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Curr Biol. 2005 Jun 21;15(12):1150-5.

Regulation of cell-surface genes and biofilm formation by the C. albicans transcription factor Bcr1p.

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1
Department of Microbiology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

The impact of many microorganisms on their environment depends upon their ability to form surface bound communities called biofilms [1]. Biofilm formation on implanted medical devices has severe consequences for human health by providing both a portal of entry and a sanctuary for invasive bacterial and fungal pathogens [1 and 2]. Biofilm regulators and adherence molecules are extensively defined for many bacterial pathogens [3, 4, and 5], but not for fungal pathogens such as Candida albicans. Elongated filaments called hyphae are a prominent feature of C. albicans biofilms, and known genes that promote biofilm formation are required for hyphal development [2, 6, 7 and 8]. From a new library of transcription-factor mutants, we identify Bcr1p, a zinc finger protein required for formation of biofilms but not hyphae. Expression analysis shows that Bcr1p activates cell-surface protein and adhesin genes, including several induced during hyphal development. BCR1 expression depends upon the hyphal regulator Tec1p. Thus, BCR1 is a downstream component of the hyphal regulatory network that couples expression of cell-surface genes to hyphal differentiation. Our results indicate that hyphal cells are specialized to present adherence molecules that support biofilm integrity.

PMID:
15964282
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2005.05.047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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