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Published in npj Biofilms and Microbiomes - 01 Dec 2023

Thierry Mourer, Mennat El Ghalid, Gérard Pehau-Arnaudet, Brice Kauffmann, Antoine Loquet, Sébastien Brûlé, Vitor Cabral, Christophe D’enfert, Sophie Bachellier-Bassi

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 36697414

Link to HAL – pasteur-04017273

Link to DOI – 10.1038/s41522-023-00371-x

npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, 2023, 9 (1), pp.6. ⟨10.1038/s41522-023-00371-x⟩

The human commensal fungus Candida albicans can attach to epithelia or indwelling medical devices and form biofilms, that are highly tolerant to antifungal drugs and can evade the immune response. The cell surface protein Pga59 has been shown to influence adhesion and biofilm formation. Here, we present evidence that Pga59 displays amyloid properties. Using electron microscopy, staining with an amyloid fibre-specific dye and X-ray diffraction experiments, we showed that the predicted amyloid-forming region of Pga59 is sufficient to build up an amyloid fibre in vitro and that recombinant Pga59 can also adopt a cross-β amyloid fibre architecture. Further, mutations impairing Pga59 amyloid assembly led to diminished adhesion to substrates and reduced biofilm production. Immunogold labelling on amyloid structures extracted from C. albicans revealed that Pga59 is used by the fungal cell to assemble amyloids within the cell wall in response to adhesion. Altogether, our results suggest that Pga59 amyloid properties are used by the fungal cell to mediate cell-substrate interactions and biofilm formation.