Candida species are part of the normal flora of humans, but once the immune system of the host is impaired and they escape from commensal niches, they shift from commensal to pathogen causing candidiasis. Candida albicans remains the primary cause of candidiasis, accounting for about 60% of the global candidiasis burden. The cell wall of C. albicans and related fungal pathogens forms the interface with the host, gives fungal cells their shape, and also provides protection against stresses. The cell wall is a dynamic organelle with great adaptive flexibility that allows remodeling, morphogenesis, and changes in its components in response to the environment. It is mainly composed of the inner polysaccharide rich layer (chitin, and β-glucan) and the outer protein coat (mannoproteins). The highly glycosylated protein coat mediates interactions between C. albicans cells and their environment, including reprograming of wall architecture in response to several conditions, such as carbon source, pH, high temperature, and morphogenesis. The mannoproteins are also associated with C. albicans adherence, drug resistance, and virulence. Vitally, the mannoproteins contribute to cell wall construction and especially cell wall remodeling when cells encounter physical and chemical stresses. This review describes the interconnected cell wall integrity (CWI) and stress-activated pathways (e.g., Hog1, Cek1, and Mkc1 mediated pathways) that regulates cell wall remodeling and the expression of some of the mannoproteins in C. albicans and other species. The mannoproteins of the surface coat is of great importance to pathogen survival, growth, and virulence, thus understanding their structure and function as well as regulatory mechanisms can pave the way for better management of candidiasis.
Bibliographical noteFunding: This research was funded by Abia State University and the University of Aberdeen.
- cell wall
- cell wall proteins
- signaling pathways
- stress tolerance