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Eukaryot Cell. 2005 Oct;4(10):1697-711.

Microtubules in Candida albicans hyphae drive nuclear dynamics and connect cell cycle progression to morphogenesis.

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Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, University of Minnesota, 6-160 Jackson Hall, 321 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen whose virulence is related to its ability to switch between yeast, pseudohyphal, and true-hyphal morphologies. To ask how long-distance nuclear migration occurs in C. albicans hyphae, we identified the fundamental properties of nuclear movements and microtubule dynamics using time-lapse microscopy. In hyphae, nuclei migrate to, and divide across, the presumptive site of septation, which forms 10 to 15 microm distal to the basal cell. The mother nucleus returns to the basal cell, while the daughter nucleus reiterates the process. We used time-lapse microscopy to identify the mechanisms by which C. albicans nuclei move over long distances and are coordinated with hyphal morphology. We followed nuclear migration and spindle dynamics, as well as the time and position of septum specification, defined it as the presumptum, and established a chronology of nuclear, spindle, and morphological events. Analysis of microtubule dynamics revealed that premitotic forward nuclear migration is due to the repetitive sliding of astral microtubules along the cell cortex but that postmitotic forward and reverse nuclear migrations are due primarily to spindle elongation. Free microtubules exhibit cell cycle regulation; they are present during interphase and disappear at the time of spindle assembly. Finally, a growth defect in strains expressing Tub2-green fluorescent protein revealed a connection between hyphal elongation and the nuclear cell cycle that is coordinated by hyphal length and/or volume.

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