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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2006 Dec;9(6):595-601. Epub 2006 Oct 20.

Morphogenesis and cell cycle progression in Candida albicans.

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


Candida albicans, an opportunistic human pathogen, displays three modes of growth: yeast, pseudohyphae and true hyphae, all of which differ both in morphology and in aspects of cell cycle progression. In particular, in hyphal cells, polarized growth becomes uncoupled from other cell cycle events. Yeast or pseudohyphae that undergo a cell cycle delay also exhibit polarized growth, independent of cell cycle progression. The Spitzenkörper, an organelle composed of vesicles associated with hyphal tips, directs continuous hyphal elongation in filamentous fungal species and also in C. albicans hyphae. A polarisome mediates cell cycle dependent growth in yeast and pseudohyphae. Regulation of morphogenesis and cell cycle progression is dependent upon specific cyclins, all of which affect morphogenesis and some of which function specifically in yeast or hyphal cells. Future work will probably focus on the cell cycle checkpoints involved in connecting morphogenesis to cell cycle progression.

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