Characterization of the interactions between human high-molecular-mass kininogen and cell wall proteins of pathogenic yeasts, Candida tropicalis

  • Justyna Karkowska-Kuleta
  • Dorota Zajac
  • Grazyna Bras
  • Oliwia Bochenska
  • Karolina Seweryn
  • Sylwia Kedracka-Krok
  • Urszula Jankowska
  • Maria Rapala-Kozik
  • Andrzej Kozik


Candida tropicalis is one of the most frequent causes of serious, disseminated candidiasis in human patients infected by non-albicans Candida species, but still relatively little is known about its virulence mechanisms. In our current study, the interactions between the cell surface of this species and a multifunctional human protein—high-molecular-mass kininogen (HK), an important component of the plasma contact system involved in the development of the inflammatory state—were characterized at the molecular level. The quick release of biologically active kinins from candidal cell wall-adsorbed HK was presented and the HK-binding ability was assigned to several cell wall-associated proteins. Predicted hyphally regulated cell wall protein (Hyr) and some housekeeping enzymes exposed at the cell surface (known as “moonlighting proteins”) were found to be the major HK binders. Accordingly, after purification of selected proteins, the dissociation constants of the complexes of HK with Hyr, enolase and phosphoglycerate mutase were determined using surface plasmon resonance measurements, giving the values of 2.20 x 10-7 M, 1.42 x 10-7 M and 5.81 x 10-7 M, respectively. Therefore, in this work, for the first time, the interactions between C. tropicalis cell wall proteins and HK were characterized in molecular terms. Our findings may be useful for designing more effective prevention and treatment approaches against infections caused by this dangerous fungal pathogen.