Elucidating the Candida albicans calcineurin signaling cascade controlling stress response and virulence.
The protein phosphatase calcineurin is a key mediator of virulence and antifungal susceptibility of multiple fungal pathogens including Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus fumigatus, and has clinical potential as a therapeutic target to increase the efficacy of the current antifungal armamentarium. Despite the importance of this signaling pathway, few components of the calcineurin-signaling pathway are known in C. albicans. Here we identified and analyzed additional components of the C. albicans calcineurin cascade, including the RCN1 (regulator of calcineurin1), MID1, and CCH1 genes, which mediate calcineurin functions in other species. When heterologously expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, C. albicans Rcn1 inhibited calcineurin function. Although rcn1/rcn1, mid1/mid1, and cch1/cch1 mutant strains share some phenotypes with calcineurin mutants, they do not completely recapitulate the phenotypes of a calcineurin mutant strain. These studies extend our understanding of the C. albicans calcineurin signaling cascade and its host-niche specific role in virulence.
Reedy, JL; Filler, SG; Heitman, J
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