A High-Affinity Iron Permease Essential for Candida albicans Virulence

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Science  12 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5468, pp. 1062-1064
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5468.1062

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Microbial pathogens must compete with the iron-withholding defense systems of their host to acquire this essential nutrient. Here, two high-affinity iron permease genes, CaFTR1 andCaFTR2, were isolated. CaFTR1 expression was induced under iron-limited conditions and repressed when iron supply was sufficient, whereas the expression of CaFTR2 was regulated in a reversed manner. Mutants lacking CaFTR1 but not CaFTR2 exhibited a severe growth defect in iron-deficient medium and were unable to establish systemic infection in mice. Thus, CaFTR1-mediated iron-uptake mechanism constitutes a virulence factor of Candida albicans and may be a target for the development of anti-Candida therapies.

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