Cell wall integrity is dependent on the PKC1 signal transduction pathway in Cryptococcus neoformans

Mol Microbiol. 2005 Oct;58(2):393-408. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2005.04843.x.


Cell wall biogenesis and integrity are crucial for fungal growth, pathogenesis and survival, and are attractive targets for antifungal therapy. In this study, we identify, delete and analyse mutant strains for 10 genes involved in the PKC1 signal transduction pathway and its regulation in Cryptococcus neoformans. The kinases Bck1 and Mkk2 are critical for maintaining integrity, and deletion of each of these causes severe phenotypes different from each other. In stark contrast to results seen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a deletion in LRG1 has severe repercussions for the cell, and one in ROM2 has little effect. Also surprisingly, the phosphatase Ppg1 is crucial for cell integrity. These data indicate that the mechanisms of maintaining cell integrity differ between the two fungi. Deletions in SSD1 and PUF4, potential alternative regulators of cell integrity, also exhibit phenotypes. This is the first comprehensive analysis examining genes involved the maintenance of cell integrity in C. neoformans and sets the foundation for future biochemical and virulence studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Benzenesulfonates / metabolism
  • Caspofungin
  • Cell Wall / drug effects
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Coloring Agents / metabolism
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / cytology*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / drug effects
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / genetics
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / metabolism*
  • Echinocandins
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Gene Targeting
  • Humans
  • Lipopeptides
  • Melanins / metabolism
  • Peptides, Cyclic / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase C / genetics
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Temperature
  • Trypan Blue / metabolism


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Benzenesulfonates
  • Coloring Agents
  • Echinocandins
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Lipopeptides
  • Melanins
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • C.I. Fluorescent Brightening Agent 28
  • PKC1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Caspofungin
  • Trypan Blue