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J Biol Chem. 2001 Dec 28;276(52):48988-96. Epub 2001 Oct 10.

DNA array studies demonstrate convergent regulation of virulence factors by Cph1, Cph2, and Efg1 in Candida albicans.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-1700, USA.


Candida albicans, normally a human commensal, can cause fatal systemic infections under certain circumstances. Its unique ability to switch from yeast to hyphal growth in response to various environmental signals is inherent to its pathogenicity. Filamentation is regulated by multiple pathways including a Cph1-mediated mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, an Efg1-mediated cAMP/PKA pathway, and a Cph2 pathway. To gain a general picture of how these various signaling pathways regulate differential gene expression during filamentation, we have constructed a partial C. albicans DNA array of 7,000 genes and used it to study the gene expression profiles using various mutants and growth conditions. By combining this novel technology with a new liquid medium in which cph1/cph1 is defective in filamentation, previously identified differentially expressed genes (ECE1, HWP1, HYR1, RBT1, SAPs5-6, and RBT4) are found to be regulated by all three pathways. In addition, two novel genes, DDR48 and YPL184, have been found to be differentially regulated during hyphal development and by all three pathways. This suggests that distinct filamentation signaling pathways converge to regulate a common set of differentially expressed genes. As one of the mechanisms for the observed convergence, we find that the transcription of a key regulator, TEC1, is regulated by Efg1 and Cph2. Importantly, most of the genes regulated by multiple filamentation pathways encode known virulence factors. Perhaps, C. albicans utilizes converging pathways to regulate its vital virulence factors to ensure its survival and pathogenicity in various host environments.

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