COS-1, a putative two-component histidine kinase of Candida albicans, is an in vivo virulence factor
The human fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, has three putative histidine kinases showing homology to those of plants, bacteria and other fungi. We have constructed a homozygous deletion strain and a hemizygous reconstituted strain of one of these histidine-kinase-encoding genes, COS-1, in C. albicans. Neither strain showed any growth defect in a number of liquid media nor increased resistance or sensitivity to a number of antifungal drugs. Importantly, we show that the COS-1 homozygous disruption strain had significantly reduced virulence in a systemic murine model of candidosis. Thus, COS-1 appears to be an in vivo virulence factor and may represent a novel target for the development of antifungal drugs.