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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Jan 21;218(1):195-202.

MYO2 is not essential for viability, but is required for polarized growth and dimorphic switches in Candida albicans.

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Department of Biochemistry, College of Science, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, South Korea.


The human fungal pathogen Candida albicans changes from a budding yeast form to a polarized hyphal form in response to various external conditions. Dimorphic switching of C. albicans has been implicated in the development of pathogenicity. Morphogenic transformation requires polarized cell growth and rearrangement of the cytoskeleton. We previously showed that myosins play key roles in the conversion from the bud to the hyphal form of C. albicans by inhibiting myosin activities with 2,3-butanedione-2-monoxime (BDM), a general myosin ATPase inhibitor. In this study we investigated the function of MYO2 in C. albicans using deletion mutants. The amino acid sequence of CaMYO2 shows 60% identity and 77% homology with MYO2 and 54% identity and 70% homology with MYO4 of budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, suggesting that CaMYO2 is the only class V myosin in C. albicans. Cells in which both CaMYO2 alleles were deleted were viable, suggesting that MYO2 is nonessential in C. albicans. The proliferation of CaMYO2delta cells, however, was sharply decreased. In addition, CaMYO2delta cells showed defects in assembly and polarized localization of F-actin as well as an inability to induce germ tube formation and hyphal growth. The deletion of CaMYO2 also disrupted the shape and migration of the nucleus. These results strongly suggest that CaMYO2 is essential for polarized growth and hyphal transition in C. albicans.

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