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Nat Commun. 2016 Sep 28;7:12766. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12766.

Systematic functional analysis of kinases in the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea.
  • 2Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.
  • 3Biological Disaster Analysis Group, Korea Basic Science Institute, Daejeon 34133, Korea.
  • 4Departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Medicine, and Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

Abstract

Cryptococcus neoformans is the leading cause of death by fungal meningoencephalitis; however, treatment options remain limited. Here we report the construction of 264 signature-tagged gene-deletion strains for 129 putative kinases, and examine their phenotypic traits under 30 distinct in vitro growth conditions and in two different hosts (insect larvae and mice). Clustering analysis of in vitro phenotypic traits indicates that several of these kinases have roles in known signalling pathways, and identifies hitherto uncharacterized signalling cascades. Virulence assays in the insect and mouse models provide evidence of pathogenicity-related roles for 63 kinases involved in the following biological categories: growth and cell cycle, nutrient metabolism, stress response and adaptation, cell signalling, cell polarity and morphology, vacuole trafficking, transfer RNA (tRNA) modification and other functions. Our study provides insights into the pathobiological signalling circuitry of C. neoformans and identifies potential anticryptococcal or antifungal drug targets.

PMID:
27677328
PMCID:
PMC5052723
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms12766
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