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Mol Microbiol. 2016 Feb;99(3):528-45. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13247. Epub 2015 Nov 5.

Regulation of filamentation in the human fungal pathogen Candida tropicalis.

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State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


The yeast-filament transition is essential for the virulence of a variety of fungi that are pathogenic to humans. N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is a potent inducer of filamentation in Candida albicans and thermally dimorphic fungi such as Histoplasma capsulatum and Blastomyces dermatitidis. However, GlcNAc suppresses rather than promotes filamentation in Candida tropicalis, a fungal species that is closely related to C. albicans. Despite the intensive study in C. albicans, the regulatory mechanism of filamentation is poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrate that the cAMP signaling pathway plays a central role in the regulation of filamentation in C. tropicalis. By screening an overexpression library of 156 transcription factors, we have identified approximately 40 regulators of filamentous growth. Although most of the regulators (e.g., Tec1, Gat2, Nrg1, Sfl1, Sfl2 and Ash1) demonstrate a conserved role in the regulation of filamentation, similar to their homologues in C. albicans or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a number of transcription factors (e.g., Wor1, Bcr1, Stp4, Efh1, Csr1 and Zcf17) play a specific role in C. tropicalis. Our findings indicate that multiple interconnected signaling pathways are involved in the regulation of filamentation in C. tropicalis. These mechanisms have conserved and divergent features among different Candida species.

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