Pathogenic biology of Candida species

Infection biology of Candida species

C. albicans can grow as yeast or as filaments.
C. albicans can grow as yeast or as filaments.

The virulence of Candida species is closely linked to their ability to react and respond to changing environmental conditions. Candida albicans is able to adapt to alterations of environmental conditions with morphologic changes between the yeast form and filamentous forms. This morphologic plasticity is a core virulence factor. We analyse mechanisms of such morphotype-changes and investigate both the genes whose expression is bound to the change in growth form and regulators of morphologic plasticity. Based on the experimentally derived transcriptome data of differently stimulated fungi, we have been able to determine a Core Filamentation Response network by means of biomathematical methods. This network consists of genes that are expressed during filamentation, independent of the morphogenesis-inducing stimulus (Matrin et al., 2013). In contrast to C. albicans, C. glabrata is monomorphic. Therefore, this second most common pathogen of invasive Candida-infections possesses different adaptation mechanisms. C. glabrata can adapt to chanching CO2 concentrations. Under low CO2 concentrations the fixation CO2 fixations depends on carbonic anhydrase Nce1. In cooperartion with F. Mühlschlegel we characterized the regulatory mechanism for a Nce1 dependent CO2 fixation in more detail (Pohlers et al, 2017).