Candida glabrata is a human commensal and an opportunistic human fungal pathogen. It is more closely related to the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae than other Candida spp. Compared with S. cerevisiae, C. glabrata exhibits higher innate tolerance to various environmental stressors, including hyperthermal stress. Here we investigate the molecular mechanisms of C. glabrata adaptation to heat stress via adaptive laboratory evolution. We show that all parallel evolved populations readily adapt to hyperthermal challenge (from 47 °C to 50 °C) and exhibit convergence in evolved phenotypes with extensive cross-tolerance to various other environmental stressors such as oxidants, acids, and alcohols. Genome resequencing identified fixation of mutations in CgSTE11 in all parallel evolved populations. The CgSTE11 homolog in S. cerevisiae plays crucial roles in various mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, but its role is less understood in C. glabrata. Subsequent verification confirmed that CgSTE11 is important in hyperthermal tolerance and the observed extensive cross-tolerance to other environmental stressors. These results support the hypothesis that CgSTE11 mediates cross-talks between MAPK signaling pathways in C. glabrata in response to environmental challenges.
Mian Huang, Jibran Khan, Manpreet Kaur, Julian Daniel Torres Vanega, Orlando Andres Aguilar Patiño, Anand Ramasubramanian, and Katy Kao. "CgSTE11 mediates cross tolerance to multiple environmental stressors in Candida glabrata" Scientific Reports (2019). doi:10.1038/s41598-019-53593-5