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Genome-wide expression and location analyses of the Candida albicans Tac1p regulon.

Liu TT, Znaidi S, Barker KS, Xu L, Homayouni R, Saidane S, Morschhäuser J, Nantel A, Raymond M, Rogers PD

Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee 38163, USA.

A major mechanism of azole resistance in Candida albicans is overexpression of the genes encoding the ATP binding cassette transporters Cdr1p and Cdr2p due to gain-of-function mutations in Tac1p, a transcription factor of the zinc cluster family. To identify the Tac1p regulon, we analyzed four matched sets of clinical isolates representing the development of CDR1- and CDR2-mediated azole resistance by using gene expression profiling. We identified 31 genes that were consistently up-regulated with CDR1 and CDR2, including TAC1 itself, and 12 consistently down-regulated genes. When a resistant strain deleted for TAC1 was examined similarly, expression of almost all of these genes returned to levels similar to those in the matched azole-susceptible isolate. Using genome-wide location (ChIP-chip) analysis (a procedure combining chromatin immunoprecipitation with hybridization to DNA intergenic microarrays), we found 37 genes whose promoters were bound by Tac1p in vivo, including CDR1 and CDR2. Sequence analysis identified nine new genes whose promoters contain the previously reported Tac1p drug-responsive element (CGGN(4)CGG), including TAC1. In total, there were eight genes whose expression was modulated in the four azole-resistant clinical isolates in a TAC1-dependent manner and whose promoters were bound by Tac1p, qualifying them as direct Tac1p targets: CDR1, CDR2, GPX1 (putative glutathione peroxidase), LCB4 (putative sphingosine kinase), RTA3 (putative phospholipid flippase), and orf19.1887 (putative lipase), as well as IFU5 and orf19.4898 of unknown function. Our results show that Tac1p binds under nonactivating conditions to the promoters of its targets, including to its own promoter. They also suggest roles for Tac1p in regulating lipid metabolism (mobilization and trafficking) and oxidative stress response in C. albicans.

Eukaryotic Cell 2007;6(11):2122-38.

Pubmed ID: 17905926

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