Skip to main content

Data from: Decrease in ribosomal RNA in Candida albicans induced by serum exposure

Cite this dataset

Fleischmann, Jacob; Rocha, Miguel A. (2016). Data from: Decrease in ribosomal RNA in Candida albicans induced by serum exposure [Dataset]. Dryad.


Candida albicans is an important polymorphic human pathogen. It can switch from a unicellular yeast form to germinating hypha, which may play a role in making it the successful pathogen it is. This hyphal transformation can be triggered by various extracellular stimuli, the most potent one being serum from any source. We have previously reported that Candida albicans transiently polyadenylates portions of both the large and small subunits of ribosomal RNA, shortly after serum exposure. Northern blots at the same time suggested that serum might induce a decrease in total ribosomal RNA. We have carried out a number of experiments to carefully assess this possibility and now report that serum significantly reduces ribosomal RNA in Candida albicans. Fluorometric measurements, Northern blotting and quantitative RT-PCR, have all confirmed this decrease. Timed experiments show that serum induces this decrease rapidly, as it was seen in as early as five minutes. Cell mass is not decreased as total cellular protein content remains the same and metabolic activity does not appear to slow, as assessed by XTT assay, and by the observation that cells form hyphal structures robustly. Another hyphal inducer, N-acetylglucosamine, also caused RNA decrease, but to a lesser extent. We also observed it in non-germinating yeast, such as Candida glabrata. The reason for this decrease is unknown and overall our data suggests that decrease in rRNA does not play a causal role in hyphal transformation. Rapid and significant decrease in a molecule so central to the yeast’s biology is of some importance, and further studies, such as its effect on protein metabolism, will be required to better understand its purpose.

Usage notes