Global transcriptomic analysis of the Candida albicans response to treatment with a novel inhibitor of filamentation

Jesus A. Romo, Hao Zhang, Hong Cai, David Kadosh, Julia R. Koehler, Stephen P. Saville, Yufeng Wang, Jose L. Lopez-Ribot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The opportunistic pathogenic fungus Candida albicans can cause devastating infections in immunocompromised patients. Its ability to undergo a morphogenetic transition from yeast to filamentous forms allows it to penetrate tissues and damage tissues, and the expression of genes associated with a number of pathogenetic mechanisms is also coordinately regulated with the yeast-to-hypha conversion. Therefore, it is widely considered that filamentation represents one of the main virulence factors of C. albicans. We have previously identified N-[3-(allyloxy)-phenyl]-4- methoxybenzamide (compound 9029936) as the lead compound in a series of smallmolecule inhibitors of C. albicans filamentation and characterized its activity both in vitro and in vivo. This compound appears to be a promising candidate for the development of alternative antivirulence strategies for the treatment of C. albicans infections. In this study, we performed RNA sequencing analysis of samples obtained from C. albicans cells grown under filament-inducing conditions in the presence or absence of this compound. Overall, treatment with compound 9029936 resulted in 618 upregulated and 702 downregulated genes. Not surprisingly, some of the most downregulated genes included well-characterized genes associated with filamentation and virulence such as SAP5, ECE1 (candidalysin), and ALS3, as well as genes that impact metal chelation and utilization. Gene ontology analysis revealed an overrepresentation of cell adhesion, iron transport, filamentation, biofilm formation, and pathogenesis processes among the genes downregulated during treatment with this leading compound. Interestingly, the top upregulated genes suggested an enhancement of vesicular transport pathways, particularly those involving SNARE interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00620-19
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2019


  • Antivirulence
  • Candida albicans
  • Candidiasis
  • Filamentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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