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FEMS Yeast Res. 2011 Aug;11(5):430-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2011.00730.x. Epub 2011 Apr 26.

Alkaline stress triggers an immediate calcium fluctuation in Candida albicans mediated by Rim101p and Crz1p transcription factors.

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Key Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology and Technology, Ministry of Education, Department of Microbiology, College of Life Science, Nankai University, Tianjin, China.


In the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans, environmental pH has profound effects on morphogenesis and response to extracellular pH is clearly relevant to the pathogenicity of this fungus. Yeast cells have evolved a complex network of mechanisms in response to the environmental pH and they often require the integration of the Rim101 and calcineurin/Crz1 signaling pathways. Ca(2+) burst is a common cellular response when cells are exposed to environmental stresses; therefore, in this study, we asked whether it follows the same case under alkaline stress and whether this calcium change is regulated by Rim101p and Crz1p. We confirmed the calcium influx was activated by KOH stimuli using a flow cytometry-based method, but it was obviously abolished in cells lacking MID1 or CCH1. We also found that alkaline pH-induced activation of the PHO89 promoter was blocked without the same gene; moreover, the response was Crz1p- and Rim101p-dependent. Finally, we investigated the regulation role of Rim101p and Crz1p in calcium influx through MID1, CCH1 and YVC1 genes, which were all downregulated in rim101Δ/Δ and crz1Δ/Δ mutants. The important role of calcium influx in the alkaline stress response and its regulation suggested a potential integration effect of Rim101 and Crz1 signaling pathways in C. albicans.

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