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Microbiology. 2001 Aug;147(Pt 8):2007-19.

A GAS-like gene family in the pathogenic fungus Candida glabrata.

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Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie, Universität Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str. 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany.


In fungi, the cell wall plays a major role in host-pathogen interactions. Despite this, little is known about the molecular basis of cell wall assembly in Candida glabrata, which has emerged as the second most common cause of systemic candidosis. A C. glabrata gene family, CgGAS1-3, that shares significant homologies with both the GAS1 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is necessary for cell wall assembly, and the pH-regulated genes PHR1 and PHR2 of Candida albicans, which are involved in cell wall assembly and required for virulence, has been cloned. Among the members of this family, CgGAS1-3 display a unique expression pattern. Both CgGAS1 and CgGAS2 are constitutively expressed. In contrast, CgGAS3 transcript was not detectable under any of the assayed conditions. The C. glabrata actin gene, CgACT1, has also been cloned to be used as a meaningful loading control in Northern blots. CgGAS1 and CgGAS2 were deleted by two different methodological approaches. A rapid PCR-based strategy by which gene disruption was achieved with short regions of homology (50 bp) was applied successfully to C. glabrata. DeltaCggas1 or DeltaCggas2 cells demonstrated similar aberrant morphologies, displaying an altered bud morphology and forming floccose aggregates. These phenotypes suggest a role for CgGAS1 and CgGAS2 in cell wall biosynthesis. Further evidence for this hypothesis was obtained by successful functional complementation of a gas1 null mutation in S. cerevisiae with the C. glabrata CgGAS1 or CgGAS2 gene.

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