Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase VPS34 of Candida albicans is involved in filamentous growth, secretion of aspartic proteases, and intracellular detoxification

FEMS Yeast Res. 2005 Feb;5(4-5):431-9. doi: 10.1016/j.femsyr.2004.11.005.


The phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase Vps34p of Candida albicans influences vesicular intracellular transport, filamentous growth and virulence. To get a clearer understanding how these phenomena are connected, we analysed hyphal growth in a matrix under microaerophilic conditions at low temperature, the detoxification of metal ions and antifungal drugs, the secretion of aspartic proteinases (Saps), as well as expression of adhesion-associated proteins of the C. albicans vps34 null mutant strain. The hyphal growth in a matrix, which is repressed in the wild-type strain by Efg1p, was derepressed in the mutant. CZF1, which encodes an activator of hyphal growth in a matrix, was up-regulated in the mutant. In addition, CZF1 expression was pH-dependent in the wild-type. Expression of EFG1 was not changed. Examination of Saps secretion showed a reduction in the vps34 null mutant. Determination of sensitivity against metal ions and antimycotic drugs revealed defects in detoxification. Expression studies indicated that the vps34 mutant reacts to the phenotypical defects with an up-regulation of genes involved in these processes, including the aspartyl proteinases SAP2 and SAP9, adhesion proteins ALS1 and HWP1, and the ABC transporters CDR1 and HST6. We also found an increased expression of the PI 4-kinase LSB6 indicating a complex feed-back mechanism for the compensation of the multiple defects arising from the lack of the PI3-kinase VPS34.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / enzymology
  • Candida albicans / growth & development*
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Hyphae / growth & development
  • Metals, Heavy / pharmacology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases