Candida albicans colonizes human mucosa, including the gastrointestinal tract, as a commensal. In immunocompromised patients, C. albicans can breach the intestinal epithelial barrier and cause fatal … invasive infections. Carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1; CD66a), CEACAM5 (CEA), and CEACAM6 (CD66c) are immunomodulatory receptors expressed on human mucosa and are recruited by bacterial and viral pathogens. Here we show for the first time that a fungal pathogen (i.e., C. albicans) also binds directly to the extracellular domain of human CEACAM1, CEACAM3, CEACAM5, and CEACAM6. Binding was specific for human CEACAMs and mediated by the N-terminal IgV-like domain. In enterocytic C2BBe1 cells, C. albicans caused a transient tyrosine phosphorylation of CEACAM1 and induced higher expression of membrane-bound CEACAM1 and soluble CEACAM6. Lack of the CEACAM1 receptor after short hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown abolished CXCL8 (interleukin-8) secretion by C2BBe1 cells in response to C. albicans In CEACAM1-competent cells, the addition of recombinant soluble CEACAM6 reduced the C. albicans-induced CXCL8 secretion.IMPORTANCE The present study demonstrates for the first time that fungal pathogens can be recognized by at least four members of the immunomodulatory CEACAM receptor family: CEACAM1, -3, -5, and -6. Three of the four receptors (i.e., CEACAM1, -5, and -6) are expressed in mucosal cells of the intestinal tract, where they are implicated in immunomodulation and control of tissue homeostasis. Importantly, the interaction of the major fungal pathogen in humans Candida albicans with CEACAM1 and CEACAM6 resulted in an altered epithelial immune response. With respect to the broad impact of CEACAM receptors on various aspects of the innate and the adaptive immune responses, in particular epithelial, neutrophil, and T cell behavior, understanding the role of CEACAMs in the host response to fungal pathogens might help to improve management of superficial and systemic fungal infections.
Authors: E. Klaile, M. M. Muller, M. R. Schafer, A. K. Clauder, S. Feer, K. A. Heyl, M. Stock, T. E. Klassert, P. F. Zipfel, B. B. Singer, H. Slevogt
Date Published: 16th Mar 2017