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PLoS Pathog. 2012;8(8):e1002848. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002848. Epub 2012 Aug 2.

A Candida biofilm-induced pathway for matrix glucan delivery: implications for drug resistance.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Abstract

Extracellular polysaccharides are key constituents of the biofilm matrix of many microorganisms. One critical carbohydrate component of Candida albicans biofilms, β-1,3 glucan, has been linked to biofilm protection from antifungal agents. In this study, we identify three glucan modification enzymes that function to deliver glucan from the cell to the extracellular matrix. These enzymes include two predicted glucan transferases and an exo-glucanase, encoded by BGL2, PHR1, and XOG1, respectively. We show that the enzymes are crucial for both delivery of β-1,3 glucan to the biofilm matrix and for accumulation of mature matrix biomass. The enzymes do not appear to impact cell wall glucan content of biofilm cells, nor are they necessary for filamentation or biofilm formation. We demonstrate that mutants lacking these genes exhibit enhanced susceptibility to the commonly used antifungal, fluconazole, during biofilm growth only. Transcriptional analysis and biofilm phenotypes of strains with multiple mutations suggest that these enzymes act in a complementary fashion to distribute matrix downstream of the primary β-1,3 glucan synthase encoded by FKS1. Furthermore, our observations suggest that this matrix delivery pathway works independently from the C. albicans ZAP1 matrix formation regulatory pathway. These glucan modification enzymes appear to play a biofilm-specific role in mediating the delivery and organization of mature biofilm matrix. We propose that the discovery of inhibitors for these enzymes would provide promising anti-biofilm therapeutics.

PMID:
22876186
PMCID:
PMC3410897
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1002848
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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