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Microbiology. 2011 Nov;157(Pt 11):3232-42. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.051086-0. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Lipidomics of Candida albicans biofilms reveals phase-dependent production of phospholipid molecular classes and role for lipid rafts in biofilm formation.

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Center for Medical Mycology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and Department of Dermatology, Case Western Reserve University, 11100 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106-502, USA.


Candida albicans-associated bloodstream infections are linked to the ability of this yeast to form biofilms. In this study, we used lipidomics to compare the lipid profiles of C. albicans biofilms and planktonic cells, in early and mature developmental phases. Our results showed that significant differences exist in lipid composition in both developmental phases. Biofilms contained higher levels of phospholipid and sphingolipids than planktonic cells (nmol per g biomass, P<0.05 for all comparisons). In the early phase, levels of lipid in most classes were significantly higher in biofilms compared to planktonic cells (P≤0.05). The ratio of phosphatidylcholine to phosphatidylethanolamine was lower in biofilms compared to planktonic cells in both early (1.17 vs 2.52, P≤0.001) and late (2.34 vs 3.81, P≤0.001) developmental phases. The unsaturation index of phospholipids decreased with time, with this effect being particularly strong for biofilms. Inhibition of the biosynthetic pathway for sphingolipid [mannosyl diinositolphosphoryl ceramide, M(IP)₂C] by myriocin or aureobasidin A, and disruption of the gene encoding inositolphosphotransferase (Ipt1p), abrogated the ability of C. albicans to form biofilms. The differences in lipid profiles between biofilms and planktonic Candida cells may have important implications for the biology and antifungal resistance of biofilms.

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