Candida albicans biofilms require the transcription factor Stp2

New role of the transcription factor Stp2 published in Frontiers in Microbiology


The pathogenic fungus Candida albicans forms biofilms in the human host, especially on abiotic surfaces such as central venous catheters, which can cause severe infections and sepsis. These infections are often difficult to treat as biofilms are resistant to antimicrobial agents and the host immune response. Candida biofilm growth is linked to the activation of amino acid metabolism. The transcription factor Stp2 is crucial for the utilization of amino acids. However, its role in biofilm formation has not been identified so far. Dr. Bettina Böttcher, who is a postdoc in the JRG Host Fungal Interfaces, and her colleagues have shown that Stp2 has major relevance for biofilm formation. The transcription factor contributes to the adhesion of C. albicans cells to surfaces and to hyphal growth - a crucial prerequisite for biofilm formation. In addition, Stp2 mediates the adaptation of metabolic activity to available nutrients in mature biofilms. In the absence of Stp2, the metabolic activity is reduced and the fungus can survive longer within biofilms. These new findings are now published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Microbiology.

Original publication:

Böttcher B, Hoffmann B, Garbe E, Weise T, Cseresnyés Z, Brandt P, Dietrich S, Driesch D, Figge MT, Vylkova S. (2020) The transcription factor Stp2 is important for Candida albicans biofilm establishment and sustainability. Front. Microbiol. 11:794.

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