Mycology department seminar
Thursday October, 5th @ 1.00pm
Jules Bordet room, Metchnikoff building
IDLabs, A*Star (Singapore)
Mechanistic understanding of the yeast-to-hyphae transition of Candida albicans
Candida albicans is the most prevalent fungal pathogens in humans. A well-recognized virulence trait is its capability to switch from the commensal yeast state to the invasive hyphal growth. My laboratory has studied environmental, host, and fungal factors crucial for this growth transition. In my seminar, I will present our discoveries regarding bacterial peptidoglycan (PG) as a potent inducer of hyphal growth. I will explain how PG promotes the yeast-hyphal transition by activating the cAMP-PKA pathway and discuss how beta-lactam antibiotics may increase the risks of invasive Candida albicans infection by causing a ‘PG storm’ in the gut microbiome. I will also talk about the identification of the hypha-specific protein kinase Cdc28/Hgc1 as a master regulator of hyphal morphogenesis. This kinase simultaneously phosphorylates key components of various polarity machines under hyphal induction. Finally, I will describe the finding of cytochrome c as an important regulator of the yeast-hyphal switching through transposon-mediated genome-wide mutagenesis and screening.