Global regulation of the protein kinase Gcn2 in the human pathogen Candida albicans

Helene Tournu, G. Tripathi, Gwyneth Bertram, Susan MacAskill, Abigail Mavor, Louise Walker, Frank Christopher Odds, Neil Andrew Robert Gow, Alistair James Petersen Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The pathogen Candida albicans responds to amino acid starvation by activating pseudohyphal development and the expression of amino acid biosynthetic genes (GCN response). In Saccharomyces cereviside, the GCN response is dependent on Gcn2, which regulates the translation of the transcription factor Gcn4. Therefore, we examined the role of Gcn2 in C. albicans by using molecular, cellular, and genomic approaches. We show that C. albicans GCN2 encodes an eIF2 alpha kinase, like its S. cerevisiae homologue. However, GCN4 appears to be regulated mainly at the transcriptional level in C. albicans. Furthermore, the inactivation of C. albicans Gcn2 only partially attenuates growth under amino acid starvation conditions and resistance to the histidine analogue 3-aminotriazole. Our comparison of the Gcn4 and Gcn2 regulons by transcript profiling reinforces the view that Gcn2 contributes to, but is not essential for, the activation of general amino acid control in C. albicans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1687-1696
Number of pages9
JournalEukaryotic Cell
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • amino-acid starvation
  • transcription factor GCN4
  • saccharomyces-cerevisiae
  • gene-expression
  • filamentous growth
  • master regulator
  • fungal pathogen
  • stress-response
  • yeast
  • virulence


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