More than flipping the lid: Cdc50 contributes to echinocandin resistance by regulating calcium homeostasis in Cryptococcus neoformans.

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More than flipping the lid: Cdc50 contributes to echinocandin resistance by regulating calcium homeostasis in Cryptococcus neoformans.

Microb Cell. 2020 Feb 20;7(4):115-118

Authors: Cao C, Xue C

Abstract
Echinocandins are the newest fungicidal drug class approved for clinical use against common invasive mycoses. Yet, they are ineffective against cryptococcosis, predominantly caused by Cryptococcus neoformans. The underlying mechanisms of innate echinocandin resistance in C. neoformans remain unclear. We know that Cdc50, the β-subunit of the lipid translocase (flippase), mediates echinocandin resistance, as loss of the CDC50 gene sensitizes C. neoformans to caspofungin, a member of the echinocandins class. We sought to elucidate how Cdc50 facilitates caspofungin resistance by performing a forward genetic screen for cdc50Δ suppressor mutations that are caspofungin resistant. We identified a novel mechanosensitive calcium channel protein Crm1 that correlates with Cdc50 function (Cao et al., 2019). In addition to regulating phospholipid translocation, Cdc50 also interacts with Crm1 to regulate intracellular calcium homeostasis and calcium/calcineurin signaling that likely drives caspofungin resistance in C. neoformans. Our study revealed a novel dual function of Cdc50 that connects lipid flippase with calcium signaling. These unexpected findings provide new insights into the mechanisms of echinocandin resistance in C. neoformans that may drive future drug design.

PMID: 32274390 [PubMed]