Activation of MAPK/c-Fos induced responses in oral epithelial cells is specific to Candida albicans and Candida dubliniensis hyphae

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Abstract

Oral epithelial cells detect the human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans via NF-kappa B and a bi-phasic mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling response. However, discrimination between C. albicans yeast and hyphal forms is mediated only by the MAPK pathway, which constitutes activation of the MAPK phosphatase MKP1 and the c-Fos transcription factor and is targeted against the hyphal form. Given that C. albicans is not the only Candida species capable of filamentation or causing mucosal infections, we sought to determine whether this MAPK/MKP1/c-Fos mediated response mechanism was activated by other pathogenic Candida species, including C. dubliniensis, C. tropicalis, C. parapsilosis, C. glabrata and C. krusei. Although all Candida species activated the NF-kappa B signaling pathway, only C. albicans and C. dubliniensis were capable of inducing MKP1 and c-Fos activation, which directly correlated with hypha formation. However, only C. albicans strongly induced cytokine production (G-CSF, GM-CSF, IL-6 and IL-1 alpha) and cell damage. Candida dubliniensis, C. tropicalis and C. parapsilosis were also capable of inducing IL-1 alpha and this correlated with mild cell damage and was dependent upon fungal burdens. Our data demonstrate that activation of the MAPK/MKP1/c-Fos pathway in oral epithelial cells is specific to C. dubliniensis and C. albicans hyphae.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93 - 101
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Microbiology and Immunology
Volume201
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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