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Mol Biol Cell. 2002 Aug;13(8):2732-46.

Septin function in Candida albicans morphogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794-5222, USA.


The septin proteins function in the formation of septa, mating projections, and spores in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as well as in cell division and other processes in animal cells. Candida albicans septins were examined in this study for their roles in morphogenesis of this multimorphic, opportunistically pathogenic fungus, which can range from round budding yeast to elongated hyphae. C. albicans green fluorescent protein labeled septin proteins localized to a tight ring at the bud and pseudohyphae necks and as a more diffuse array in emerging germ tubes of hyphae. Deletion analysis demonstrated that the C. albicans homologs of the S. cerevisiae CDC3 and CDC12 septins are essential for viability. In contrast, the C. albicans cdc10Delta and cdc11Delta mutants were viable but displayed conditional defects in cytokinesis, localization of cell wall chitin, and bud morphology. The mutant phenotypes were not identical, however, indicating that these septins carry out distinct functions. The viable septin mutants could be stimulated to undergo hyphal morphogenesis but formed hyphae with abnormal curvature, and they differed from wild type in the selection of sites for subsequent rounds of hyphal formation. The cdc11Delta mutants were also defective for invasive growth when embedded in agar. These results further extend the known roles of the septins by demonstrating that they are essential for the proper morphogenesis of C. albicans during both budding and filamentous growth.

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