A small G protein Rhb1 and a GTPase-activating protein Tsc2 involved in nitrogen starvation-induced morphogenesis and cell wall integrity of Candida albicans

Fungal Genet Biol. 2009 Feb;46(2):126-36. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2008.11.008. Epub 2008 Dec 6.


Rheb is a new member of the small G proteins of the Ras superfamily in eukaryotic organisms and controls various physiological processes. Activity of Rheb is regulated by Tsc2, a GTPase-activating protein (GAP). In this study, we have identified Candida albicans homologs of Rheb (named as Rhb1) and Tsc2. Deletion of the RHB1 gene showed enhanced sensitivity to rapamycin (an inhibitor of TOR kinase), suggesting that Rhb1 is associated with the TOR signaling pathway in C. albicans. Further analysis indicated RHB1 and TSC2 are involved in nitrogen starvation-induced filamentation, likely by controlling the expression of MEP2 whose gene product is an ammonium permease and a sensor for the nitrogen signal. Moreover, we have demonstrated that Rhb1 is also involved in cell wall integrity pathway, by transferring signals through the TOR kinase and the Mkc1 MAP kinase pathway. Together, this study brings new insights into the complex interplay of signaling and regulatory pathways in C. albicans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Candida albicans / cytology
  • Candida albicans / genetics
  • Candida albicans / growth & development*
  • Candida albicans / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / chemistry
  • Cell Wall / genetics
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins / chemistry
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins / genetics
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Deletion


  • Fungal Proteins
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Nitrogen