Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Microbiol. 2010 May;76(3):733-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07137.x. Epub 2010 Mar 16.

A Candida albicans cell wall-linked protein promotes invasive filamentation into semi-solid medium.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Growth of cells in contact with an abiotic or biological surface profoundly affects cellular physiology. In the opportunistic human pathogen, Candida albicans, growth on a semi-solid matrix such as agar results in invasive filamentation, a process in which cells change their morphology to highly elongated filamentous hyphae that grow into the matrix. We hypothesized that a plasma membrane receptor-type protein would sense the presence of matrix and activate a signal transduction cascade, thus promoting invasive filamentation. In this communication, we demonstrate that during growth in contact with a semi-solid surface, activation of a MAP kinase, Cek1p, is promoted, in part, by a plasma membrane protein termed Dfi1p and results in invasive filamentation. A C. albicans mutant lacking Dfi1p showed reduced virulence in a murine model of disseminated candidiasis. Dfi1p is a relatively small, integral membrane protein that localizes to the plasma membrane. Some Dfi1p molecules become cross-linked to the carbohydrate polymers of the cell wall. Thus, Dfi1p is capable of linking the cell wall to the plasma membrane and cytoplasm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center