Protein kinase A encoded by TPK2 regulates dimorphism of Candida albicans

Mol Microbiol. 2000 Jan;35(2):386-96. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2000.01705.x.


External signals induce the switch from a yeast to a hyphal growth form in the fungal pathogen Candida albicans. We demonstrate here that the catalytic subunit of a protein kinase A (PKA) isoform encoded by TPK2 is required for internal signalling leading to hyphal differentiation. TPK2 complements the growth defect of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae tpk1-3 mutant and Tpk2p is able to phosphorylate an established PKA-acceptor peptide (kemptide). Deletion of TPK2 blocks morphogenesis and partially reduces virulence, whereas TPK2 overexpression induces hyphal formation and stimulates agar invasion. The defective tpk2 phenotype is suppressed by overproduction of known signalling components, including Efg1p and Cek1p, whereas TPK2 overexpression reconstitutes the cek1 but not the efg1 phenotype. The results indicate that PKA activity of Tpk2p is an important contributing factor in regulating dimorphism of C. albicans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Candida albicans / enzymology*
  • Candida albicans / genetics
  • Candida albicans / growth & development*
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Candidiasis / pathology
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Culture Media
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / chemistry
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Epistasis, Genetic
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Isoenzymes / chemistry
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Phenotype
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Virulence


  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Isoenzymes
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases