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The ubiquitous presence of SPFH (Stomatin, Prohibitin, Flotillin, HflK/HflC) proteins in all domains of life suggests that their function would be conserved. However, SPFH functions are diverse with organism-specific attributes. SPFH proteins play critical roles in physiological processes such as mechanosensation and respiration. Here, we characterize the stomatin ORF19.7296/SLP3 in the opportunistic human pathogen Candida albicans. Consistent with the localization of stomatin proteins, a Slp3p-Yfp fusion protein formed visible puncta along the plasma membrane. We also visualized Slp3p within the vacuolar lumen. Slp3p primary sequence analyses identified four putative S-palmitoylation sites, which may facilitate membrane localization and are conserved features of stomatins. Plasma membrane insertion sequences are present in mammalian and nematode SPFH proteins, but are absent in Slp3p. Strikingly, Slp3p was present in yeast cells, but was absent in hyphal cells, thus categorizing it as a yeast-phase specific protein. Slp3p membrane fluorescence significantly increased in response to cellular stress caused by plasma membrane, cell wall, oxidative, or osmotic perturbants, implicating SLP3 as a general stress-response gene. A slp3Δ/Δ homozygous null mutant had no detected phenotype when slp3Δ/Δ mutants were grown in the presence of a variety of stress agents. Also, we did not observe a defect in ion accumulation, filamentation, endocytosis, vacuolar structure and function, cell wall structure, or cytoskeletal structure. However, SLP3 over-expression triggered apoptotic-like death following prolonged exposure to oxidative stress or when cells were induced to form hyphae. Our findings reveal the cellular localization of Slp3p, and for the first time associate Slp3p function with the oxidative stress response.


This work was originally published in PLoS ONE, available at

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