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Sixty Alleles of the ALS7 Open Reading Frame in Candida albicans: ALS7 Is a Hypermutable Contingency Locus


Zhang, N and Harrex, AL and Holland, BR and Fenton, LE and Cannon, RD and Schmid, J, Sixty Alleles of the ALS7 Open Reading Frame in Candida albicans: ALS7 Is a Hypermutable Contingency Locus, Genome Research, 13, (9) pp. 2005-2017. ISSN 1088-9051 (2003) [Refereed Article]

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©2003 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

DOI: doi:10.1101/gr.1024903


The ALS (agglutinin-like sequence) gene family encodes proteins that play a role in adherence of the yeast Candida albicans to endothelial and epithelial cells. The proteins are proposed as virulence factors for this important fungal pathogen of humans. We analyzed 66 C. albicans strains, representing a worldwide collection of 266 infection-causing isolates, and discovered 60 alleles of the ALS7 open reading frame (ORF). Differences between alleles were largely caused by rearrangements of repeat elements in the so-called tandem repeat domain (21 different types occurred) and the VASES region (19 different types). C. albicans is diploid, and combinations of ALS7 alleles generated 49 different genotypes. ALS7 expression was detected in samples isolated directly from five oral candidosis patients. ORFs in the opposite direction contained within the ALS7 ORF were also transcribed in all strains tested. Isolates representing a more pathogenic general-purpose genotype (GPG) cluster of strains tended to have more tandem repeats than other strains. Two types of VASES regions were largely exclusive to GPG strains; the remaining types were largely exclusive to noncluster strains. Our results provide evidence that ALS7 is a hypermutable contingency locus and important for the success of C. albicans as an opportunistic pathogen of humans.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Microbial genetics
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Holland, BR (Professor Barbara Holland)
ID Code:63075
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:50
Deposited By:Mathematics
Deposited On:2010-04-13
Last Modified:2010-04-29

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