Transcriptomics

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Passage through the mammalian gut triggers a phenotypic switch required for Candida albicans commensalism


ABSTRACT: Among ~5,000,000 fungal species on Earth, Candida albicans is exceptional in its lifelong association with humans, where it exists either as a benign component of the gastrointestinal microbiome or as an invasive pathogen. Although it is generally assumed that invasiveness results from a breakdown of host immunity , it is also possible that specific fungal programs control the transition between these divergent lifestyles. Here, we report that exposure of C. albicans to the mammalian gut triggers a developmental switch, driven by the Wor1 transcription factor, to a commensal cell type. Wor1 has been thought to occur only in unique genetic backgrounds, but we show that WOR1 expression is triggered when wild-type cells are propagated in a murine gastrointestinal infection model. Similar to Wor1’s role in a white-opaque switch for mating, WOR1 overexpression within the host induces a novel switch affecting cell and colony morphology and conferring commensal fitness. However, these hyperfit GUT (Gastrointestinally-IndUced Transition) cells lack the functional hallmarks of opaque cells, which they resemble morphologically, whereas bona fide opaque cells are defective for commensalism. Instead, the GUT cell transcriptome is optimized for the environment of the distal mammalian digestive tract. The GUT cell type switch illuminates how a single organism can utilize distinct genetic programs to transition between commensalism and invasive tissue pathogenesis Candida albicans strains including the Wild type strain (SN425), WOR1OE -White (a/a, SN1044), WOR1OE -GUT (a/a, SN1045), White (a/a, SN966) and Opaque (a/a, SN967) were grown at room temperature in SC medium supplemented with 100ug/ml adenine; 2-4 biological replicates were performed per strain. RNA was prepared from these strains and samples were hybridized on custom Agilent C. albicans ORF arrays (15,000 spots/array, 70-mer probes).

ORGANISM(S): Candida albicans  

SUBMITTER: Changbin Chen  Suzanne Noble   Kalyan Pande    

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-43972 | ArrayExpress | 2013-07-28

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): GSE43972PRJNA188306

REPOSITORIES: GEO, ArrayExpress

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