In this study, we aimed to generate a series of versatile tagging plasmids that can be used in diverse molecular biological studies of the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. We constructed 12 plasmids that can be used to tag a protein of interest with a GFP, mCherry, 4×FLAG, or 6×HA, along with nourseothricin-, neomycin-, or hygromycin-resistant selection markers. Using this tagging plasmid set, we explored the adenylyl cyclase complex (ACC), consisting of adenylyl cyclase (Cac1) and its associated protein Aca1, in the cAMP-signaling pathway, which is critical for the pathogenicity of C. neoformans. We found that Cac1-mCherry and Aca1-GFP were mainly colocalized as punctate forms in the cell membrane and non-nuclear cellular organelles. We also demonstrated that Cac1 and Aca1 interacted in vivo by co-immunoprecipitation, using Cac1-6×HA and Aca1-4×FLAG tagging strains. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation further confirmed the in vivo interaction of Cac1 and Aca1 in live cells. Finally, protein pull-down experiments using aca1∆::ACA1-GFP and aca1∆::ACA1-GFP cac1∆ strains and comparative mass spectrometry analysis identified Cac1 and a number of other novel ACC-interacting proteins. Thus, this versatile tagging plasmid system will facilitate diverse mechanistic studies in C. neoformans and further our understanding of its biology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology