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Title: Calcium influx, celluar signaling and the biology of candida albicans
Author: Yang, Meng
ISNI:       0000 0004 2668 3532
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
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FIG1 is a gene that encodes a transmembrane protein involved in calcium influx a process that is important for stress responses in pathogens fungi such as Candida albicans. A Cafig1 null mutant took up less calcium ions in mating than control strains confirming its role in Ca2+ uptake.  Furthermore, C. albicans strains with deletions of FIG1 in other calcium channel mutant backgrounds displayed distinctive phenotypes under vegetative growth conditions, which suggested that Fig1 may be a regulator of other calcium influx systems. Using GFP and LacZ reporter constructs it was shown that in C. albicans FIG1 was induced by mating pheromone and during the interactions of strains of compatible mating type.  Localization of Fig1-GFP studied by con-focal imaging showed that the protein had a peri-nuclear distribution and was also found in the plasma membrane at the tips of shmoos.  The protein appeared to be located within microdomains and the protein sequence was found to contain a putative site for cysteine palmitoylation that may promote such localization. Because the expression of FIG1 was strongly induced during mating, the induction of FIG1 was used to try to detect where mating took place during experimental infection in mice. Surprisingly FIG1 expression could be observed in the murine gut in control inoculations using C. albicans strains that could not undergo mating.  Therefore FIG1 expression is not always strictly mating-dependent.  MAP kinases and calcium-calcineurin signalling pathways, in which Fig1 is involved, were studied using bioinformatics approaches.  It was shown that these signalling pathways contain conserved signalling components taking part in signal transduction via phosphorelay but they had diverged receptors, sensors, effectors, and phosphorelay regulators across different fungal species.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available