1887

Abstract

The transition of from a yeast to a hyphal form is controlled by several transcriptional factors, including the key regulators Cph1 and Efg1, and is considered an important virulence attribute. These factors, especially Efg1, regulate the expression of hyphal-associated genes e.g. . In order to investigate the relevance of these transcriptional regulators for hyphal-independent genes, recently constructed and single mutants and a / double mutant lacking these factors were tested during interaction with oral epithelium and polymorphonuclear neutrophils. In contrast to the parental wild-type strain and the mutant, the and the / mutants did not produce hyphal forms in all experiments and were less capable of damaging epithelial cells and neutrophil granulocytes. The attenuated epithelial lesions of these mutants were correlated not only with reduced expression of the hyphal-associated gene , but also with the lack of and expression previously shown to be important for oral infections. An mutant strain carrying a plasmid-borne copy of the gene regained hyphal growth, damage of keratinocytes, granulocytes and the expression of and . Although and / mutants did not produce germ tubes during infection, expression of the hyphal-associated genes and was not completely abolished. A reduced capacity to stimulate an epithelial immune response manifested by a delayed onset of IL-1β, IL-8 and TNF expression was only observed in the /-infected tissue. These results provide further evidence for a combined regulation of different virulence factors, such as dimorphism and expression of genes. Furthermore, it could be demonstrated that the lack of Efg1 also caused reduced expression of hyphal-independent genes. Both the and the gene products are necessary for adequate induction of an immune response.

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2003-08-01
2019-10-21
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