Glucose promotes stress resistance in the fungal pathogen Candida albicans

Alexandra Rodaki, Iryna M Bohovych, Brice Enjalbert, Tim Young, Frank C Odds, Neil A R Gow, Alistair J P Brown

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141 Citations (Scopus)
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Metabolic adaptation, and in particular the modulation of carbon assimilatory pathways during disease progression, is thought to contribute to the pathogenicity of Candida albicans. Therefore, we have examined the global impact of glucose upon the C. albicans transcriptome, testing the sensitivity of this pathogen to wide-ranging glucose levels (0.01, 0.1, and 1.0%). We show that, like Saccharomyces cerevisiae, C. albicans is exquisitely sensitive to glucose, regulating central metabolic genes even in response to 0.01% glucose. This indicates that glucose concentrations in the bloodstream (approximate range 0.05-0.1%) have a significant impact upon C. albicans gene regulation. However, in contrast to S. cerevisiae where glucose down-regulates stress responses, some stress genes were induced by glucose in C. albicans. This was reflected in elevated resistance to oxidative and cationic stresses and resistance to an azole antifungal agent. Cap1 and Hog1 probably mediate glucose-enhanced resistance to oxidative stress, but neither is essential for this effect. However, Hog1 is phosphorylated in response to glucose and is essential for glucose-enhanced resistance to cationic stress. The data suggest that, upon entering the bloodstream, C. albicans cells respond to glucose increasing their resistance to the oxidative and cationic stresses central to the armory of immunoprotective phagocytic cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4845-4855
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number22
Early online date16 Sept 2009
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2009

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  • antifungal agents
  • blood glucose
  • Candida albicans
  • candidiasis
  • cell cycle proteins
  • drug resistance, fungal
  • fungal proteins
  • gene expression profiling
  • gene expression regulation, fungal
  • glucose
  • humans
  • mitogen-activated protein kinases
  • osmotic pressure
  • oxidative stress
  • peroxides
  • reactive oxygen species
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • trehalose


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