Single-Molecule Imaging and Functional Analysis of Als Adhesins and Mannans during Candida albicans Morphogenesis
Beaussart, Audrey Alsteens, David El-Kirat-Chatel, Sofiane Lipke, Peter N Kucharíková, Sona Van Dijck, Patrick × Dufrêne, Yves F #
American Chemical Society
ACS Nano vol:6 issue:12 pages:10950-10964
Cellular morphogenesis in the fungal pathogen Candida albicans is associated with changes in cell wall composition that play important roles in biofilm formation and immune responses. Yet, how fungal morphogenesis modulates the biophysical properties and interactions of the cell surface molecules is poorly understood, mainly owing to the paucity of high-resolution imaging techniques. Here, we use single-molecule atomic force microscopy to localize and analyze the key components of the surface of living C. albicans cells during morphogenesis. We show that the yeast-to-hypha transition leads to a major increase in the distribution, adhesion, unfolding, and extension of Als adhesins and their associated mannans on the cell surface. We also find that morphogenesis dramatically increases cell surface hydrophobicity. These molecular changes are critical for microbe-host interactions, including adhesion, colonization, and biofilm formation. The single-molecule experiments presented here offer promising prospects for understanding how microbial pathogens use cell surface molecules to modulate biofilm and immune interactions.