Interconnection between metabolic signals and virulence networks

Adequate nutrition is a fundamental prerequisite for C. albicans persistence in the human host. The adaptation to and proliferation in nutrient-restrictive host niches is not only critical for survival, but also for the ability of the fungus to cause infection. Thus, C. albicans has evolved remarkable metabolic plasticity, such as the ability to utilize simultaneously preferred and non-preferred carbon sources or quickly switch from growth on one nutrient to another.  We are particularly interested in i) molecular mechanisms of metabolic adaptation of C. albicans and ii) the metabolic changes that accompany the transition from a commensal to a pathogen.

 

Candida albicans has evolved to rapidly sense, acquire and metabolize various host nutrients. Sensing of extracellular nutrients frequently triggers signaling cascades, intercepted with virulence networks, which ultimately leads to invasive growth and infection.
Figure from Alves et al., PLoS Pathogens 2020