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Alterations in the mitochondrial genome of Candida albicans in microaerophilia, anaerobiosis and thermal variation

Grant number: 13/08457-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2014
Effective date (End): March 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Ribeiro da Silva Briones
Grantee:Thais Fernanda Bartelli
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Abstract

This project aims to study the effects of the concomitant reduction of oxygen tension and temperature increase in the mitochondrial genome of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans, concerning variations in its topology, number of copies, integrity and nucleotide sequence. In nosocomial infections, the patient is often infected by yeasts present on abiotic surfaces such as catheters. Yeasts form biofilms on these surfaces where the oxygen tension is the same as the atmospheric level and the temperature around 23 ° C. By passing from the catheter into the patient's body, these yeasts face smaller oxygen tension and higher temperature of 37 ° C. The effects of these changes in growth conditions have been studied separately in nonpathogenic yeast such as the Saccharomyces genus, but have never been studied simultaneously in the pathogenic yeast Candida. In nonpathogenic yeast, it has been shown to increase anaerobic adaptation involving reduction in the number of mitochondria and changes in mitochondrial DNA topology. With respect to temperature rise, the heat shock proteins response are well characterized. Our hypothesis is that the synergistic response to increased temperature and decreased oxygen tension should cause changes in mitochondrial DNA, which in turn may interfere with mitochondrial function. These changes have important implications for further epidemiological studies and infection of Candida spp. since recent studies shows significant participation of the organelle in modulation of virulence and drug resistance in yeast.