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Infect Immun. 2007 Jun;75(6):2922-8. Epub 2007 Mar 19.

Candida albicans Iff11, a secreted protein required for cell wall structure and virulence.

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  • 1School of Medical Sciences, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.


The Candida albicans cell wall is the immediate point of contact with the host and is implicated in the host-fungal interaction and virulence. To date, a number of cell wall proteins have been identified and associated with virulence. Analysis of the C. albicans genome has identified the IFF gene family as encoding the largest family of cell wall-related proteins. This family is also conserved in a range of other Candida species. Iff11 differs from other family members in lacking a GPI anchor, and we have demonstrated it to be O glycosylated and secreted in C. albicans. A null mutant lacking IFF11 was hypersensitive to cell wall-damaging agents, suggesting a role in cell wall organization. In a murine model of systemic infection the null mutant was highly attenuated in virulence, and survival-standardized infections suggest it is required to establish an infection. This work provides the first evidence of the importance of this gene family in the host-fungal interaction and virulence.

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