Merck

Role of SFP1 in the Regulation of Candida albicans Biofilm Formation.

PloS one (2015-06-19)
Hsueh-Fen Chen, Chung-Yu Lan
ABSTRACT

Candida albicans is a major human fungal pathogen. One of the important features of C. albicans pathogenicity is the ability to form biofilms on mucosal surfaces and indwelling medical devices. Biofilm formation involves complex processes in C. albicans, including cell adhesion, filamentous growth, extracellular matrix secretion and cell dispersion. In this work, we characterized the role of the transcription factor Sfp1, particularly with respect to its function in the regulation of biofilm formation. The deletion of the SFP1 gene enhanced cell adhesion and biofilm formation in comparison to the wild-type strain. Interestingly, the sfp1-deleted mutant also exhibited an increase in the expression of the ALS1, ALS3 and HWP1 genes, which encode adhesin proteins. In addition, Sfp1 was demonstrated to function downstream of the Rhb1-TOR signaling pathway. Bcr1 and Efg1 are transcription factors that are critical for controlling biofilm formation, and Efg1 is also required for hyphal growth. Deleting either the BCR1 or EFG1 gene in the sfp1-null background led to reduced adhesin gene expression. As a result, the bcr1/sfp1 or efg1/sfp1 double deletion mutants exhibited dramatically reduced biofilm formation. The results indicated that Sfp1 negatively regulates the ALS1, ALS3 and HWP1 adhesin genes and that the repression of these genes is mediated by the inhibition of Bcr1 and Efg1.

MATERIALS
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