A novel subtilisin-like serine protease of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is induced by thyroid hormone and degrades antimicrobial peptides

Chakkunny Thekkiniath, Masoud Zabet Moghaddam, Susan San Francisco, Michael San Francisco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (B. dendrobatidis), a chytrid fungus, is one of the major contributors to the global amphibian decline. The fungus infects both tadpoles and adult amphibians. Tadpoles are infected in their keratinized mouthparts, and infected adults exhibit hyperkeratosis and loss of righting reflex. Infections of adults may result in death from cardiac arrest in susceptible species. Thyroid hormone plays a key role in amphibian metamorphosis. The occurrence of B. dendrobatidis in tadpoles during metamorphosis may result in exposure of the fungus to host morphogens including TH. This exposure may induce gene expression in the fungus contributing to invasion and colonization of the host. Here, we demonstrate movement of fungal zoospores toward TH. Additionally, expression of a subtilisin-like serine protease is up-regulated in B. dendrobatidis cells exposed to TH. A gene encoding this protease was cloned from B. dendrobatidis and expressed in Escherichia coli. The protei
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451–461
JournalFungal Biol
StatePublished - Jun 2013

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