Using a DNA fragment derived from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae protein kinase C gene (PKC1) as a probe to screen an ordered array library of genomic DNA from the dimorphic pathogenic fungus Candida albicans, the C. albicans PKC1 gene (CaPKC1) was isolated. The CaPKC1 gene is predicted to encode a protein of 1079 amino acids with 51% sequence identity over the entire length with the S. cerevisiae Pkc1 protein and is capable of functionally complementing the growth defects of a S. cerevisiae pkc1 delta mutant strain on hypo-osmotic medium. Deletion of both endogenous copies of the CaPKC1 gene in diploid C. albicans cells resulted in an osmotically remedial cell lysis defect of both the budding and the hyphal growth form and morphologically aberrant cells of the budding form. Despite these abnormalities, the transition between the two growth forms of C. albicans occurred normally in pkc1/pkc1 double disruptants. Capkc1p was modified at its C-terminus with two repeats of the Staphylococcus aureus protein A IgG-binding fragment (ZZ-sequence tag) and partially purified by chromatography on DEAE-Sepharose and IgG-Sepharose. In vitro, Capkc1p preferably phosphorylated the S. cerevisiae Pkc1p pseudosubstrate peptide and myelin basic protein, but not histones, protamine or dephosphorylated casein, and failed to respond to cofactors known to activate several mammalian PKC isozymes.