Physiologically Relevant Alternative Carbon Sources Modulate Biofilm Formation, Cell Wall Architecture and the Stress and Antifungal Resistance of Candida glabrata

Shu Yih Chew, Kok Lian Ho, Yoke Kqueen Cheah, Doblin Sandai, Alistair J. P. Brown, Leslie Than Thian Lung (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Flexibility in carbon metabolism is pivotal for the survival and propagation of many human fungal pathogens within host niches. Indeed, flexible carbon assimilation enhances pathogenicity and affects the immunogenicity of Candida albicans. Over the last decade, Candida glabrata has emerged as one of the most common and problematic causes of invasive candidiasis. Despite this, the links between carbon metabolism, fitness, and pathogenicity in C. glabrata are largely unexplored. Therefore, this study has investigated the impact of alternative carbon metabolism on the fitness and pathogenic attributes of C. glabrata. We confirm our previous observation that growth on carbon sources other than glucose, namely acetate, lactate, ethanol, or oleate, attenuates both the planktonic and biofilm growth of C. glabrata, but that biofilms are not significantly affected by growth on glycerol. We extend this by showing that C. glabrata cells grown on these alternative carbon sources undergo cell wall remodeling, which reduces the thickness of their β-glucan and chitin inner layer while increasing their outer mannan layer. Furthermore, alternative carbon sources modulated the oxidative stress resistance of C. glabrata as well as the resistance of C. glabrata to an antifungal drug. In short, key fitness and pathogenic attributes of C. glabrata are shown to be dependent on carbon source. This reaffirms the perspective that the nature of the carbon sources available within specific host niches is crucial for C. glabrata pathogenicity during infection
Original languageEnglish
Article number3172
Number of pages13
Journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number13
Early online date28 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgments: This study was funded by Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) from Ministry of Education (MOE), Malaysia (Grant number: 01-01-14-1456FR). S.Y.C. is a recipient of the MyBrain 15 Scholarship from MOE, Malaysia. AB was supported by the UK Medical Research Council ( MR/M026663/1), the Medical Research Council Centre for Medical Mycology (MR/N006364/1), the Wellcome Trust ( 097377), and the European Commission (FunHoMic: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018-812969)


  • Candida glabrata
  • biofilms
  • cell wall
  • antifungal resistance
  • metabolic adaptation
  • metabolism
  • alternative carbon metabolism
  • pathogenicity
  • MSN2P


Dive into the research topics of 'Physiologically Relevant Alternative Carbon Sources Modulate Biofilm Formation, Cell Wall Architecture and the Stress and Antifungal Resistance of Candida glabrata'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this