The Ras/cAMP/PKA Signaling Pathway and Virulence in Candida Albicans

Future Microbiol. 2009 Dec;4(10):1263-70. doi: 10.2217/fmb.09.106.


Candidiasis is the most common cause of fungal infections, and the majority of these are caused by Candida albicans. The protean pathogenic potential of C. albicans includes the capacity to infect diverse mucosal and epidermal surfaces as well as to disseminate via the bloodstream to internal organs, potentially causing system failure in cases of severe immunosuppression. Many environmental niches in the host may be invaded by C. albicans through modulation of gene expression patterns while changing morphology between yeast and hyphal growth forms. The Ras/cAMP/PKA signaling pathway has attracted particular attention for its role in promoting hyphal growth and because of its importance in virulence. Here, we present an overview of the components of the pathway and their functions, how the pathway may be activated in human hosts and recent updates regarding the role of Ras/cAMP/PKA signaling in virulence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology*
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism*
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Virulence
  • ras Proteins / metabolism*


  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • ras Proteins