci\u3eCryptococcus neoformans\u3c/i\u3e Flc1 Homologue Controls Calcium Homeostasis and Confers Fungal Pathogenicity in the Infected Hosts

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    Cryptococcus neoformans, an opportunistic yeast pathogen, relies on a complex network of stress response pathways that allow for proliferation in the host. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, stress responses are regulated by integral membrane proteins containing a transient receptor potential (TRP) domain, including the flavin carrier protein 1 (Flc1), which regulates calcium homeostasis and flavin transport. Here, we report that deletion of C. neoformans FLC1 results in cytosolic calcium elevation and increased nuclear content of calcineurin-dependent transcription factor Crz1, which is associated with an aberrant cell wall chitin overaccumulation observed in the flc1Δ mutant. Absence of Flc1 or inhibition of calcineurin with cyclosporine A prevents vacuolar fusion under conditions of combined osmotic and temperature stress, which is reversed in the flc1Δ mutant by the inhibition of TORC1 kinase with rapamycin. Flc1-deficient yeasts exhibit compromised vacuolar fusion under starvation conditions, including conditions that stimulate formation of carbohydrate capsule. Consequently, the flc1Δ mutant fails to proliferate under low nutrient conditions and displays a defect in capsule formation. Consistent with the previously uncharacterized role of Flc1 in vacuolar biogenesis, we find that Flc1 localizes to the vacuole. The flc1Δ mutant presents a survival defect in J774A.1 macrophage cell-line and profound virulence attenuation in both the Galleria mellonella and mouse pulmonary infection models, demonstrating that Flc1 is essential for pathogenicity. Thus, cryptococcal Flc1 functions in calcium homeostasis and links calcineurin and TOR signaling with vacuolar biogenesis to promote survival under conditions associated with vacuolar fusion required for this pathogen’s fitness and virulence

    Genetic polymorphisms in DNA base excision repair gene XRCC1 and the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The genes of base excision repair (BER) pathway have been extensively studied in the association with various human cancers. We performed a case-control study to test the association between two common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of <it>XRCC1 </it>gene with human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>The genotype analysis of Arg194Trp and Arg399Gln gene polymorphisms for 92 HNSCC patients and 124 controls of cancer free subjects, in Polish population were performed using the PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) with endonuclease <it>Msp</it>I.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>No altered risk has been found individually for these SNPs, however haplotypes analysis showed high association with head and neck cancer. The highest frequency, according to wild-type of Arg194Arg and Arg399Arg genotypes, was identified for Arg194Trp-Arg399Arg haplotype (OR, 2.96; 95% CI, 1.01–8.80).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Finally, we identified the combined Arg194Trp-Arg399Arg genotype of base excision repair gene <it>XRCC1 </it>that was associated with HNSCC and may have an impact on identification of a high-risk cancer population.</p

    Virulence Factors Identified by Cryptococcus neoformans Mutant Screen Differentially Modulate Lung Immune Responses and Brain Dissemination

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    Deletions of cryptococcal PIK1, RUB1, and ENA1 genes independently rendered defects in yeast survival in human CSF and within macrophages. We evaluated virulence potential of these genes by comparing wild-type Cryptococcus neoformans strain H99 with deletant and complement strains in a BALB/c mouse model of pulmonary infection. Survival of infected mice; pulmonary cryptococcal growth and pathology; immunological parameters; dissemination kinetics; and CNS pathology were examined. Deletion of each PIK1, RUB1, and ENA1 differentially reduced pulmonary growth and dissemination rates of C. neoformans and extended mice survival. Furthermore, pik1Δ induced similar pathologies to H99, however, with significantly delayed onset; rub1Δ was more efficiently contained within pulmonary macrophages and was further delayed in causing CNS dissemination/pathology; whereas ena1Δ was progressively eliminated from the lungs and did not induce pathological lesions or disseminate into the CNS. The diminished virulence of mutant strains was associated with differential modulation of pulmonary immune responses, including changes in leukocyte subsets, cytokine responses, and macrophage activation status. Compared to H99 infection, mutants induced more hallmarks of a protective Th1 immune response, rather than Th2, and more classical, rather than alternative, macrophage activation. The magnitude of immunological effects precisely corresponded to the level of virulence displayed by each strain. Thus, cryptococcal PIK1, RUB1, and ENA1 differentially contribute to cryptococcal virulence, in correlation with their differential capacity to modulate immune responses

    Exploitation of Scavenger Receptor, Macrophage Receptor with Collagenous Structure, by Cryptococcus neoformans Promotes Alternative Activation of Pulmonary Lymph Node CD11b+ Conventional Dendritic Cells and Non-Protective Th2 Bias

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    Macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO) contributes to fungal containment during the early/innate phase of cryptococcal infection; however, its role in adaptive antifungal immunity remains unknown. Using a murine model of cryptococcosis, we compared host adaptive immune responses in wild-type and MARCO−/− mice throughout an extended time course post-infection. Unlike in early infection, MARCO deficiency resulted in improved pulmonary fungal clearance and diminished cryptococcal dissemination during the efferent phase. Improved fungal control in the absence of MARCO expression was associated with enhanced hallmarks of protective Th1-immunity, including higher frequency of pulmonary TNF-α-producing T cells, increased cryptococcal-antigen-triggered IFN-γ and TNF-α production by splenocytes, and enhanced expression of M1 polarization genes by pulmonary macrophages. Concurrently, we found lower frequencies of IL-5- and IL-13-producing T cells in the lungs, impaired production of IL-4 and IL-10 by cryptococcal antigen-pulsed splenocytes, and diminished serum IgE, which were hallmarks of profoundly suppressed efferent Th2 responses in MARCO-deficient mice compared to WT mice. Mechanistically, we found that MARCO expression facilitated early accumulation and alternative activation of CD11b+ conventional DC (cDC) in the lung-associated lymph nodes (LALNs), which contributed to the progressive shift of the immune response from Th1 toward Th2 at the priming site (LALNs) and local infection site (lungs) during the efferent phase of cryptococcal infection. Taken together, our study shows that MARCO can be exploited by the fungal pathogen to promote accumulation and alternative activation of CD11b+ cDC in the LALN, which in turn alters Th1/Th2 balance to promote fungal persistence and dissemination

    Nucleon-Gold Collisions at 200 AGeV Using Tagged d+Au Interactions in PHOBOS

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    Forward calorimetry in the PHOBOS detector has been used to study charged hadron production in d+Au, p+Au and n+Au collisions at sqrt(s_nn) = 200 GeV. The forward proton calorimeter detectors are described and a procedure for determining collision centrality with these detectors is detailed. The deposition of energy by deuteron spectator nucleons in the forward calorimeters is used to identify p+Au and n+Au collisions in the data. A weighted combination of the yield of p+Au and n+Au is constructed to build a reference for Au+Au collisions that better matches the isospin composition of the gold nucleus. The p_T and centrality dependence of the yield of this improved reference system is found to match that of d+Au. The shape of the charged particle transverse momentum distribution is observed to extrapolate smoothly from pbar+p to central d+Au as a function of the charged particle pseudorapidity density. The asymmetry of positively- and negatively-charged hadron production in p+Au is compared to that of n+Au. No significant asymmetry is observed at mid-rapidity. These studies augment recent results from experiments at the LHC and RHIC facilities to give a more complete description of particle production in p+A and d+A collisions, essential for the understanding the medium produced in high energy nucleus-nucleus collisions.Comment: 17 pages, 18 figure

    Jet energy measurement with the ATLAS detector in proton-proton collisions at root s=7 TeV

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    The jet energy scale and its systematic uncertainty are determined for jets measured with the ATLAS detector at the LHC in proton-proton collision data at a centre-of-mass energy of √s = 7TeV corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 38 pb-1. Jets are reconstructed with the anti-kt algorithm with distance parameters R=0. 4 or R=0. 6. Jet energy and angle corrections are determined from Monte Carlo simulations to calibrate jets with transverse momenta pT≥20 GeV and pseudorapidities {pipe}η{pipe}<4. 5. The jet energy systematic uncertainty is estimated using the single isolated hadron response measured in situ and in test-beams, exploiting the transverse momentum balance between central and forward jets in events with dijet topologies and studying systematic variations in Monte Carlo simulations. The jet energy uncertainty is less than 2. 5 % in the central calorimeter region ({pipe}η{pipe}<0. 8) for jets with 60≤pT<800 GeV, and is maximally 14 % for pT<30 GeV in the most forward region 3. 2≤{pipe}η{pipe}<4. 5. The jet energy is validated for jet transverse momenta up to 1 TeV to the level of a few percent using several in situ techniques by comparing a well-known reference such as the recoiling photon pT, the sum of the transverse momenta of tracks associated to the jet, or a system of low-pT jets recoiling against a high-pT jet. More sophisticated jet calibration schemes are presented based on calorimeter cell energy density weighting or hadronic properties of jets, aiming for an improved jet energy resolution and a reduced flavour dependence of the jet response. The systematic uncertainty of the jet energy determined from a combination of in situ techniques is consistent with the one derived from single hadron response measurements over a wide kinematic range. The nominal corrections and uncertainties are derived for isolated jets in an inclusive sample of high-pT jets. Special cases such as event topologies with close-by jets, or selections of samples with an enhanced content of jets originating from light quarks, heavy quarks or gluons are also discussed and the corresponding uncertainties are determined. © 2013 CERN for the benefit of the ATLAS collaboration
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