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Restricted Access Thesis

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First Advisor

Anne McBride


The C. albicans, an opportunistic fungal pathogen related to disease in immunocompromised hosts, forms highly polarized filamentous structures called hyphae. Hyphal formation is often related to virulence mechanisms in C. albicans. Normal hyphal formation relies on the asymmetric distribution of certain mRNAs that are transported by the protein She3. She3 is also found in the related baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In particular, the She-based transport system in S. cerevisiae is well-modeled for asymmetric distribution of the ASH1 mRNA which is responsible for mating type switching. Colocalization of certain proteins with ASH1 in S. cerevisiae indicates that the proteins are involved in mRNA transport. Interacting Protein of She3 (Ips1) is a transport protein candidate that copurifies with She3 in yeast and hyphal C. albicans cells. If Ips1 localization in C. albicans shares features with ScShe proteins, then Ips1 is likely involved in She3-based mRNA transport. Localization of Ips1 was accomplished by tagging the protein with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) and visualizing with microscopy. GFP-tagged Ips1 showed hyphal tip localization after 5 hours of hyphal induction whereas the GFP-tagged She3 control showed hyphal tip localization after 1 hour of hyphal induction. Accumulation of Ips1 at the hyphal tip during later stages of hyphal formation suggests that Ips1 may play a role in mRNA transport during later stages of hyphal growth. Future studies should focus on understanding whether the GFP-tagged Ips1 strains contain a functional protein and which specific mRNAs may interact with Ips1 at the hyphal tip.


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