Niche-specific metabolic adaptations of Candida albicans

Candida albicans cells rapidly tune their metabolism to the ever changing nutrient conditions of the diverse and complex host microenvironments. Thus, the expression of key metabolic functions is niche-specific. C. albicans cells induce glycolytic, tricarboxylic acid cycle, and fatty acid β-oxidation genes during mucosal invasion, whereas in the bloodstream and during biofilm growth C. albicans populations are heterogeneous, with metabolic signatures of their immediate microenvironments or stage of aging. The metabolic characteristics of a single host niche likely change during infection: a state typically triggered by severe alterations in the associated protective microbiota or in individuals with immune deficiencies. The nature of such changes is yet to be discovered. Therefore we aim to understand i) the niche-specific metabolic fingerprints and ii) alterations in C. albicans metabolic exchanges between the host and associated microbiota that trigger the infection process

C. albicans has adapted to thrive in various host niches, each with different nutrient repertoire. We study the metabolic processes that accompany commensalism and infection using selected models of host-fungal interactions.


Bettina Böttcher