Expression of seven members of the gene family encoding secretory aspartyl proteinases in Candida albicans

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Summary

The opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans produces secretory aspartyl proteinases, which are believed to be virulence factors in infection. We have studied the in vitro expression of seven known members of the SAP gene family in a range of strains and serotypes by Northern analysis. SAP1 and SAP3 were regulated during phenotypic switching between the white and opaque forms of the organism. The SAP2 mRNA, which was the dominant transcript in the yeast form, was found to be autoinduced by peptide products of Sap2 activity and to be repressed by amino acids. The expression of the closely related SAP4-SAP6 genes was observed only at neutral pH during serum-induced yeast to hyphal transition. No SAP7 mRNA was detected under any of the conditions or in any of the strains tested. Our data suggest that the various members of the SAP gene family may have distinct roles in the colonization and invasion of the host.

Ancillary