Biofilm matrix regulation by Candida albicans Zap1. PLoS Biol 7(6):e1000133

University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom
PLoS Biology (Impact Factor: 9.34). 07/2009; 7(6):e1000133. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000133
Source: PubMed


A biofilm is a surface-associated population of microorganisms embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances. Biofilms are a major natural growth form of microorganisms and the cause of pervasive device-associated infection. This report focuses on the biofilm matrix of Candida albicans, the major fungal pathogen of humans. We report here that the C. albicans zinc-response transcription factor Zap1 is a negative regulator of a major matrix component, soluble beta-1,3 glucan, in both in vitro and in vivo biofilm models. To understand the mechanistic relationship between Zap1 and matrix, we identified Zap1 target genes through expression profiling and full genome chromatin immunoprecipitation. On the basis of these results, we designed additional experiments showing that two glucoamylases, Gca1 and Gca2, have positive roles in matrix production and may function through hydrolysis of insoluble beta-1,3 glucan chains. We also show that a group of alcohol dehydrogenases Adh5, Csh1, and Ifd6 have roles in matrix production: Adh5 acts positively, and Csh1 and Ifd6, negatively. We propose that these alcohol dehydrogenases generate quorum-sensing aryl and acyl alcohols that in turn govern multiple events in biofilm maturation. Our findings define a novel regulatory circuit and its mechanism of control of a process central to infection.

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Available from: Clarissa J Nobile,
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    • "in and related to the virulence of the pathogenic fungi Cryptococcus gattii, Candida albicans, and Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, although in these latter two microorganisms this has not yet been experimentally confirmed (Nobile et al., 2009; Schneider et al., 2012; Parente et al., 2013 "
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    ABSTRACT: Aspergillus fumigatus is able to invade and grow in the lungs of immunosuppressed individuals and causes invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. The concentration of free zinc in living tissues is much lower than that required for optimal fungal growth in vitro because most of it is tightly bound to proteins. To obtain efficiently zinc from a living host A. fumigatus uses the zinc transporters ZrfA, ZrfB, and ZrfC. The ZafA transcriptional regulator induces the expression of all these transporters and is essential for virulence. Thus, ZafA could be targeted therapeutically to inhibit fungal growth. The ZrfC transporter plays the major role in zinc acquisition from the host whereas ZrfA and ZrfB rather have a supplementary role to that of ZrfC. In addition, only ZrfC enables A. fumigatus to overcome the inhibitory effect of calprotectin, which is an antimicrobial Zn/Mn-chelating protein synthesized and released by neutrophils within the fungal abscesses of immunosuppressed non-leucopenic animals. Hence, fungal survival in these animals would be undermined upon blocking therapeutically the function of ZrfC. Therefore, both ZafA and ZrfC have emerged as promising targets for the discovery of new antifungals to treat Aspergillus infections.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 02/2015; 6:160. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00160 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    • "Its importance in biofilm formation has been reported previously [48]. Of interest was the positive correlation with ZAP1 expression at 4 h, which is a negative regulator of matrix production [49]. It did positively correlate with BCR1, the global regulator of biofilm formation, suggesting that the early interaction between their proteins may be important for downstream construction of the biofilm. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Candida albicans infections have become increasingly recognised as being biofilm related. Recent studies have shown that there is a relationship between biofilm formation and poor clinical outcomes in patients infected with biofilm proficient strains. Here we have investigated a panel of clinical isolates in an attempt to evaluate their phenotypic and transcriptional properties in an attempt to differentiate and define levels of biofilm formation. Results Biofilm formation was shown to be heterogeneous; with isolates being defined as either high or low biofilm formers (LBF and HBF) based on different biomass quantification. These categories could also be differentiated using a cell surface hydrophobicity assay with 24 h biofilms. HBF isolates were more resistance to amphotericin B (AMB) treatment than LBF, but not voriconazole (VRZ). In a Galleria mellonella model of infection HBF mortality was significantly increased in comparison to LBF. Histological analysis of the HBF showed hyphal elements intertwined indicative of the biofilm phenotype. Transcriptional analysis of 23 genes implicated in biofilm formation showed no significant differential expression profiles between LBF and HBF, except for Cdr1 at 4 and 24 h. Cluster analysis showed similar patterns of expression for different functional classes of genes, though correlation analysis of the 4 h biofilms with overall biomass at 24 h showed that 7 genes were correlated with high levels of biofilm, including Als3, Eap1, Cph1, Sap5, Plb1, Cdr1 and Zap1. Conclusions Our findings show that biofilm formation is variable amongst C. albicans isolates, and categorising isolates depending on this can be used to predict how pathogenic the isolate will behave clinically. We have shown that looking at individual genes in less informative than looking at multiple genes when trying to categorise isolates at LBF or HBF. These findings are important when developing biofilm-specific diagnostics as these could be used to predict how best to treat patients infected with C. albicans. Further studies are required to evaluate this clinically.
    BMC Microbiology 07/2014; 14(1):182. DOI:10.1186/1471-2180-14-182 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    • "In C. albicans, ADH2 is upregulated in planktonic cells grown in hypoxic conditions and mainly in the stationary growth phase [8], [25]. ADH5 has a role in controlling the biofilm matrix formation in C. albicans [26]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of C. albicans to form biofilms is a major virulence factor and a challenge for management. This is evident in biofilm-associated chronic oral-oesophageal candidosis, which has been shown to be potentially carcinogenic in vivo. We have previously shown that most Candida spp. can produce significant levels of mutagenic acetaldehyde (ACH). ACH is also an important mediator of candidal biofilm formation. We have also reported that D,L-2-hydroxyisocaproic acid (HICA) significantly inhibits planktonic growth of C. albicans. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of HICA on C. albicans biofilm formation and ACH production in vitro. Inhibition of biofilm formation by HICA, analogous control compounds or caspofungin was measured using XTT to measure biofilm metabolic activity and PicoGreen as a marker of biomass. Biofilms were visualised by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). ACH levels were measured by gas chromatography. Transcriptional changes in the genes involved in ACH metabolism were measured using RT-qPCR. The mean metabolic activity and biomass of all pre-grown (4, 24, 48 h) biofilms were significantly reduced after exposure to HICA (p<0.05) with the largest reductions seen at acidic pH. Caspofungin was mainly active against biofilms pre-grown for 4 h at neutral pH. Mutagenic levels (>40 µM) of ACH were detected in 24 and 48 h biofilms at both pHs. Interestingly, no ACH production was detected from D-glucose in the presence of HICA at acidic pH (p<0.05). Expression of genes responsible for ACH catabolism was up-regulated by HICA but down-regulated by caspofungin. SEM showed aberrant hyphae and collapsed hyphal structures during incubation with HICA at acidic pH. We conclude that HICA has potential as an antifungal agent with ability to inhibit C. albicans cell growth and biofilm formation. HICA also significantly reduces the mutagenic potential of C. albicans biofilms, which may be important when treating bacterial-fungal biofilm infections.
    PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e97864. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0097864 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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