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Depletion of the cullin Cdc53p induces morphogenetic changes in Candida albicans.

Trunk K, Gendron P, Nantel A, Lemieux S, Roemer T, Raymond M

Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Candida albicans is an important opportunistic human fungal pathogen that can cause both mucosal and systemic infections in immunocompromised patients. Critical for the virulence of C. albicans is its ability to undergo a morphological transition from yeast to hyphal growth mode. Proper induction of filamentation is dependent on the ubiquitination pathway, which targets proteins for proteasome-mediated protein degradation or activates them for signaling events. In the present study, we evaluated the role of ubiquitination in C. albicans by impairing the function of the major ubiquitin-ligase complex SCF. This was done by depleting its backbone, the cullin Cdc53p (orf19.1674), using a tetracycline downregulatable promoter system. Cdc53p-depleted cells displayed an invasive phenotype and constitutive filamentation under conditions favoring yeast growth mode, both on solid and in liquid media. In addition, these cells exhibited an early onset of cell death, as judged from propidium iodide staining, suggesting that CDC53 is an essential gene in C. albicans. To identify Cdc53p-dependent pathways in C. albicans, a genome-wide expression analysis was carried out that revealed a total of 425 differentially expressed genes (fold change, >or=2; P

Eukaryotic Cell 2009;8(5):756-67.

Pubmed ID: 19270112

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