Metabolome analysis during the morphological transition of Candida albicans
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- Han, T., Cannon, R.D. & Villas-Bôas, S.G. Metabolomics (2012) 8: 1204. doi:10.1007/s11306-012-0416-6
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Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogen of humans with significant mortality in severely immunocompromised patients. The ability to switch from yeast to hyphal morphology and vice versa, in response to various environmental cues, is believed to be a critical virulence factor of this fungus. However, the mechanisms that recognize such environmental signals and trigger the morphological change at a system level are still not clearly understood. Therefore, we have compared the metabolite profiles of C. albicans cells growing under different hyphae-inducing conditions to the metabolite profiles of growing yeast cells. Surprisingly our results suggest an overall downregulation of cellular metabolism during the yeast to hyphal morphological transition. Among the metabolic pathways involved in the central carbon metabolism, we have found seventeen that were significantly downregulated in all three hyphae-inducing conditions. This indicates that these central carbon metabolic pathways are likely to be intrinsically involved in the downstream effects of the morphogenetic process.