Proteome profiling of the dimorphic fungusPenicillium marneffeiextracellular proteins and identification of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase as an important adhesion factor for conidial attachment

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Despite being the most important thermal dimorphic fungus causing systemic mycosis in Southeast Asia, the pathogenic mechanisms of Penicillium marneffei remain largely unknown. By comparing the extracellular proteomes of P. marneffei in mycelial and yeast phases, we identified 12 differentially expressed proteins among which glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) were found to be upregulated in mycelial and yeast phases respectively. Based on previous findings in other pathogens, we hypothesized that these two extracellular proteins may be involved in adherence during P. marneffei–host interaction. Using inhibition assays with recombinant GAPDH (rGAPDH) proteins and anti-rGAPDH sera, we demonstrated that adhesion of P. marneffei conidia to fibronectin and laminin was inhibited by rGAPDH or rabbit anti-rGAPDH serum in a dose-dependent manner. Similarly, a dose-dependent inhibition of conidial adherence to A549 pneumocytes by rGAPDH or rabbit anti-rGAPDH serum was observed, suggesting that P. marneffei GAPDH can mediate binding of conidia to human extracellular matrix proteins and pneumocytes. However, HSP60 did not exhibit similar inhibition on conidia adherence, and neither GAPDH norHSP60 exhibited inhibition on adherence to J774 or THP-1 macrophage cell lines. This report demonstrates GAPDH as an adherence factor in P. marneffei by mediating conidia adherence to host bronchoalveolar epithelium during the early establishment phase of infection.We identified 12 differentially expressed proteins in the extracellular proteomes of Penicillium marneffei, among which glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was upregulated in mycelial phase. Adhesion of P. marneffei conidia to fibronectin and laminin, and A549 pneumocytes, was inhibited by rGAPDH or rabbit anti-rGAPDH antibody in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that GAPDH is an adhesion factor for binding to host bronchioalveolar epithelium.

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