, Volume 168, Issue 2, pp 73-77
Date: 05 Apr 2009

Disruption of the GPI Protein-Encoding Gene IFF4 of Candida albicans Results in Decreased Adherence and Virulence

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Candida albicans is the most important cause of systemic fungal infection in immunocompromised humans. Candidiasis is often initiated by the adherence and the colonization of inert surfaces such as peripheral venous catheters, central catheters, prosthetic cardiac valves, and other prostheses. We have studied the early stage of adherence and have shown that the disruption of C. albicans IFF4 gene encoding a GPI-anchor protein, led to a decrease of adherence of the germ tubes to plastic. Here, we demonstrated the role of the IFF4 gene in adherence to silicone catheter, as well as in virulence using a murine model of disseminated candidiasis. The iff4 Δ null mutant showed both a decrease of adherence to silicone catheter and a reduction of virulence. This work presents evidence for the importance of the IFF4 gene in host-fungal interaction.