Mild Heat Stress Affects on the Cell Wall Structure in <i>Candida albicans</i> Biofilm
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We previously reported that <i>Candida albicans</i> responded to mild heat stress in a range of temperature elevations simulating fever, and concluded that mild heat stress increases susceptibility to antifungal drugs. In this study, we show that mild heat stress causes a morphological change in hyphae during the process of biofilm formation. We found that mild heat stress extended the period of hyphal stage maintenance in <i>C. albicans</i> biofilm. Although the rate of hyphal change from yeast form to hyphal form reached the maximum within 3 hr, later, almost every cell quickly reverted to the yeast growth phase within 6 hr at 37°C but not at 39°C, or under mild heat stress. Electron microscopy using a smart specimen preparation technique revealed that mild heat stress significantly increased the thickness of the inner cell wall accompanied by a decrease in density of the outer cell wall in the hyphae of <i>C. albicans</i> biofilm. To identify the gene responsible for the morphological changes associated with mild heat stress, we performed microarray gene expression analysis. Eleven genes were upregulated and 17 genes were downregulated under mild heat stress in biofilm cells. The increased <i>PHR1</i> gene expression in response to mild heat stress was confirmed in quantitative RT-PCR analysis. The mutant upregulated <i>PHR1</i> expression showed the same sensitivity against antifungal drug micafungin as dependent on mild heat stress. Our findings point to possible therapeutic effects of hyperthermia as well as to the effect of fever during infections.
- Medical Mycology Journal
Medical Mycology Journal 60(2), 29-37, 2019
The Japanese Society for Medical Mycology