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Genetics. 2000 Sep;156(1):31-44.

Identification and characterization of TUP1-regulated genes in Candida albicans.

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Department of Microbiology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0414, USA.


TUP1 encodes a transcriptional repressor that negatively controls filamentous growth in Candida albicans. Using subtractive hybridization, we identified six genes, termed repressed by TUP1 (RBT), whose expression is regulated by TUP1. One of the genes (HWP1) has previously been characterized, and a seventh TUP1-repressed gene (WAP1) was recovered due to its high similarity to RBT5. These genes all encode secreted or cell surface proteins, and four out of the seven (HWP1, RBT1, RBT5, and WAP1) encode putatively GPI-modified cell wall proteins. The remaining three, RBT2, RBT4, and RBT7, encode, respectively, an apparent ferric reductase, a plant pathogenesis-related protein (PR-1), and a putative secreted RNase T2. The expression of RBT1, RBT4, RBT5, HWP1, and WAP1 was induced in wild-type cells during the switch from the yeast form to filamentous growth, indicating the importance of TUP1 in regulating this process and implicating the RBTs in hyphal-specific functions. We produced knockout strains in C. albicans for RBT1, RBT2, RBT4, RBT5, and WAP1 and detected no phenotypes on several laboratory media. However, two animal models for C. albicans infection, a rabbit cornea model and a mouse systemic infection model, revealed that rbt1Delta and rbt4Delta strains had significantly reduced virulence. TUP1 appears, therefore, to regulate many genes in C. albicans, a significant fraction of which are induced during filamentous growth, and some of which participate in pathogenesis.

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