Control of Filament Formation in Candida albicans by the Transcriptional Repressor TUP1

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Science  04 Jul 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5322, pp. 105-109
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5322.105

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The pathogenic yeast Candida albicans regulates its cellular morphology in response to environmental conditions. Ellipsoidal, single cells (blastospores) predominate in rich media, whereas filaments composed of elongated cells that are attached end-to-end form in response to starvation, serum, and other conditions. The TUP1 gene, which encodes a general transcriptional repressor in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was isolated fromC. albicans and disrupted. The resulting tup1mutant strain of C. albicans grew exclusively as filaments under all conditions tested. TUP1 was epistatic to the transcriptional activator CPH1, previously found to promote filamentous growth. The results suggest a model where TUP1represses genes responsible for initiating filamentous growth and this repression is lifted under inducing environmental conditions.

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