A conserved stress-activated protein kinase regulates a core stress response in the human pathogen Candida albicans

Deborah A. Smith, Susan Nicholls, Brian A Morgan, Alistair J.P. Brown, Janet Quinn

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Previous work has implicated the Hog1 stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) in osmotic and oxidative stress responses in the human pathogen Candida albicans. In this study, we have characterized the role of Hog1 in mediating these and other stress responses in C. albicans. We provide evidence that a SAPK-dependent core stress response exists in this pathogen. The Hog1 SAPK is phosphorylated and it accumulates in the nucleus in response to diverse stress conditions. In addition, we have identified Hog1-regulated genes that are induced in response to stress conditions that activate Hog1. These analyses reveal both activator and repressor functions for the Hog1 SAPK. Our results also demonstrate that stress cross-protection, a classical hallmark of the core stress response, occurs in C. albicans between stresses that activate the Hog1 SAPK. Importantly, we find that the core stress response in C. albicans has adapted to the environmental niche of this human pathogen. This niche specificity is reflected by the specific environmental conditions that drive the Hog1-regulated core stress response in C. albicans and by differences in the molecular circuitry that control this response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4179-4190
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number9
Early online date30 Jun 2004
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2004


  • ATF1 transcription factor
  • osmolarity glycerol pathway
  • fission yeast
  • saccharomyces-cerevisiae
  • map kinase
  • schizosaccharomyces-pombe
  • environmental-changes
  • genome expression
  • osmotic-stress
  • SPC1 kinase

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