Synergistic regulation of hyphal elongation by hypoxia, CO(2), and nutrient conditions controls the virulence of Candida albicans.
Published Web Locationhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4049569/
Candida albicans reversibly switches between yeast and hyphal morphologies, with hyphae being associated with virulence. Hyphal initiation and maintenance depend on host environment sensing. Hyphal maintenance in vitro requires chromatin remodeling of hypha-specific gene promoters, although disrupting chromatin-remodeling does not disrupt C. albicans hyphal elongation and virulence during invasive infection. We find that the combination of hypoxia and high CO2, but neither condition alone, maintains hyphal elongation, even in mutants lacking the nutrient-responsive chromatin-remodeling pathway. Ume6, the transcriptional activator of hypha-specific genes, is stabilized via regulation by Ofd1, a prolyl hydroxylase family member inhibited by hypoxia, and by an uncharacterized pathway that senses high CO2. Virulence and hyphal elongation in vivo are attenuated only when the parallelly acting Ume6 stabilization and chromatin-remodeling pathways are both blocked. The evolution of redundant signaling pathways allowing C. albicans to adapt to varied host environments may explain this commensal's success as a pathogen.
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