Cell-Type–Specific Transcriptional Profiles of the Dimorphic Pathogen Penicillium marneffei Reflect Distinct Reproductive, Morphological, and Environmental Demands
Cánovas López, David
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Genética|
|Published in||G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 3 (11), 1997-2014.|
|Abstract||Penicillium marneffei is an opportunistic human pathogen endemic to Southeast Asia. At 25° P. marneffei grows in a filamentous hyphal form and can undergo asexual development (conidiation) to produce spores (conidia), the ...
Penicillium marneffei is an opportunistic human pathogen endemic to Southeast Asia. At 25° P. marneffei grows in a filamentous hyphal form and can undergo asexual development (conidiation) to produce spores (conidia), the infectious agent. At 37° P. marneffei grows in the pathogenic yeast cell form that replicates by fission. Switching between these growth forms, known as dimorphic switching, is dependent on temperature. To understand the process of dimorphic switching and the physiological capacity of the different cell types, two microarray-based profiling experiments covering approximately 42% of the genome were performed. The first experiment compared cells from the hyphal, yeast, and conidiation phases to identify “phase or cell-state–specific” gene expression. The second experiment examined gene expression during the dimorphic switch from one morphological state to another. The data identified a variety of differentially expressed genes that have been organized into metabolic clusters based on predicted function and expression patterns. In particular, C-14 sterol reductase–encoding gene ergM of the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway showed high-level expression throughout yeast morphogenesis compared to hyphal. Deletion of ergM resulted in severe growth defects with increased sensitivity to azole-type antifungal agents but not amphotericin B. The data defined gene classes based on spatio-temporal expression such as those expressed early in the dimorphic switch but not in the terminal cell types and those expressed late. Such classifications have been helpful in linking a given gene of interest to its expression pattern throughout the P. marneffei dimorphic life cycle and its likely role in pathogenicity.