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A contact-activated kinase signals Candida albicans invasive growth and biofilm development

, : A contact-activated kinase signals Candida albicans invasive growth and biofilm development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102(15): 5576-5581

For mammalian cells, contact-dependent regulatory controls are crucially important for controlling cellular proliferation and preventing diseases such as cancer. Candida albicans, an opportunistic fungal pathogen that normally resides within a mammalian host, also exhibits contact-dependent cellular behaviors such as invasive hyphal growth and biofilm development. Results reported here demonstrate that, in C. albicans, physical contact results in activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase Mkc1p. This kinase is part of the fungal cell integrity pathway, a signal transduction pathway known to be activated by cell wall stress. It is demonstrated here that Mkc1p is required for invasive hyphal growth and normal biofilm development. Therefore, Mkc1p signaling contributes to contact-dependent regulation. Because responding to contact appropriately allows coordinated cellular behavior in a metazoan, commensal C. albicans cells behave like a part of the host, using contact-activated signaling to regulate fungal behavior.


PMID: 15800048

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0407097102

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