The moonlighting protein Tsa1p is implicated in oxidative stress response and in cell wall biogenesis in Candida albicans
Candida albicans is one of the most common fungal pathogens in humans. The cell wall is the first contact site between host and pathogen and thus is critical for colonization and infection of the host. We have identified Tsa1p, a protein that is differentially localized to the cell wall of C. albicans in hyphal cells but remains in the cytosol and nucleus in yeast-form cells. This is different from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where the homologous protein solely has been found in the cytoplasm. We report here that TSA1 confers resistance towards oxidative stress as well as is involved in the correct composition of hyphal cell walls. However, no significant change of the cell wall composition was observed in a TSA1 deletion strain in yeast-form cells, which is in good agreement with the observation that Tsa1p is absent from the yeast-form cell wall. This indicates that Tsa1p of C. albicans might represent a moonlighting protein with specific functions correlating to its respective localization. Furthermore, the translocation of Tsa1p to the hyphal cell wall of C. albicans depends on Efg1p, suggesting a contribution of the cAMP/PKA pathway to the localization of this protein. In a strain deleted for TUP1 that filaments constitutively Tsa1p can be found in the cell wall under all conditions tested, confirming the result that Tsa1p localization to the cell wall is correlated to the morphology of C. albicans.