cAMP signalling in pathogenic fungi: control of dimorphic switching and pathogenicity

Trends Microbiol. 2000 Mar;8(3):133-41. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(00)01698-x.


Morphological changes in pathogenic fungi often underlie the development of virulence and infection by these organisms. Our knowledge of the components of the cell signalling pathways controlling morphological switching has, to a large extent, come from studies of pseudohyphal growth of the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in which control is exerted via changes in the intracellular cAMP and mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades. There is evidence that pathogenic fungi also utilize these pathways to control dimorphic switching between saprobic and pathogenic forms and, as such, the elements of these pathways have potential as drug targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carbon / metabolism
  • Cyclic AMP / physiology*
  • Fungi / genetics*
  • Fungi / growth & development
  • Fungi / pathogenicity
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Carbon
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Nitrogen