The 14-3-3 proteins are a family of conserved small acidic proteins that have been implicated in playing major roles in a wide variety of signalling cascades. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the 14-3-3 genes (BMH1 and BMH2) are essential for normal pseudohyphal induction and normal bud cell development. The Bmh proteins function in the cAMP-dependent RAS/MAPK and rapamycin-sensitive signalling cascades. Deletion of only one BMH gene demonstrates no phenotypic differences under normal growth conditions. Strains deleted of both BMH1 and BMH2 are either non-viable or demonstrate sensitivity to environmental stresses. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the BMH homologues (RAD24 and RAD25) are essential for cell cycle control after DNA damage and deletion of both genes renders the cell inviable. The 14-3-3 gene in Candida albicans (BMH1) was identified using a novel adherence assay and differential display RT-PCR. Unlike other yeasts, C. albicans has only one 14-3-3 gene (BMH1). It was not possible to construct double knockouts by routine methods. These results suggested that the C. albicans BMH1 gene is essential. The essentiality of C. albicans BMH1 was confirmed by a PCR disruption technique. The C. albicans bmh1 Delta/BMH1 heterozygotes exhibit growth and morphogenetic defects. Therefore, the BMH1 gene in C. albicans (Accession No. AF038154) is an excellent candidate to improve our understanding of the coordinate regulation of cell cycle and morphogenesis.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.