Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Mechanism Fundamental To The Spread Of Invasive Yeast Infections Identified

Date:
June 17, 2009
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Researchers have identified a novel regulatory gene network that plays an important role in the spread of common, and sometimes deadly, fungal infections. The findings establish the role of Zap1 protein in the activation of genes that regulate the synthesis of biofilm matrix.

A group of researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University Biological Sciences Professor Aaron Mitchell has identified a novel regulatory gene network that plays an important role in the spread of common, and sometimes deadly, fungal infections. The findings establish the role of Zap1 protein in the activation of genes that regulate the synthesis of biofilm matrix.

Related Articles


Candida albicans is a fungus, more specifically a yeast, which approximately 80 percent of people have in their gastrointestinal and genitourinary tract with no ill effects. However, at elevated levels it can cause non-life threatening conditions like thrush and yeast infections. A C. albicans infection becomes much more serious, and can be lethal, in those with compromised immune systems who have an implantable medical device, such as a pacemaker or artificial joint, or who use broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Central to such infections is the biofilm - a population of microbes, in this case C. albicans cells, joined together to form a sheet of cells. The cells in the biofilm produce extracellular components such as proteins and sugars, which form a cement-like matrix. This matrix serves to protect the cells of the biofilm, preventing drugs and other stressors from attacking the cells while acting as a glue that holds the cells together. By doing this, the matrix provides an environment in which yeast cells in the biofilm can thrive, promoting infection and drug resistance.

"Biofilms have a major impact on human health and matrix is such a pivotal component of biofilms. It is important to understand how the production of matrix is regulated," Mitchell said.

In the study, Mitchell and colleagues found that the zinc-responsive regulatory protein Zap1 prevents the production of soluble b-1,3 glucan, a sugar that is a major component of matrix. They also identified other genes whose expression is controlled by Zap1, called Zap1 target genes. They found that these genes encode two types of enzymes, glucoamylases and alcohol dehydrogenases, which both govern the production and maturation of matrix components.

"Understanding this novel regulatory gene network gives us insight into the metabolic processes that contribute to biofilm formation, and the role the network plays in infection," Mitchell said. "By better understanding the mechanisms by which biofilms develop and grow, we can start to look at targets for combating infection."

This study was supported by National Institutes of Health grants R01 AI067703 (APM), K08 AI01767 (DRA), and R01 AI49187 (ADJ). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nobile CJ, Nett JE, Hernday AD, Homann OR, Deneault J-S, et al. Biofilm Matrix Regulation by Candida albicans Zap1. PLoS Biol, 7(6): e1000133 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000133

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "New Mechanism Fundamental To The Spread Of Invasive Yeast Infections Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615203058.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2009, June 17). New Mechanism Fundamental To The Spread Of Invasive Yeast Infections Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615203058.htm
Public Library of Science. "New Mechanism Fundamental To The Spread Of Invasive Yeast Infections Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615203058.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins