Quorum Sensing in the Dimorphic Fungus Candida albicans Is Mediated by Farnesol

Jacob M. Hornby, Ellen C. Jensen, Amber D. Lisec, Joseph J. Tasto, Brandon Jahnke, Richard Shoemaker, Patrick H Dussault, Kenneth Nickerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The inoculum size effect in the dimorphic fungus Candida albicans results from production of an extracellular quorum-sensing molecule (QSM). This molecule prevents mycelial development in both a growth morphology assay and a differentiation assay using three chemically distinct triggers for germ tube formation (GTF): L-proline, N-acetylglucosamine, and serum (either pig or fetal bovine). In all cases, the presence of QSM prevents the yeast-to-mycelium conversion, resulting in actively budding yeasts without influencing cellular growth rates. QSM exhibits general cross-reactivity within C. albicans in that supernatants from strain A72 are active on five other strains of C. albicans and vice versa. The QSM excreted by C. albicans is farnesol (C15H26O; molecular weight, 222.37). QSM is extracellular, and is produced continuously during growth and over a temperature range from 23 to 43°C, in amounts roughly proportional to the CFU/milliliter. Production is not dependent on the type of carbon source nor nitrogen source or on the chemical nature of the growth medium. Both commercial mixed isomer and (E,E)-farnesol exhibited QSM activity (the ability to prevent GTF) at a level sufficient to account for all the QSM activity present in C. albicans supernatants, i.e., 50% GTF at ca. 30 to 35 μM. Nerolidol was ca. two times less active than farnesol. Neither geraniol (C10), geranylgeraniol (C20), nor farnesyl pyrophosphate had any QSM activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2982-2992
Number of pages11
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume67
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2001

Fingerprint

Farnesol
farnesol
Quorum Sensing
quorum sensing
Candida albicans
Fungi
fungus
fungi
yeast
assay
germ tube
size effect
pig
serum
Growth
nitrogen
carbon
yeasts
N-acetylglucosamine
Saccharomycetales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

Cite this

Quorum Sensing in the Dimorphic Fungus Candida albicans Is Mediated by Farnesol. / Hornby, Jacob M.; Jensen, Ellen C.; Lisec, Amber D.; Tasto, Joseph J.; Jahnke, Brandon; Shoemaker, Richard; Dussault, Patrick H; Nickerson, Kenneth.

In: Applied and environmental microbiology, Vol. 67, No. 7, 01.07.2001, p. 2982-2992.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hornby, Jacob M. ; Jensen, Ellen C. ; Lisec, Amber D. ; Tasto, Joseph J. ; Jahnke, Brandon ; Shoemaker, Richard ; Dussault, Patrick H ; Nickerson, Kenneth. / Quorum Sensing in the Dimorphic Fungus Candida albicans Is Mediated by Farnesol. In: Applied and environmental microbiology. 2001 ; Vol. 67, No. 7. pp. 2982-2992.
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