3 years ago

Proteases of Sporothrix schenckii: Cytopathological effects on a host-cell model

Sporotrichosis is a fungal infection caused by the Sporothrix schenckii complex. The adhesion of the fungus to the host tissue has been considered the key step in the colonization and invasion, but little is known about the early events in the host–parasite interaction. Aims To evaluate the proteolytic activity of S. schenckii on epithelial cells. Methods The proteolytic system (at pH 5 and 7) was evaluated using azocoll and zymograms. The host–parasite interaction and epithelial cell response were also analyzed by examining the microfilament cytoskeleton using phalloidin-FITC and transmission electron microscopy. Finally, the metabolic activity was determined using an XTT assay. Results The zymograms showed that S. schenckii yeast cells possess high intracellular and extracellular proteolytic activities (Mr200, 116, 97, and 70kDa) that are pH dependent and are inhibited by PMSF and E64, which act on serine and cysteine-type proteases. During the epithelial cell–protease interaction, the cells showed alterations in the microfilament distribution, as well as in the plasma membrane structure. Moreover, the metabolic activity of the epithelial cells decreased 60% without a protease inhibitor. Conclusions Our data demonstrate the complexity of the cellular responses during the infection process. This process is somehow counteracted by the action of proteases inhibitors. Furthermore, the results provide critical information for understanding the nature of host–fungus interactions and for searching a new effective antifungal therapy, which includes protease inhibitors.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1130140617301018

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