A Candida albicans-specific region of the α-pheromone receptor plays a selective role in the white cell pheromone response

Song Yi, Nidhi Sahni, Claude Pujol, Karla J. Daniels, Srikantha Thyagarajan, Ning Ma, David R. Soll

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28 Scopus citations


Candida albicans strains homozygous at the mating type locus can switch from white to opaque, and must do so to mate. Opaque cells then secrete mating pheromones that stimulate opaque cells of opposite mating type to undergo mating. These same pheromones stimulate mating-incompetent white cells to become cohesive and adhesive, and enhance white cell biofilm development, a pathogenic trait. Stimulation is mediated through the same receptor, G protein complex and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Here we present evidence that a C. albicans-specific 55-amino-acid region of the first intracellular loop, IC1, of the α-pheromone receptor Ste2p, is required for the α-pheromone response of white cells, but not that of opaque cells. This represents a unique regulatory configuration in which activation of a common pathway by the same ligand, the same receptor and the same signal transduction pathway is dependent on a unique region of an intracellular loop of the common receptor in one of the two responding phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-947
Number of pages23
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2009


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