The HOG MAPK pathway in Candida albicans: more than an osmosensing pathway

  • Elvira RománEmail author
  • Inês Correia
  • Daniel Prieto
  • Rebeca Alonso
  • Jesús Pla


In 1993, Brewster and Gustin described the existence of a kinase whose activity was essential for Saccharomyces cerevisiae to grow in environments with high osmolarity. This led to the discovery of the HOG pathway, a MAP kinase (MAPK) pathway that has been revealed to be crucial to respond to a wide range of stress conditions frequently encountered by fungi in their common habitats. MAPK signaling is initiated at the plasma membrane, where triggering stimuli lead to a phosphorylation cascade that ultimately activates transcription factors to ensure an appropriate adaptive response. In pathogenic fungi, the HOG pathway gains special significance as it is involved in traits related to pathogenicity; these include biofilm formation, adhesion to surfaces, and morphogenetic and epigenetic transitions. It also plays a role in controlling both the pathogen and the commensal state program. Understanding the signals leading to its activation, the elements of the pathways and the targets of the pathway are therefore of primary importance in the design of novel antifungals.


HOG MAPK Candida albicans Stress Fungi 


Funding information

Work in our laboratory is supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad under Grant BIO2015-64777-P and by Comunidad de Madrid under InGEMICS-CM S2017/BMD3691 (Group COMIPAT).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología-IRYCIS, Facultad de FarmaciaUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em SaúdeUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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