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Microbiology. 2004 Jul;150(Pt 7):2197-208.

The CaCTR1 gene is required for high-affinity iron uptake and is transcriptionally controlled by a copper-sensing transactivator encoded by CaMAC1.

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Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK.


The ability of Candida albicans to acquire iron from the hostile environment of the host is known to be necessary for virulence and appears to be achieved using a similar system to that described for Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In S. cerevisiae, high-affinity iron uptake is dependent upon the acquisition of copper. The authors have previously identified a C. albicans gene (CaCTR1) that encodes a copper transporter. Deletion of this gene results in a mutant strain that grows predominantly as pseudohyphae and displays aberrant morphology in low-copper conditions. This paper demonstrates that invasive growth by C. albicans is induced by low-copper conditions and that this is augmented in a Cactr1-null strain. It also shows that deletion of CaCTR1 results in defective iron uptake. In S. cerevisiae, genes that facilitate high-affinity copper uptake are controlled by a copper-sensing transactivator, ScMac1p. The authors have now identified a C. albicans gene (CaMAC1) that encodes a copper-sensing transactivator. A Camac1-null mutant displays phenotypes similar to those of a Cactr1-null mutant and has no detectable CaCTR1 transcripts in low-copper conditions. It is proposed that high-affinity copper uptake by C. albicans is necessary for reductive iron uptake and is transcriptionally controlled by CaMac1p in a similar manner to that in S. cerevisiae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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