Titan cell production in Cryptococcus neoformans reshapes the cell wall and capsule composition during infection

Liliane Mukaremera, Keunsook Lee, Jeanette Wagener, D. L. Wiesner, Neil A R Gow, Kirsten Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Cryptococcus neoformans is a human fungal pathogen that often causes infections in immunocompromised individuals. Upon inhalation into the lungs C. neoformans differentiates into cells with altered size and morphology, including production of large titan cells. Titan cells possess thickened cell wall and dense, cross-linked capsule when compared to in vitro grown cells. In addition, titan cells have increased cell wall chitin that is associated with a detrimental anti-inflammatory immune response. Here we examined the cell wall and capsule composition of in vitro, in vivo typical-sized and in vivo titan cells using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The monomer composition of cell wall polysaccharides showed that in vivo C. neoformans cells contained more glucosamine and less glucose than in vitro cells, suggesting alteration in abundance of both chitin and glucans, respectively. Low levels of galactosamine were also detected in carbohydrates from both in vivo and vitro cells. Within the in vivo cell population, differences in the proportions of cell wall and capsule monomers between typical and titan cells were also observed. Taken together, these results demonstrate that C. neoformans reshapes its cell wall and capsule composition during infection. These cell wall and capsule alterations likely help C. neoformans escape recognition by, and allow modulation of, the host immune system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalThe Cell Surface
Volume1
Early online date16 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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Saturn
Cryptococcus neoformans
Cell Wall
Capsules
Infection
Chitin
Galactosamine
Glucans
Glucosamine
Inhalation
Polysaccharides
Immune System
Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Keywords

  • C. neoformans
  • cell wall
  • capsule
  • titan cells
  • cryptococcus

Cite this

Titan cell production in Cryptococcus neoformans reshapes the cell wall and capsule composition during infection. / Mukaremera, Liliane; Lee, Keunsook; Wagener, Jeanette; Wiesner, D. L.; Gow, Neil A R; Nielsen, Kirsten.

In: The Cell Surface, Vol. 1, 03.2018, p. 15-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Cryptococcus neoformans is a human fungal pathogen that often causes infections in immunocompromised individuals. Upon inhalation into the lungs C. neoformans differentiates into cells with altered size and morphology, including production of large titan cells. Titan cells possess thickened cell wall and dense, cross-linked capsule when compared to in vitro grown cells. In addition, titan cells have increased cell wall chitin that is associated with a detrimental anti-inflammatory immune response. Here we examined the cell wall and capsule composition of in vitro, in vivo typical-sized and in vivo titan cells using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The monomer composition of cell wall polysaccharides showed that in vivo C. neoformans cells contained more glucosamine and less glucose than in vitro cells, suggesting alteration in abundance of both chitin and glucans, respectively. Low levels of galactosamine were also detected in carbohydrates from both in vivo and vitro cells. Within the in vivo cell population, differences in the proportions of cell wall and capsule monomers between typical and titan cells were also observed. Taken together, these results demonstrate that C. neoformans reshapes its cell wall and capsule composition during infection. These cell wall and capsule alterations likely help C. neoformans escape recognition by, and allow modulation of, the host immune system.",
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N1 - This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01AI080275 and R21AI22352), the NIH Fogarty International Center (R25TW009345), the University of Minnesota Center for Translational Science Institute (UL1TR000114), Wellcome Trust (086827, 075470, 097377, 101873 & 200208) and MRC Centre for Medical Mycology (N006364/1). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

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N2 - Cryptococcus neoformans is a human fungal pathogen that often causes infections in immunocompromised individuals. Upon inhalation into the lungs C. neoformans differentiates into cells with altered size and morphology, including production of large titan cells. Titan cells possess thickened cell wall and dense, cross-linked capsule when compared to in vitro grown cells. In addition, titan cells have increased cell wall chitin that is associated with a detrimental anti-inflammatory immune response. Here we examined the cell wall and capsule composition of in vitro, in vivo typical-sized and in vivo titan cells using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The monomer composition of cell wall polysaccharides showed that in vivo C. neoformans cells contained more glucosamine and less glucose than in vitro cells, suggesting alteration in abundance of both chitin and glucans, respectively. Low levels of galactosamine were also detected in carbohydrates from both in vivo and vitro cells. Within the in vivo cell population, differences in the proportions of cell wall and capsule monomers between typical and titan cells were also observed. Taken together, these results demonstrate that C. neoformans reshapes its cell wall and capsule composition during infection. These cell wall and capsule alterations likely help C. neoformans escape recognition by, and allow modulation of, the host immune system.

AB - Cryptococcus neoformans is a human fungal pathogen that often causes infections in immunocompromised individuals. Upon inhalation into the lungs C. neoformans differentiates into cells with altered size and morphology, including production of large titan cells. Titan cells possess thickened cell wall and dense, cross-linked capsule when compared to in vitro grown cells. In addition, titan cells have increased cell wall chitin that is associated with a detrimental anti-inflammatory immune response. Here we examined the cell wall and capsule composition of in vitro, in vivo typical-sized and in vivo titan cells using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The monomer composition of cell wall polysaccharides showed that in vivo C. neoformans cells contained more glucosamine and less glucose than in vitro cells, suggesting alteration in abundance of both chitin and glucans, respectively. Low levels of galactosamine were also detected in carbohydrates from both in vivo and vitro cells. Within the in vivo cell population, differences in the proportions of cell wall and capsule monomers between typical and titan cells were also observed. Taken together, these results demonstrate that C. neoformans reshapes its cell wall and capsule composition during infection. These cell wall and capsule alterations likely help C. neoformans escape recognition by, and allow modulation of, the host immune system.

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