Many Ras GTPases localize to membranes via C-terminal farnesylation and palmitoylation, and localization regulates function. In Candida albicans, a fungal pathogen of humans, Ras1 links environmental cues to morphogenesis. Here, we report the localization and membrane dynamics of Ras1, and we characterize the roles of conserved C-terminal cysteine residues, C287 and C288, which are predicted sites of palmitoylation and farnesylation, respectively. GFP-Ras1 is localized uniformly to plasma membranes in both yeast and hyphae, yet Ras1 plasma membrane mobility was reduced in hyphae compared to that in yeast. Ras1-C288S was mislocalized to the cytoplasm and could not support hyphal development. Ras1-C287S was present primarily on endomembranes, and strains expressing ras1-C287S were delayed or defective in hyphal induction depending on the medium used. Cells bearing constitutively activated Ras1-C287S or Ras1-C288S, due to a G13V substitution, showed increased filamentation, suggesting that lipid modifications are differentially important for Ras1 activation and effector interactions. The C. albicans autoregulatory molecule, farnesol, inhibits Ras1 signaling through adenylate cyclase and bears structural similarities to the farnesyl molecule that modifies Ras1. At lower concentrations of farnesol, hyphal growth was inhibited but Ras1 plasma membrane association was not altered; higher concentrations of farnesol led to mislocalization of Ras1 and another G protein, Rac1. Furthermore, farnesol inhibited hyphal growth mediated by cytosolic Ras1-C288SG13V, suggesting that farnesol does not act through mechanisms that depend on Ras1 farnesylation. Our findings imply that Ras1 is farnesylated and palmitoylated, and that the Ras1 stimulation of adenylate cyclase-dependent phenotypes can occur in the absence of these lipid modifications.
Piispanen, Amy E.; Bonnefoi, Ophelie; Carden, Sarah; and Deveau, Aurelie, "Roles of Ras1 Membrane Localization during Candida albicans Hyphal Growth and Farnesol Response" (2011). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 820.