The level of the TEF3 mRNA, which encodes the fungal-specific translation elongation factor 3 (EF-3), was measured during the yeast-to-hyphal transition in Candida albicans. In contrast to a previous report, TEF3 mRNA levels were shown to change during dilution into fresh medium, increasing only transiently when dimorphism was induced by either (i) an increase in growth temperature (from 25°C to 37°C) combined with the addition of 10% (v/v) bovine calf serum to the medium, or (ii) an increase in growth temperature (from 25°C to 37°C) combined with an increase in the pH of the medium (from pH 4.5 to 6.5). TEF3 mRNA levels also increased in control cultures under conditions where germ tubes were not formed, but they remained elevated in contrast to cultures undergoing morphological changes. TEF3 mRNA levels were not significantly affected by heat-shock, but were tightly regulated during batch growth of the yeast form, reaching maximal levels in exponential phase. Therefore, the changes in TEF3 expression that accompany the dimorphic transition in C. albicans appear to reflect the underlying physiological changes that occur during morphogenesis and are not a response to morphogenesis per se. For this reason TEF3 mRNA measurement cannot be used as a loading control in Northern analyses of dimorphic gene regulation. Comparison of TEF3 mRNA levels with the abundance of the EF-3 polypeptide indicated that the synthesis of this essential translation factor might be subject to post-transcriptional regulation.
- Candida albicans
- TEF3 regulation
- Translation elongation factors