Conserved and divergent roles of Bcr1 and CFEM proteins in Candida parapsilosis and Candida albicans

Chen Ding, Genevieve M Vidanes, Sarah L Maguire, Alessandro Guida, John M Synnott, David R Andes, Geraldine Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Candida parapsilosis is a pathogenic fungus that is major cause of hospital-acquired infection, predominantly due to growth as biofilms on indwelling medical devices. It is related to Candida albicans, which remains the most common cause of candidiasis disease in humans. The transcription factor Bcr1 is an important regulator of biofilm formation in vitro in both C. parapsilosis and C. albicans. We show here that C. parapsilosis Bcr1 is required for in vivo biofilm development in a rat catheter model, like C. albicans. By comparing the transcription profiles of a bcr1 deletion in both species we found that regulation of expression of the CFEM family is conserved. In C. albicans, three of the five CFEM cell wall proteins (Rbt5, Pga7 and Csa1) are associated with both biofilm formation and acquisition of iron from heme, which is an important virulence characteristic. In C. parapsilosis, the CFEM family has undergone an expansion to 7 members. Expression of three genes (CFEM2, CFEM3, and CFEM6) is dependent on Bcr1, and is induced in low iron conditions. All three are involved in the acquisition of iron from heme. However, deletion of the three CFEM genes has no effect on biofilm formation in C. parapsilosis. Our data suggest that the role of the CFEM family in iron acquisition is conserved between C. albicans and C. parapsilosis, but their role in biofilm formation is not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e28151
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Animals
  • Biofilms
  • Biomarkers
  • Candida
  • Candidiasis
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Iron
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rats
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction
  • Species Specificity
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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