The N-terminal pY33XL motif of CaPsy2 is critical for the function of protein phosphatase 4 in CaRad53 deactivation, DNA damage-induced filamentation and virulence in Candida albicans.
Protein phosphatase PP4 is composed of one catalytic subunit and one or two regulatory subunits and conserved in eukaryotic cells. The catalytic subunit CaPph3 forms a complex with the regulatory subunit CaPsy2, which dephosphorylates activated CaRad53 during adaptation to and recovery from MMS-mediated DNA damage. We show here that the N-terminal Y33A mutation of CaPsy2 blocks the interaction between CaPph3 and CaRad53, the deactivation of CaRad53 and the morphologic switch in recovery from genotoxic stress. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the ScPph3-ScPsy2-ScPsy4 complex functions to dephosphorylate γH2A. In this study, we show that CaPsy4 is a functional homolog of ScPsy4 and not involved in the deactivation of CaRad53 or CaHta, the ortholog of H2A. However, deletion of CaPSY4 causes C. albicans cells a sensitivity to genotoxic reagents and a defect in DNA damage-induced filamentation. CaPsy4 interacts with both CaPph3 and CaPsy2, but the function of CaPsy4 is independent of CaPph3 and CaPsy2 in response to genotoxic stress. C. albicans cells lacking CaPPH3, CaPSY2 or CaPSY4, and C. albicans cells carrying the Y33A mutation of CaPSY2, show increased virulence to mice. Therefore, PP4 plays a negative role in regulating the DNA damage-induced filamentation and the virulence in C. albicans.