Intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) form a tight barrier to the gut lumen. Paracellular permeability of the intestinal barrier is regulated by tight junction proteins and can be modulated by microorganisms … and other stimuli. The polymorphic fungus Candida albicans, a frequent commensal of the human mucosa has the capacity of traversing this barrier and establishing systemic disease within the host. Infection of polarized C2BBe1 IEC with wild-type C. albicans led to a transient increase of transepithelial electric resistance (TEER) before subsequent barrier disruption, accompanied by a strong decline of junctional protein levels and substantial, but considerably delayed cytotoxicity. Time-resolved microarray-based transcriptome analysis of C. albicans challenged IEC revealed a prominent role of NF-kappaB and MAPK signaling pathways in the response to infection. Hence, we inferred a gene regulatory network based on differentially expressed NF-kappaB and MAPK pathway components and their predicted transcriptional targets. The network model predicted activation of GDF15 by NF-kappaB was experimentally validated. Furthermore, inhibition of NF-kappaB activation in C. albicans infected C2BBe1 cells led to enhanced cytotoxicity in the epithelial cells. Taken together our study identifies NF-kappaB activation as an important protective signaling pathway in the response of epithelial cells to C. albicans. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Authors: M. Bohringer, S. Pohlers, Sylvie Schulze, Daniela Albrecht-Eckardt, J. Piegsa, M. Weber, R. Martin, Kerstin Hünniger, Jörg Linde, Reinhard Guthke, Oliver Kurzai
Date Published: 12th Jan 2016
Journal: Cell Microbiol