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J Bacteriol. 1999 Sep;181(17):5273-9.

HWP1 functions in the morphological development of Candida albicans downstream of EFG1, TUP1, and RBF1.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 20007, USA.


The morphological plasticity of Candida albicans is an important determinant of pathogenicity, and nonfilamentous mutants are avirulent. HWP1, a hypha-specific gene, was identified in a genetic screen for developmentally regulated genes and encodes a cell surface protein of unknown function. Heterozygous and homozygous deletions of HWP1 resulted in a medium-conditional defect in hyphal development. HWP1 expression was blocked in a Deltaefg1 mutant, reduced in an Deltarbf1 mutant, and derepressed in a Deltatup1 mutant. Therefore, HWP1 functions downstream of the developmental regulators EFG1, TUP1, and RBF1. Mutation of CPH1 had no effect on HWP1 expression, suggesting that the positive regulators of hyphal development, CPH1 and EFG1, are components of separate pathways with different target genes. The expression of a second developmentally regulated gene, ECE1, was similarly regulated by EFG1. Since ECE1 is not required for hyphal development, the regulatory role of EFG1 apparently extends beyond the control of cell shape determinants. However, expression of ECE1 was not influenced by TUP1, suggesting that there may be some specificity in the regulation of morphogenic elements during hyphal development.

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