Phospholipases are critical for modification and redistribution of lipid substrates, membrane remodeling and microbial virulence. Among the many different classes of phospholipases, fungal phospholipase B (Plb) proteins show the broadest range of substrate specificity and hydrolytic activity, hydrolyzing acyl ester bonds in phospholipids and lysophospholipids and further catalyzing lysophospholipase-transacylase reactions. The genome of the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans encodes a PLB multigene family with five putative members; we present the first characterization of this group of potential virulence determinants. CaPLB5, the third member of this multigene family characterized herein is a putative secretory protein with a predicted GPI-anchor attachment site. Real-time RT-PCR gene expression analysis of CaPLB5 and the additional CaPLB gene family members revealed that filamentous growth and physiologically relevant environmental conditions are associated with increased PLB gene activity. The phenotypes expressed by null mutant and revertant strains of CaPLB5 indicate that this lipid hydrolase plays an important role for cell-associated phospholipase A2 activity and in vivo organ colonization.
- GPI anchor
- Selection marker