Phenotyping the virulent switch in C. alibicans using fingerprinting and footprinting metabolomics

Metabolomics:Open Access

ISSN: 2153-0769

Open Access

Phenotyping the virulent switch in C. alibicans using fingerprinting and footprinting metabolomics

4th International Conference and Exhibition on Metabolomics & Systems Biology

April 27-29, 2015 Philadelphia, USA

Vicki Schlegel, Cristiane CÔmara, Qin Yin Shi and Kenneth Nickerson

Posters-Accepted Abstracts: Metabolomics

Abstract :

Candida albicans is a polymorphic yeast that inhabits the gastrointestinal tract of humans as part of the commensal microflora under normal conditions. But when the host defenses are compromised, C. albicans can become an opportunistic pathogen causing both superficial and/or severe systemic infection. C. albicans has the ability to grow as budding yeast (round shaped cells) that can switch to hyphae cells (presence of elongated filament). Hyphae cells are considered the most virulent form mainly because its structure facilitates adhesion and invasion into the body and is more resistant against host defenses. Suitable diagnostic targets must be identified to inhibit the yeast-to-hypae transition, which can be only accomplished by understanding the molecular changes that occur during the virulent switch. Therefore, the objective of the work was to phenotype the conformation changes of C. albicans during its virulent progression using fingerprinting and footprinting metabolomics, with an emphasis on Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Whole cell fingerprinting and footprinting of two C. albicans strains (A72 and SC5314) indicated different conformations and metabolic during the shift, but for each the most significant occurred at the 2-3 hour transition point. FTIR spectroscopy of isolated DNA further showed that genetic conformation differed between the two strains during the switch, but their DNA phenotype was similar after transition to the most virulent phenotype, the hyphae stage. Such conformation changes, as evidenced by shifts in peak positions, bandwidths, and band intensities, provide valuable structural and functional information to develop appropriate agents for preventing infections.

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