Few mating-regulated genes have been characterized in Candida albicans. C. albicans FIG1 (CaFIG1) is a fungus-specific and mating-induced gene encoding a putative 4-transmembrane domain protein that shares sequence similarities with members of the claudin superfamily. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Fig1 is required for shmoo fusion and is upregulated in response to mating pheromones. Expression of CaFIG1 was also strongly activated in the presence of cells of the opposite mating type. CaFig1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) was visible only during the mating response, when it localized predominantly to the plasma membrane and perinuclear zone in mating projections and daughter cells. At the plasma membrane, CaFig1-GFP was visualized as discontinuous zones, but the distribution of perinuclear CaFig1-GFP was homogeneous. Exposure to pheromone induced a 5-fold increase in Ca(2+) uptake in mating-competent opaque cells. Uptake was reduced substantially in the fig1Δ null mutant. CaFig1 is therefore involved in Ca(2+) influx and localizes to membranes that are destined to undergo fusion during mating.