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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

The CDC42 homolog of the dimorphic fungus Penicillium marneffei is required for correct cell polarization during growth but not development.

The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Penicillium marneffei is dimorphic and is thereby capable of growth either as filamentous multinucleate hyphae or as uninucleate yeast cells which divide by fission. The dimorphic switch is temperature dependent and requires regulated changes in morphology and cell shape. Cdc42p is a Rho family GTPase which in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is required for changes in polarized growth during mating and pseudohyphal development. Cdc42p homologs in higher organisms are also associated with changes in cell shape and polarity. We have cloned a highly conserved CDC42 homolog from P. marneffei named cflA. By the generation of dominant-negative and dominant-activated cflA transformants, we have shown that CflA initiates polarized growth and extension of the germ tube and subsequently maintains polarized growth in the vegetative mycelium. CflA is also required for polarization and determination of correct cell shape during yeast-like growth, and active CflA is required for the separation of yeast cells. However, correct cflA function is not required for dimorphic switching and does not appear to play a role during the generation of specialized structures during asexual development. In contrast, heterologous expression of cflA alleles in Aspergillus nidulans prevented conidiation.[1]

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