In vitro reconstructed human epithelia reveal contributions of Candida albicans EFG1 and CPH1 to adhesion and invasion
The individual and synergistic contributions of two transcription factors, EFG1 and CPH1, have been characterized with regard to adhesion to, and invasion of, human epithelia by Candida albicans. For this purpose two in vitro reconstructed tissue models were developed. A multi-layered model of human epidermis was used to simulate superficial infections of the skin, whereas a reconstructed human intestinal model was used to mimic the first steps of systemic infections. It was shown that C. albicans deleted for both transcription factors CPH1 and EFG1, in contrast to the congenic clinical isolate Sc5314, was neither able to adhere to, nor to penetrate, either of the model systems. A strain deleted for EFG1 alone showed significant reduction in adhesion and was not able to penetrate through the stratum corneum. However, strains deleted for CPH1 showed phenotypes paralleling the phenotypes of the clinical isolate Sc5314. Using different types of multi-layered human tissues reconstructed in vitro the individual contributions of Efg1p and Cph1p to two important virulence factors of C. albicans, namely adhesion and invasion, could be defined.