Kuo, Z.Y., Chuang, Y.J., Chao, C.C., Liu, F.C., Lan, C.Y., and Chen, B.S. (2013) Identification of Infection- and Defense-Related Genes via a Dynamic Host-Pathogen Interaction Network Using a Candida Albicans-Zebrafish Infection Model. Journal of Innate Immunity. 5(2):137-52.
Candida albicans infections and candidiasis are difficult to treat and create very serious therapeutic challenges. In this study, based on interactive time profile microarray data of C. albicans and zebrafish during infection, the infection-related protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks of the two species and the intercellular PPI network between host and pathogen were simultaneously constructed by a dynamic interaction model, modeled as an integrated network consisting of intercellular invasion and cellular defense processes during infection. The signal transduction pathways in regulating morphogenesis and hyphal growth of C. albicans were further investigated based on significant interactions found in the intercellular PPI network. Two cellular networks were also developed corresponding to the different infection stages (adhesion and invasion), and then compared with each other to identify proteins from which we can gain more insight into the pathogenic role of hyphal development in the C. albicans infection process. Important defense-related proteins in zebrafish were predicted using the same approach. The hyphal growth PPI network, zebrafish PPI network and host-pathogen intercellular PPI network were combined to form an integrated infectious PPI network that helps us understand the systematic mechanisms underlying the pathogenicity of C. albicans and the immune response of the host, and may help improve medical therapies and facilitate the development of new antifungal drugs.