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White cells facilitate opposite- and same-sex mating of opaque cells in Candida albicans.

Tao L, Cao C, Liang W, Guan G, Zhang Q, Nobile CJ, Huang G - PLoS Genet. (2014)

Bottom Line: Modes of sexual reproduction in eukaryotic organisms are extremely diverse.Deletion of genes encoding the pheromone precursor proteins and inactivation of the pheromone response signaling pathway (Ste2-MAPK-Cph1) impair the promoting role of white cells (MTLa) in the sexual mating of opaque cells.This coordination between the two different cell types may be a trade-off strategy between sexual and asexual lifestyles in C. albicans.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
Modes of sexual reproduction in eukaryotic organisms are extremely diverse. The human fungal pathogen Candida albicans undergoes a phenotypic switch from the white to the opaque phase in order to become mating-competent. In this study, we report that functionally- and morphologically-differentiated white and opaque cells show a coordinated behavior during mating. Although white cells are mating-incompetent, they can produce sexual pheromones when treated with pheromones of the opposite mating type or by physically interacting with opaque cells of the opposite mating type. In a co-culture system, pheromones released by white cells induce opaque cells to form mating projections, and facilitate both opposite- and same-sex mating of opaque cells. Deletion of genes encoding the pheromone precursor proteins and inactivation of the pheromone response signaling pathway (Ste2-MAPK-Cph1) impair the promoting role of white cells (MTLa) in the sexual mating of opaque cells. White and opaque cells communicate via a paracrine pheromone signaling system, creating an environment conducive to sexual mating. This coordination between the two different cell types may be a trade-off strategy between sexual and asexual lifestyles in C. albicans.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

White a cells induce mating projection formation in opaque α cells in mixed cultures of white (a) and opaque (α) cells.Strains: wor1Δ/Δ (GH1248, MTLa/a); wor2Δ/Δ (MMY627, MTLa/Δ). (A) Cellular images of single strain cultures. WTα1, GH1349, MTLα/α; WTα2, SN152α, MTLΔ/α. Five WT a strains of different background (WTa1 to WTa5) and the wor1Δ/Δ and wor2Δ/Δ mutants were used. SZ306, MTLa/α, served as a control. (B) Cellular images of mixed cultures. 4×106 opaque α cells (GH1349) were mixed with 4×106 cells of different background as indicated. The mixtures were spotted onto Lee's glucose medium and cultured at 25°C in air for 24 hours. Cellular images and percentages of opaque α cells (GH1349) with mating projections are shown. Cells with at least one mating projection were counted. The mixture of opaque α cells (GH1349) and opaque a cells (GH1012) served as a positive control. The percentage of opaque α cells (GH1349) with mating projections in the opaque a×α mixture is not shown since both α and a cells formed mating projections. SZ306 (a/α) and SN152α served as negative controls. NA, not available. W (or wh), white; O (or op), opaque; P, mating projection. Scale bar, 10 µm.
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pgen-1004737-g001: White a cells induce mating projection formation in opaque α cells in mixed cultures of white (a) and opaque (α) cells.Strains: wor1Δ/Δ (GH1248, MTLa/a); wor2Δ/Δ (MMY627, MTLa/Δ). (A) Cellular images of single strain cultures. WTα1, GH1349, MTLα/α; WTα2, SN152α, MTLΔ/α. Five WT a strains of different background (WTa1 to WTa5) and the wor1Δ/Δ and wor2Δ/Δ mutants were used. SZ306, MTLa/α, served as a control. (B) Cellular images of mixed cultures. 4×106 opaque α cells (GH1349) were mixed with 4×106 cells of different background as indicated. The mixtures were spotted onto Lee's glucose medium and cultured at 25°C in air for 24 hours. Cellular images and percentages of opaque α cells (GH1349) with mating projections are shown. Cells with at least one mating projection were counted. The mixture of opaque α cells (GH1349) and opaque a cells (GH1012) served as a positive control. The percentage of opaque α cells (GH1349) with mating projections in the opaque a×α mixture is not shown since both α and a cells formed mating projections. SZ306 (a/α) and SN152α served as negative controls. NA, not available. W (or wh), white; O (or op), opaque; P, mating projection. Scale bar, 10 µm.

Mentions: To further confirm this phenomenon, we tested the effect of white a cells of four strains with different genetic backgrounds on the induction of mating projection formation of opaque α cells. The assay was performed on nutrient solid agar (Lee's glucose medium). As shown in Figure 1, over 75% of opaque α cells formed mating projections in all of the mixed cultures containing white a cells of the wild type strains. Consistently, cells of the wor1Δ/Δ and wor2Δ/Δ mutants, which are “locked” in the white phase under this culture condition, also induced mating projection formation in opaque α cells (Figure 1B). Opaque a cells served as a positive control, and white a/α cells and white α cells served as negative controls. As expected, opaque a cells induced mating projection formation in opaque α cells, while white a/α cells and white α cells did not. The images of single strain cultures and the ratios of opaque cells with mating projections are shown in Figure 1A and 1B, respectively. Consistently, white cells of another clinically independent WT a strain (SZ306a, a/Δ) and the wor1Δ/Δ mutant (GH1248, a/a) also induced mating projection formation in opaque α cells when cultured in liquid medium (Figure S1). These results indicate that the induction of mating projections of opaque cells by white cells is a general feature of clinical isolates of C. albicans.


White cells facilitate opposite- and same-sex mating of opaque cells in Candida albicans.

Tao L, Cao C, Liang W, Guan G, Zhang Q, Nobile CJ, Huang G - PLoS Genet. (2014)

White a cells induce mating projection formation in opaque α cells in mixed cultures of white (a) and opaque (α) cells.Strains: wor1Δ/Δ (GH1248, MTLa/a); wor2Δ/Δ (MMY627, MTLa/Δ). (A) Cellular images of single strain cultures. WTα1, GH1349, MTLα/α; WTα2, SN152α, MTLΔ/α. Five WT a strains of different background (WTa1 to WTa5) and the wor1Δ/Δ and wor2Δ/Δ mutants were used. SZ306, MTLa/α, served as a control. (B) Cellular images of mixed cultures. 4×106 opaque α cells (GH1349) were mixed with 4×106 cells of different background as indicated. The mixtures were spotted onto Lee's glucose medium and cultured at 25°C in air for 24 hours. Cellular images and percentages of opaque α cells (GH1349) with mating projections are shown. Cells with at least one mating projection were counted. The mixture of opaque α cells (GH1349) and opaque a cells (GH1012) served as a positive control. The percentage of opaque α cells (GH1349) with mating projections in the opaque a×α mixture is not shown since both α and a cells formed mating projections. SZ306 (a/α) and SN152α served as negative controls. NA, not available. W (or wh), white; O (or op), opaque; P, mating projection. Scale bar, 10 µm.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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pgen-1004737-g001: White a cells induce mating projection formation in opaque α cells in mixed cultures of white (a) and opaque (α) cells.Strains: wor1Δ/Δ (GH1248, MTLa/a); wor2Δ/Δ (MMY627, MTLa/Δ). (A) Cellular images of single strain cultures. WTα1, GH1349, MTLα/α; WTα2, SN152α, MTLΔ/α. Five WT a strains of different background (WTa1 to WTa5) and the wor1Δ/Δ and wor2Δ/Δ mutants were used. SZ306, MTLa/α, served as a control. (B) Cellular images of mixed cultures. 4×106 opaque α cells (GH1349) were mixed with 4×106 cells of different background as indicated. The mixtures were spotted onto Lee's glucose medium and cultured at 25°C in air for 24 hours. Cellular images and percentages of opaque α cells (GH1349) with mating projections are shown. Cells with at least one mating projection were counted. The mixture of opaque α cells (GH1349) and opaque a cells (GH1012) served as a positive control. The percentage of opaque α cells (GH1349) with mating projections in the opaque a×α mixture is not shown since both α and a cells formed mating projections. SZ306 (a/α) and SN152α served as negative controls. NA, not available. W (or wh), white; O (or op), opaque; P, mating projection. Scale bar, 10 µm.
Mentions: To further confirm this phenomenon, we tested the effect of white a cells of four strains with different genetic backgrounds on the induction of mating projection formation of opaque α cells. The assay was performed on nutrient solid agar (Lee's glucose medium). As shown in Figure 1, over 75% of opaque α cells formed mating projections in all of the mixed cultures containing white a cells of the wild type strains. Consistently, cells of the wor1Δ/Δ and wor2Δ/Δ mutants, which are “locked” in the white phase under this culture condition, also induced mating projection formation in opaque α cells (Figure 1B). Opaque a cells served as a positive control, and white a/α cells and white α cells served as negative controls. As expected, opaque a cells induced mating projection formation in opaque α cells, while white a/α cells and white α cells did not. The images of single strain cultures and the ratios of opaque cells with mating projections are shown in Figure 1A and 1B, respectively. Consistently, white cells of another clinically independent WT a strain (SZ306a, a/Δ) and the wor1Δ/Δ mutant (GH1248, a/a) also induced mating projection formation in opaque α cells when cultured in liquid medium (Figure S1). These results indicate that the induction of mating projections of opaque cells by white cells is a general feature of clinical isolates of C. albicans.

Bottom Line: Modes of sexual reproduction in eukaryotic organisms are extremely diverse.Deletion of genes encoding the pheromone precursor proteins and inactivation of the pheromone response signaling pathway (Ste2-MAPK-Cph1) impair the promoting role of white cells (MTLa) in the sexual mating of opaque cells.This coordination between the two different cell types may be a trade-off strategy between sexual and asexual lifestyles in C. albicans.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
Modes of sexual reproduction in eukaryotic organisms are extremely diverse. The human fungal pathogen Candida albicans undergoes a phenotypic switch from the white to the opaque phase in order to become mating-competent. In this study, we report that functionally- and morphologically-differentiated white and opaque cells show a coordinated behavior during mating. Although white cells are mating-incompetent, they can produce sexual pheromones when treated with pheromones of the opposite mating type or by physically interacting with opaque cells of the opposite mating type. In a co-culture system, pheromones released by white cells induce opaque cells to form mating projections, and facilitate both opposite- and same-sex mating of opaque cells. Deletion of genes encoding the pheromone precursor proteins and inactivation of the pheromone response signaling pathway (Ste2-MAPK-Cph1) impair the promoting role of white cells (MTLa) in the sexual mating of opaque cells. White and opaque cells communicate via a paracrine pheromone signaling system, creating an environment conducive to sexual mating. This coordination between the two different cell types may be a trade-off strategy between sexual and asexual lifestyles in C. albicans.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus