Candida albicans Zcf37, a zinc finger protein, is required for stabilization of the white state

FEBS Lett. 2011 Mar 9;585(5):797-802. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.02.005. Epub 2011 Feb 11.


Candida albicans, the most prevalent human fungal pathogen, can switch stochastically between white and opaque phases. In this study, we identified Zcf37, a zinc finger protein, as a new regulator of white-opaque switching. Deletion of ZCF37 increased white-to-opaque switching frequency and stabilized the opaque state. Overexpression of ZCF37 promoted conversion of opaque cells to white phase, but needed existence of Efg1, a key regulator required for maintenance of the white state. Deletion of EFG1 abolished the effect of ectopically expressed Zcf37 on opaque-to-white switching, whereas ectopic expression of EFG1 promoted white cell formation without presence of Zcf37. Our results suggest that Zcf37 acts as an activator of white cell formation and a repressor of opaque state and functions upstream of Efg1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / cytology*
  • Candida albicans / genetics
  • Candida albicans / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Dosage / genetics
  • Genes, Fungal / genetics
  • Genes, Suppressor
  • Genes, Switch* / genetics
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • EFG1 protein, Candida albicans
  • FLO8 protein, S cerevisaie
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors