Deutsch Intern
    Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie

    New insides into the complex regulation of virulence-associated genes in Candida albicans

    Ahr1 is required for high-level expression of ECE1 and ALS3


    The major human fungal pathogen C. albicans is the leading cause of systemic Candida infections. A major pathogenicity trait of this fungus is its ability to form hyphae out of unicellular yeasts. It was shown in the past that the up-regulation of two important virulence-associated genes, ALS3 and ECE1, correlates with the formation of hyphae. However, the regulation of these genes is highly complex. A network of research groups in Würzburg and Jena under the leadership of the group of Professor Oliver Kurzai from the Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology discovered a novel regulatory mechanism, which ensures high level transcription of the two genes after the initiation of the hyphal growth. Indeed, high amounts of ALS3 and ECE1 mRNA are essential for functional relevant protein amounts, which enable the fungus to invade and destroy human host cells. Two transcriptional regulators, Ahr1 and Tup1, were found to be key components of this regulatory pathway. These results are now published in the prestigious scientific journal mBio and allow new insides into complex pathogenicity traits of this human fungal pathogen.

    Ruben S, Garbe E, Mogavero S, Albrecht-Eckardt D, Hellwig D, Häder A, Krüger T, Gerth K, Jacobsen ID, Elshafee O, Brunke S, Hünniger K, Kniemeyer O, Brakhage AA, Morschhäuser J, Hube B, Vylkova S, Kurzai O, Martin R. 2020. Ahr1 and Tup1 contribute to the transcriptional control of virulence-associated genes in Candida albicans. mBio11:e00206-20.https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00206-20.