Regulation of phenotypic transitions in the fungal pathogen Candida albicans

Virulence. 2012 May 1;3(3):251-61. doi: 10.4161/viru.20010. Epub 2012 May 1.


The human commensal fungus Candida albicans can cause not only superficial infections, but also life-threatening disease in immunocompromised individuals. C. albicans can grow in several morphological forms. The ability to switch between different phenotypic forms has been thought to contribute to its virulence. The yeast-filamentous growth transition and white-opaque switching represent two typical morphological switching systems, which have been intensively studied in C. albicans. The interplay between environmental factors and genes determines the morphology of C. albicans. This review focuses on the regulation of phenotypic changes in this pathogenic organism by external environmental cues and internal genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / cytology*
  • Candida albicans / genetics*
  • Candida albicans / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Virulence Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Virulence Factors / genetics


  • Virulence Factors