The regulation of hyphae growth in Candida albicans

Virulence. 2020 Dec;11(1):337-348. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2020.1748930.


In the last decades, Candida albicans has served as the leading causal agent of life-threatening invasive infections with mortality rates approaching 40% despite treatment. Candida albicans (C. albicans) exists in three biological phases: yeast, pseudohyphae, and hyphae. Hyphae, which represent an important phase in the disease process, can cause tissue damage by invading mucosal epithelial cells then leading to blood infection. In this review, we summarized recent results from different fields of fungal cell biology that are instrumental in understanding hyphal growth. This includes research on the differences among C. albicans phases; the regulatory mechanism of hyphal growth, extension, and maintaining cutting-edge polarity; cross regulations of hyphal development and the virulence factors that cause serious infection. With a better understanding of the mechanism on mycelium formation, this review provides a theoretical basis for the identification of targets in candidiasis treatment. It also gives some reference to the study of antifungal drugs.

Keywords: Candida albicans; Oral candidiasis; fungi; hyphae; mycelium.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / genetics*
  • Candida albicans / physiology*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Humans
  • Hyphae / growth & development*
  • Virulence


  • Fungal Proteins

Grants and funding

This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China grant: 81870778 (BR), 81600858 (BR), 81870759 (LC), and 81430011 (XZ); the Youth Grant of the Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province, China 2017JQ0028 (LC); Innovative Research Team Program of Sichuan Province (LC); Fund of State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases (SKLOD201913) (BR).