The SNF1 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ScSNF1) is essential for the derepression of catabolic repression. We report here the isolation and characterization of an SNF1 homolog from Candida albicans (CaSNF1) which is apparently essential for the viability of this organism. The putative amino acid sequence of CaSNF1 has 68% identity with that of ScSNF1 and can restore the S. cerevisiae snf1 delta mutant's ability to utilize sucrose. Disruption of one of the CaSNF1 alleles resulted in morphological changes and decreased growth rates but did not modify the carbon source utilization pattern. Repetitive unsuccessful attempts to generate a snf1/snf1 homozygote by disruption of the second allele, using various vectors and approaches, suggest the lethal nature of this mutation. Integration into the second allele was possible only when a full-length functional SNF1 sequence was reassembled, further supporting this hypothesis and indicating that the indispensability of Snf1p prevented the isolation of snf1/snf1 mutants. The mutant bearing two disrupted SNF1 alleles and the SNF1 functional sequence maintained its ability to utilize sucrose and produced stellate colonies with extensive hyphal growth on agar media. It was demonstrated that in a mouse model, the virulences of this mutant and the wild-type strain are similar, suggesting that hyphal growth in vitro is not an indicator for higher virulence.