Two Rac paralogs regulate polarized growth in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.

Published

Journal Article

A genome wide analysis of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii has revealed a number of duplications of highly conserved genes involved in morphogenesis. Previously, we reported that duplicate Cdc42 paralogs provide C. neoformans with niche-specific responses to environmental stresses: Cdc42 is required for thermotolerance, while Cdc420 supports the formation of titan cells. The related Rho-GTPase Rac1 has been shown in C. neoformans var. neoformans to play a major role in filamentation and to share Cdc42/Cdc420 binding partners. Here we report the characterization of a second Rac paralog in C. neoformans, Rac2, and describe its overlapping function with the previously described CnRac, Rac1. Further, we demonstrate that the Rac paralogs play a primary role in polarized growth via the organization of reactive oxygen species and play only a minor role in the organization of actin. Finally, we provide preliminary evidence that pharmacological inhibitors of Rac activity and actin stability have synergistic activity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ballou, ER; Selvig, K; Narloch, JL; Nichols, CB; Alspaugh, JA

Published Date

  • August 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 57 /

Start / End Page

  • 58 - 75

PubMed ID

  • 23748012

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23748012

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0937

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.fgb.2013.05.006

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States