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Eukaryot Cell. 2006 Dec;5(12):2001-13. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

Candida albicans transcription factor Ace2 regulates metabolism and is required for filamentation in hypoxic conditions.

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UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.


Ace2 transcription factor family genes are found in many fungal genomes and are required for regulation of expression of genes involved in cell separation. We used transcriptional profiling to identify the targets of Ace2 in Candida albicans, and we show that these include several cell wall components, such as glucanases and glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins. Expression is downregulated in ace2 deletion mutants in both yeast and hyphal cells. In addition, deleting ace2 results in dramatic changes in expression of metabolic pathways. Expression of glycolytic enzymes is reduced, while expression of respiratory genes (including those involved in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, and ATP synthesis) is increased. Similar changes occur in both yeast and hyphal cells. In contrast, genes required for acetyl-coenzyme A and lipid metabolism are upregulated in an ace2 deletion mutant grown predominantly as yeast cells but are downregulated in hyphae. These results suggest that in wild-type strains, Ace2 acts to increase glycolysis and reduce respiration. This is supported by the observation that deleting ace2 results in increased resistance to antimycin A, a drug that inhibits respiration. We also show that Ace2 is required for filamentation in response to low oxygen concentrations (hypoxia). We suggest that filamentation is induced in wild-type cells by reducing respiration (using low oxygen or respiratory drugs) and that mutants with increased respiratory activity fail to undergo filamentation under these conditions.

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