Ribosome assembly begins with conversion of a polycistronic precursor into 18S, 5.8S, and 25S rRNAs. In the ascomycete fungus Candida albicans, rRNA transcription starts 604 nt upstream of the 18S rRNA junction (site A1). One major internal processing site in the 5'external transcribed spacer (A0) occurs 108 nt from site A1. The A0-A1 fragment persists as a stable species during log phase growth and can be used to assess proliferation rates. Separation of the small and large subunit pre-rRNAs occurs at sites A2 and A3 in internal transcribed spacer-1 Saccharomyces cerevisiae pre-rRNA. However, the 5'end of the 5.8S rRNA is represented by only a 5.8S (S) form, and a 7S rRNA precursor of the 5.8S rRNA extends into internal transcribed spacer 1 to site A2, which differs from S. cerevisiae. External transcribed spacer 1 and internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 show remarkable structural similarity with S. cerevisiae despite low sequence identity. Maturation of C. albicans rRNA resembles other eukaryotes in that processing can occur cotranscriptionally or post-transcriptionally. During rapid proliferation, U3 snoRNA-dependent processing occurs before large and small subunit rRNA separation, consistent with cotranscriptional processing. As cells pass the diauxic transition, the 18S pre-rRNA accumulates into stationary phase as a 23S species, possessing an intact 5'external transcribed spacer extending to site A3. Nutrient addition to starved cells results in the disappearance of the 23S rRNA, indicating a potential role in normal physiology. Therefore, C. albicans reveals new mechanisms that regulate post- versus cotranscriptional rRNA processing.

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Navarathna, Dhammika H M L P; Pathirana, Ruvini U; Lionakis, Michail S et al. (2016) Candida albicans ISW2 Regulates Chlamydospore Suspensor Cell Formation and Virulence In Vivo in a Mouse Model of Disseminated Candidiasis. PLoS One 11:e0164449
Navarathna, Dhammika H; Roberts, David D; Munasinghe, Jeeva et al. (2016) Imaging Candida Infections in the Host. Methods Mol Biol 1356:69-78
Navarathna, Dhammika H M L P; Stein, Erica V; Lessey-Morillon, Elizabeth C et al. (2015) CD47 Promotes Protective Innate and Adaptive Immunity in a Mouse Model of Disseminated Candidiasis. PLoS One 10:e0128220
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Martin-Manso, Gema; Navarathna, Dhammika H M L P; Galli, Susana et al. (2012) Endogenous thrombospondin-1 regulates leukocyte recruitment and activation and accelerates death from systemic candidiasis. PLoS One 7:e48775
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