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Trends Microbiol. 2011 Jan;19(1):8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2010.10.001. Epub 2010 Oct 29.

Evolution of a new signal transduction pathway in Candida albicans.

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Department of Biology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


The evolution of new signal transductions pathways is poorly understood. Here I present a rare glimpse into the evolution of one such pathway, namely the white-cell pheromone response pathway in Candida albicans. In this pathway, the upper portion has been derived intact from the ancestral pathway for mating, the targeted transcription factor from an ancestral filamentation or biofilm pathway, and the upregulated genes from an ancestral biofilm pathway. Each component of this pathway, therefore, has been derived from a conserved pathway. I suggest that the evolution of this new pathway provides one possible paradigm for the evolution of other signal transduction pathways in new cell types.

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