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Mol Biol Cell. 2008 Jul;19(7):2741-51. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E08-02-0191. Epub 2008 Apr 23.

Regulation of the Candida albicans cell wall damage response by transcription factor Sko1 and PAS kinase Psk1.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Institute of Cancer Research, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

The environmental niche of each fungus places distinct functional demands on the cell wall. Hence cell wall regulatory pathways may be highly divergent. We have pursued this hypothesis through analysis of Candida albicans transcription factor mutants that are hypersensitive to caspofungin, an inhibitor of beta-1,3-glucan synthase. We report here that mutations in SKO1 cause this phenotype. C. albicans Sko1 undergoes Hog1-dependent phosphorylation after osmotic stress, like its Saccharomyces cerevisiae orthologues, thus arguing that this Hog1-Sko1 relationship is conserved. However, Sko1 has a distinct role in the response to cell wall inhibition because 1) sko1 mutants are much more sensitive to caspofungin than hog1 mutants; 2) Sko1 does not undergo detectable phosphorylation in response to caspofungin; 3) SKO1 transcript levels are induced by caspofungin in both wild-type and hog1 mutant strains; and 4) sko1 mutants are defective in expression of caspofungin-inducible genes that are not induced by osmotic stress. Upstream Sko1 regulators were identified from a panel of caspofungin-hypersensitive protein kinase-defective mutants. Our results show that protein kinase Psk1 is required for expression of SKO1 and of Sko1-dependent genes in response to caspofungin. Thus Psk1 and Sko1 lie in a newly described signal transduction pathway.

PMID:
18434592
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2441657
Free PMC Article

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