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CaMac1, a Candida albicans copper ion-sensing transcription factor, promotes filamentous and invasive growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.


Molecular mechanisms of morphogenesis share many common components between Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The Kss1-associated MAPK cascade and the cAMP/PKA pathway are two important signal transduction pathways that control morphogenesis in S. cerevisiae. A C. albicans copper ion-sensing transcription factor gene, CaMAC1, was cloned from C. albicans SC5314. Ectopic expression of CaMAC1 in S. cerevisiae promoted filamentous and invasive growth. In diploid cells, CaMac1 could suppress the filamentous growth defect of mutants in the Kss1-associated MAPK pathway and the cAMP/PKA pathway. In haploid strains, ectopic expression of CaMAC1 suppressed the invasive growth defect of mutants in the MAPK pathway (ste7, ste12 and tec1), but failed to suppress the invasive growth defect of the flo8 mutant. Our results suggest that the activation of CaMac1 is independent of the MAPK and cAMP/PKA pathways in filament formation, but requires Flo8 factor for invasive growth. In the media containing a high concentration of CuSO4, the yeast filamentous and invasive growth was blocked. The activating effect of CaMac1 is inhibited by copper ions.

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