Cryptococcal Hsf3 controls intramitochondrial ROS homeostasis byregulating the respiratory process.

Gao X.et al.

Mitochondrial quality control prevents accumulation of intramitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species (mtROS), thereby protecting cells against DNA damage, genome instability, and programmed cell death. However, underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood, particularly in fungal species. Here, we show that Cryptococcus neoformans heat shock factor 3 (CnHsf3) exhibits an atypical function in regulating mtROS independent of the unfolded protein response. CnHsf3 acts in nuclei and mitochondria, and nuclear- and mitochondrial-targeting signals are required for its organelle-specific functions. It represses the expression of genes involved in the tricarboxylic acid cycle while promoting expression of genes involved in electron transfer chain. In addition, CnHsf3 responds to multiple intramitochondrial stresses; this response is mediated by oxidation of the cysteine residue on its DNA binding domain, which enhances DNA binding. Our results reveal a function of HSF proteins in regulating mtROS homeostasis that is independent of the unfolded protein response.

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September, 2022


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