A screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae identified CaMCM1, an essential gene in Candida albicans crucial for morphogenesis
Morphogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans is governed in part by the same molecular circuits. In S. cerevisiae, FLO11 MUC1 expression has been shown to be modulated by multiple signalling pathways required for pseudohyphal development. We have established a screen in S. cerevisiae to identify regulators of fungal development in C. albicans based on FLO11::lacZ expression as a reporter. This screen identified both known components of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade and the cAMP cascade that are important for hyphal development in C. albicans, as well as genes not yet known to be involved in morphogenesis. The Candida homologue of MCM1 is one of the novel factors identified in this screen as being important for morphogenesis. CaMcm1 p levels do not vary significantly in different cell types and respond to an autoregulatory feedback mechanism, arguing that CaMcm1 p activity is regulated by post-translational modifications. Both overexpression and repression of this essential gene led to the induction of hyphae. Moreover, we found that the expression of HWP1, a hyphae-specific gene, was induced by repression of CaMCM1. The changes in morphology and HWP1 expression were not the result of a change in expression levels of NRG1 or TUP1, known repressors of hyphal development. Thus, CaMcm1 p is a component of a hitherto unknown regulatory mechanism of hyphal growth.