Transcription factor Rme1 is conserved among ascomycetes and regulates meiosis and pseudohyphal growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The genome of the meiosis-defective pathogen Candida albicans encodes an Rme1 homolog that is part of a transcriptional circuitry controlling hyphal growth. Here, we use chromatin immunoprecipitation and genome-wide expression analyses to study a possible role of Rme1 in C. albicans morphogenesis. We find that Rme1 binds upstream and activates the expression of genes that are upregulated during chlamydosporulation, an asexual process leading to formation of large, spherical, thick-walled cells during nutrient starvation. RME1 deletion abolishes chlamydosporulation in three Candida species, whereas its overexpression bypasses the requirement for chlamydosporulation cues and regulators. RME1 expression levels correlate with chlamydosporulation efficiency across clinical isolates. Interestingly, RME1 displays a biphasic pattern of expression, with a first phase independent of Rme1 function and dependent on chlamydospore-inducing cues, and a second phase dependent on Rme1 function and independent of chlamydospore-inducing cues. Our results indicate that Rme1 plays a central role in chlamydospore development in Candida species.
- Candida albicans/classification
- Fungal Proteins/genetics
- Gene Expression Profiling/methods
- Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
- Mice, Inbred BALB C
- Spores, Fungal/genetics