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.
Copyright © 2011 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.