Publication — IRIC
The p38/HOG stress-activated protein kinase network couples growth to division in Candida albicans.
Cell size is a complex trait that responds to developmental and environmental cues. Quantitative size analysis of mutant strain collections disrupted for protein kinases and transcriptional regulators in the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans uncovered 66 genes that altered cell size, few of which overlapped with known size genes in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A potent size regulator specific to C. albicans was the conserved p38/HOG MAPK module that mediates the osmostress response. Basal HOG activity inhibited the SBF G1/S transcription factor complex in a stress-independent fashion to delay the G1/S transition. The HOG network also governed ribosome biogenesis through the master transcriptional regulator Sfp1. Hog1 bound to the promoters and cognate transcription factors for ribosome biogenesis regulons and interacted genetically with the SBF G1/S machinery, and thereby directly linked cell growth and division. These results illuminate the evolutionary plasticity of size control and identify the HOG module as a nexus of cell cycle and growth regulation.