Genome-scale metabolic model of the human pathogen candida albicans: A promising platform for drug target prediction

Romeu Viana, Oscar Dias, Davide Lagoa, Mónica Galocha, Isabel Rocha, Miguel Cacho Teixeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Candida albicans is one of the most impactful fungal pathogens and the most common cause of invasive candidiasis, which is associated with very high mortality rates. With the rise in the frequency of multidrug-resistant clinical isolates, the identification of new drug targets and new drugs is crucial in overcoming the increase in therapeutic failure. In this study, the first validated genome-scale metabolic model for Candida albicans, iRV781, is presented. The model consists of 1221 reactions, 926 metabolites, 781 genes, and four compartments. This model was reconstructed using the open-source software tool merlin 4.0.2. It is provided in the well-established systems biology markup language (SBML) format, thus, being usable in most metabolic engineering platforms, such as OptFlux or COBRA. The model was validated, proving accurate when predicting the capability of utilizing different carbon and nitrogen sources when compared to experimental data. Finally, this genome-scale metabolic reconstruction was tested as a platform for the identification of drug targets, through the comparison between known drug targets and the prediction of gene essentiality in conditions mimicking the human host. Altogether, this model provides a promising platform for global elucidation of the metabolic potential of C. albicans, possibly guiding the identification of new drug targets to tackle human candidiasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number171
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Candida albicans
  • Drug targets
  • Gene essentiality
  • Global stoichiometric model
  • Metabolic reconstruction


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