Biology and genetics of the pathogenic yeast Candida parapsilosis
The yeast Candida parapsilosis is an opportunistic human pathogen frequently associated with nosocomial infections in neonates and patients with diminished immunity. A growing number of studies powered by recent advances in molecular genetics and genomics provide a background for uncovering the molecular basis of its virulence that suggests promising avenues for therapeutic intervention against this pathogen. Importantly, these studies also revealed several unique genetic and physiological features absent in model organisms, such as baker’s and fission yeasts. Hence, besides the clinical impact, C. parapsilosis represents an interesting non-conventional model suitable for investigations of several fundamental biological phenomena in cellular physiology, morphogenesis, and genome maintenance. In this study, we provide a concise review on C. parapsilosis biology and highlight its interesting biological features. In addition, we summarize approaches for genetic manipulation, which have enhanced research on this species by overcoming limitations of conventional genetic analysis caused primarily by an apparent absence of a sexual cycle and the diploid state of its genome.
KeywordsCandida parapsilosis Pathogenic yeast Linear mitochondrial genome Bioenergetics Morphogenesis Genetic manipulation
The authors would like to thank Ladislav Kovac (Comenius University) and Joshua D. Nosanchuk (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) for their long-term support, discussions, and critical reading of the manuscript. Our work on various aspects of C. parapsilosis biology is supported by grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute [55005622 (Jozef Nosek)], Fogarty International Research Collaboration Award [2-R03-TW005654-04A1 (Lubomir Tomaska)], the Slovak grant agencies APVT/APVV [0024-07 (Jozef Nosek), LPP-0164-06 (Jozef Nosek)] and VEGA [1/0219/08 (Jozef Nosek), 1/0132/09 (Lubomir Tomaska)], Janos Bólyai research fellowship (Attila Gacser), EMBO Installation Grant (Attila Gacser), and by OTKA grant no: 73250 (Attila Gacser).
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