Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30368597
Link to DOI – 10.1007/82_2018_144
Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 2019 ; 422(): 61-99
Candida albicans is a commensal yeast of most healthy individuals, but also one of the most prevalent human fungal pathogens. During adaptation to the mammalian host, C. albicans encounters different niches where it is exposed to several types of stress, including oxidative, nitrosative (e.g., immune system), osmotic (e.g., kidney and oral cavity) stresses and pH variation (e.g., gastrointestinal (GI) tract and vagina). C. albicans has developed the capacity to respond to the environmental changes by modifying its morphology, which comprises the yeast-to-hypha transition, white-opaque switching, and chlamydospore formation. The yeast-to-hypha transition has been very well characterized and was shown to be modulated by several external stimuli that mimic the host environment. For instance, temperature above 37 ℃, serum, alkaline pH, and CO2 concentration are all reported to enhance filamentation. The transition is characterized by the activation of an intricate regulatory network of signaling pathways, involving many transcription factors. The regulatory pathways that control either the stress response or morphogenesis are required for full virulence and promote survival of C. albicans in the host. Many of these transcriptional circuitries have been characterized, highlighting the complexity and the interconnections between the different pathways. Here, we present the major signaling pathways and the main transcription factors involved in the yeast-to-hypha transition. Furthermore, we describe the role of heat shock transcription factors in the morphogenetic transition, providing an edifying example of the complex cross talk between pathways involved in morphogenesis and stress response.