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Res Microbiol. 2005 Aug;156(7):822-9.

Phosphatidylinositol-dependent phospholipases C Plc2 and Plc3 of Candida albicans are dispensable for morphogenesis and host-pathogen interaction.

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  • 1Unité Postulante Biologie et Pathogénicité Fongiques, INRA USC 2019, Institut Pasteur, 25-28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.


Phospholipases play an important role as virulence factors in human pathogens. Candida albicans, the major fungal pathogen of humans, encodes phospholipases of type A, B, C and D. Type B Plb2 and type D Pld1 phospholipases have been shown to contribute to virulence in this organism. We analyzed, in C. albicans, PLC2 and PLC3, two highly conserved genes coding for phosphatidylinositol-dependent phospholipases C with homology to the known virulence factor PlcA in the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. We show that expression of PLC2 and PLC3 is upregulated under different filament-inducing conditions and in the constitutive filamentous mutant tup1Delta. In order to analyze PLC2 and PLC3 function in C. albicans, we constructed strains that carry PLC2 or PLC3 under a constitutive promoter and strains that lack all four PLC2/3 alleles. These strains were not affected in their ability to produce filaments under non-inducing conditions, nor was filamentation modified under inducing conditions, suggesting that PLC2/3 are not critical determinants of the yeast-to-hypha switch. In a cell culture model for macrophage interaction, phagocytosis of C. albicans and subsequent killing were not influenced by PLC2/3. These results demonstrate that C. albicans PLC2 and PLC3 are dispensable for virulence; moreover, they underline the sharp contrast with the function of plcA in L. monocytogenes.

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