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.

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 July 31, 2014 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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