CO2 Regulates White-to-Opaque Switching in Candida albicans

Guanghua Huang, Srikantha Thyagarajan, Nidhi Sahni, Song Yi, David R. Soll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To mate, Candida albicans must undergo homozygosis at the mating type-like locus MTL [1, 2], then switch from the white to opaque phenotype [3, 4]. Paradoxically, when opaque cells are transferred in vitro to 37°C, the temperature of their animal host, they switch en masse to white [5-7], suggesting that their major niche might not be conducive to mating. It has been suggested that pheromones secreted by opaque cells of opposite mating type [8] or the hypoxic condition of host niches [9, 10] stabilize opaque cells. There is, however, an additional possibility, namely that CO2, which achieves levels in the host 100 times higher than in air [11-13], stabilizes the opaque phenotype. CO2 has been demonstrated to regulate the bud-hypha transition in C. albicans [14, 15], expression of virulence genes in bacteria [16], and mating events in Cryptococcus neoformans [14, 17]. We tested the possibility that CO2 stabilizes the opaque phenotype, and found that physiological levels of CO2 induce white-to-opaque switching and stabilize the opaque phenotype at 37°C. It exerts this control equally under anaerobic and aerobic conditions. These results suggest that the high levels of CO2 in the host induce and stabilize the opaque phenotype, thus facilitating mating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-334
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Feb 2009

Fingerprint

Candida
Candida albicans
carbon dioxide
Switches
Phenotype
phenotype
Pheromones
Bacteria
Animals
anaerobic conditions
Genes
niches
Air
Cryptococcus neoformans
Hyphae
aerobic conditions
cells
pheromones
hyphae
Virulence

Keywords

  • MICROBIO

Cite this

Huang, Guanghua ; Thyagarajan, Srikantha ; Sahni, Nidhi ; Yi, Song ; Soll, David R. / CO2 Regulates White-to-Opaque Switching in Candida albicans. In: Current Biology. 2009 ; Vol. 19, No. 4. pp. 330-334.
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CO2 Regulates White-to-Opaque Switching in Candida albicans. / Huang, Guanghua; Thyagarajan, Srikantha; Sahni, Nidhi; Yi, Song; Soll, David R.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 19, No. 4, 24.02.2009, p. 330-334.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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