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Fungal Genet Biol. 2005 Apr;42(4):328-38.

Functional expression of the Candida albicans alpha-factor receptor in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.


Candida albicans genes involved in mating have been identified previously by homology to Saccharomyces cerevisiae mating pathway components. The C. albicans genome encodes CaSte2p, a homolog of the S. cerevisiae alpha-mating pheromone receptor Ste2p, and two potential pheromones, alpha-F13 (GFRLTNFGYFEPG) and alpha-F14 (GFRLTNFGYFEPGK). The response of several C. albicans strains to the synthesized peptides was determined. The alpha-F13 was degraded by a C. albicans MTLa strain but not by S. cerevisiae MATa cells. The CaSTE2 gene was cloned and expressed in a ste2-deleted strain of S. cerevisiae. Growth arrest and beta-galactosidase activity induced from a FUS1-lacZ reporter construct increased in a dose-dependent manner upon exposure of transgenic S. cerevisiae to alpha-F13. Mating between the strain expressing CaSTE2 and an opposite mating type was mediated by alpha-F13 and not by the S. cerevisiae alpha-factor. The results indicated that CaSte2p effectively coupled to the S. cerevisiae signal transduction pathway. Functional expression of CaSte2p in S. cerevisiae provides a well-defined system for studying the biochemistry and molecular biology of the C. albicans pheromone and its receptor.

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