Inhibition of protein kinase A affects Paracoccidioides lutzii dimorphism.Int J Biol Macromol. 2018 Jul 01; 113:1214-1220.IJ
A critical step in the lifecycle of many fungal pathogens is the ability to switch between filamentous and yeast growth, a process known as dimorphism. cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) controls morphological changes and the pathogenicity of several animal and plant pathogenic fungi. In this work, we report the analysis of PKA activity during the mycelium to yeast transition in the pathogenic fungus Paracoccidioides lutzii. This fungus, as well as the closely related species Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, causes paracoccidioidomycosis, a systemic mycosis that affects thousands of people in Latin America. Infection occurs when hypha fragments or spores released from mycelium are inhaled by the host, an event that triggers the morphological switch. We show here that PKA activity is regulated in the fungus phase, increasing during the mycelium to yeast transition. Also, morphological transition from mycelium to yeast is blocked by the compound H89, a specific PKA inhibitor. Nevertheless, the fungus recovers its ability to change morphology when H89 is removed from the culture media. This recovery is accompanied by a significant increase in PKA activity. Our results strongly indicate that PKA directly affects phase transition in P. lutzii.