Discovering the secrets of the Candida albicans agglutinin-like sequence (ALS) gene family - A sticky pursuit

Lois L. Hoyer, Clayton B. Green, Soon Hwan Oh, Xiaomin Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The agglutinin-like sequence (ALS) family of Candida albicans includes eight genes that encode large cell-surface glycoproteins. The high degree of sequence relatedness between the ALS genes and the tremendous allelic variability often present in the same C. albicans strain complicated definition and characterization of the gene family. The main hypothesis driving ALS family research is that the genes encode adhesins, primarily involved in host-pathogen interactions. Although adhesive function has been demonstrated for several Als proteins, the challenge of studying putative adhesins in a highly adhesive organism like C. albicans has led to varying ideas about how best to pursue such investigations, and results that are sometimes contradictory. Recent analysis of alsδ/alsδ strains suggested roles for Als proteins outside of adhesion to host surfaces, and a broader scope of Als protein function than commonly believed. The availability and use of experimental methodologies to study C. albicans at the genomic level, and the ALS family en masse, have advanced knowledge of these genes and emphasized their importance in C. albicans biology and pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalMedical Mycology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Candida albicans
  • Cell surface
  • Gene family
  • Glycoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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