New paper: Candida albicans biofilm formation requires stable amino acid homeostasis

Multi-OMICs study about Candida albicans amino acid metabolism during biofilm formation published in npj Biofilms and Microbiomes

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Candida albicans is part of the human microbiota, colonizing mucosal surfaces. Under certain circumstances, e. g. impaired immune functions, the fungus can become invasive and cause infections. In this way, its ability to thrive as a biofilm enables C. albicans to grow on implanted medical devices, which can lead to life threatening bloodstream infections. Candida biofilm growth is linked to the activation of amino acid metabolism. Recently, we have published that the transcription factor Stp2, which is crucial for the utilization of amino acids, is required for C. albicans biofilm formation. Here, Dr. Bettina Böttcher, postdoc of the JRG Host Fungal Interfaces (head: Dr. Slavena Vylkova), and her colleagues addressed the key questions of how the acquisition and metabolism of amino acids contribute to biofilm formation and how this nutritional homeostasis is balanced. By applying three state-of-the-art OMICs techniques, they studied the amino acid metabolism under three stress conditions: aging, hypoxia and amino acid limitation by using a strain lacking the regulator of amino acid permeases Stp2. All in all, the data show that due to its highly flexible metabolism C. albicans carries out metabolic adaptation processes in response to stress conditions and that amino acid homeostasis is a prerequisite for biofilm formation. The study has now been published in the open access journal Biofilms and Microbiomes of the nature publishing group.

Böttcher B, Driesch D, Krüger T, Garbe E, Gerwien F, Kniemeyer O, Brakhage AA, Vylkova S (2022) Impaired amino acid uptake leads to global metabolic imbalance of Candida albicans biofilms. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes. 13;8(1):78. doi: 10.1038/s41522-022-00341-9.