Two cyclophilin A homologs with shared and distinct functions important for growth and virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans.
Cyclophilin A is the target of the immunosuppressant cyclosporin A (CsA) and is encoded by a single unique gene conserved from yeast to humans. In the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, two homologous linked genes, CPA1 and CPA2, were found to encode two conserved cyclophilin A proteins. In contrast to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in which cyclophilin A mutations confer CsA resistance but few other phenotypes, cyclophilin A mutations conferred dramatic phenotypes in C. neoformans. The Cpa1 and Cpa2 cyclophilin A proteins play a shared role in cell growth, mating, virulence and CsA toxicity. The Cpa1 and Cpa2 proteins also have divergent functions. cpa1 mutants are inviable at 39 degrees C and attenuated for virulence, whereas cpa2 mutants are viable at 39 degrees C and fully virulent. cpa1 cpa2 double mutants exhibited synthetic defects in growth and virulence. Cyclophilin A active site mutants restored growth of cpa1 cpa2 mutants at ambient but not at higher temperatures, suggesting that the prolyl isomerase activity of cyclophilin A has an in vivo function.
Wang, P; Cardenas, ME; Cox, GM; Perfect, JR; Heitman, J
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