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Mol Biol Cell. 2008 May;19(5):2251-66. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E07-09-0960. Epub 2008 Mar 5.

The Yak1 kinase is involved in the initiation and maintenance of hyphal growth in Candida albicans.

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Unité Biologie et Pathogénicité Fongiques, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique USC2019, Paris, France.

Erratum in

  • Mol Biol Cell. 2013 Apr;24(8):1250. Schwartz, Patrick [corrected to Schwarz, Patrick].


Members of the dual-specificity tyrosine-phosphorylated and regulated kinase (DYRK) family perform a variety of functions in eukaryotes. We used gene disruption, targeted pharmacologic inhibition, and genome-wide transcriptional profiling to dissect the function of the Yak1 DYRK in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. C. albicans strains with mutant yak1 alleles showed defects in the yeast-to-hypha transition and in maintaining hyphal growth. They also could not form biofilms. Despite their in vitro filamentation defect, C. albicans yak1Delta/yak1Delta mutants remained virulent in animal models of systemic and oropharyngeal candidiasis. Transcriptional profiling showed that Yak1 was necessary for the up-regulation of only a subset of hypha-induced genes. Although downstream targets of the Tec1 and Bcr1 transcription factors were down-regulated in the yak1Delta/yak1Delta mutant, TEC1 and BCR1 were not. Furthermore, 63% of Yak1-dependent, hypha-specific genes have been reported to be negatively regulated by the transcriptional repressor Tup1 and inactivation of TUP1 in the yak1Delta/yak1Delta mutant restored filamentation, suggesting that Yak1 may function upstream of Tup1 in governing hyphal emergence and maintenance.

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