In response to a variety of external signals, the fungal pathogen Candida albicans undergoes a transition between ellipsoidal single cells (blastospores) and filaments composed of elongated cells attached end-to-end. Here we identify a DNA-binding protein, Nrg1, that represses filamentous growth in Candida probably by acting through the co-repressor Tup1. nrg1 mutant cells are predominantly filamentous under non-filament-inducing conditions and their colony morphology resembles that of tup1 mutants. We also identify two filament-specific genes, ECE1 and HWP1, whose transcription is repressed by Nrg1 under non-inducing conditions. These genes constitute a subset of those under Tup1 control, providing further evidence that Nrg1 acts by recruiting Tup1 to target genes. We show that growth in serum at 37°C, a potent inducer of filamentous growth, causes a reduction of NRG1 mRNA, suggesting that filamentous growth is induced by the down-regulation of NRG1. Consistent with this idea, expression of NRG1 from a non-regulated promoter partially blocks the induction of filamentous growth.
- Candida albicans
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)