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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2000 Aug 15;189(2):225-32.

Cellular actin is affected by interaction with Candida albicans.

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Department of Human Microbiology, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


Attachment of Candida albicans, an important opportunistic pathogen, to host tissues is an initial step in the development of the infection. The events occurring in the fungal and in the host cells after interaction are poorly understood. In this study we concentrated on the events occurring in the mammalian cells after the interaction with Candida, with emphasis on the cytoskeleton actin. Human cell line cells (HEp2) were exposed to C. albicans or C. albicans-secreted material (culture filtrate) (actin-rearranging Candida-secreted factor, arcsf). The HEp2 cells were examined for cellular changes using confocal laser microscopy (CLSM), transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM and SEM). The CLSM studies, using fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled C. albicans and rhodamine phalloidin actin staining, revealed yeasts adhering to the HEp2 cells or internalized into the cells, with actin surrounding the fungi. Furthermore, actin rearrangement from filamentous network to actin aggregates was noticed. Interaction between the HEp2 cells and C. albicans could be demonstrated also by SEM and TEM after a 2-4-h exposure of the cells to the fungus. Yeasts and hyphae were found attaching to the surface and within the cells. CLSM studies revealed that exposure of HEp2 cells to arcsf was also followed by cellular actin rearrangement, reduced membrane ruffling and decreased cellular motility. The effect was dose- and time-dependent. All these data indicate that the interaction of Candida with HEp2 cells involves signaling events and affects the cellular actin.

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