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Loss-of-Function ROX1 Mutations Suppress the Fluconazole Susceptibility of upc2AΔ Mutation in Candida glabrata, Implicating Additional Positive Regulators of Ergosterol Biosynthesis

Tomye L. Ollinger, Bao Vu, Daniel Murante, Josie Parker Orcid Logo, Lucia Simonicova, Laura Doorley, Mark A. Stamnes, Steven Kelly Orcid Logo, P. David Rogers, W. Scott Moye-Rowley Orcid Logo, Damian J. Krysan Orcid Logo

mSphere, Volume: 6, Issue: 6

Swansea University Authors: Josie Parker Orcid Logo, Steven Kelly Orcid Logo

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Abstract

wo of the major classes of antifungal drugs in clinical use target ergosterol biosynthesis. Despite its importance, our understanding of the transcriptional regulation of ergosterol biosynthesis genes in pathogenic fungi is essentially limited to the role of hypoxia and sterol-stress-induced transcr...

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Published in: mSphere
ISSN: 2379-5042
Published: American Society for Microbiology 2021
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59074
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Abstract: wo of the major classes of antifungal drugs in clinical use target ergosterol biosynthesis. Despite its importance, our understanding of the transcriptional regulation of ergosterol biosynthesis genes in pathogenic fungi is essentially limited to the role of hypoxia and sterol-stress-induced transcription factors such as Upc2 and Upc2A as well as homologs of sterol response element binding (SREB) factors. To identify additional regulators of ergosterol biosynthesis in Candida glabrata, an important human fungal pathogen with reduced susceptibility to ergosterol biosynthesis inhibitors relative to other Candida spp., we used a serial passaging strategy to isolate suppressors of the fluconazole hypersusceptibility of a upc2AΔ deletion mutant. This led to the identification of loss-of-function mutations in two genes: ROX1, the homolog of a hypoxia gene transcriptional suppressor in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and CST6, a transcription factor that is involved in the regulation of carbon dioxide response in C. glabrata. Here, we describe a detailed analysis of the genetic interaction of ROX1 and UPC2A. In the presence of fluconazole, loss of Rox1 function restores ERG11 expression to the upc2AΔ mutant and inhibits the expression of ERG3 and ERG6, leading to increased levels of ergosterol and decreased levels of the toxic sterol 14α methyl-ergosta-8,24(28)-dien-3β, 6α-diol, relative to the upc2AΔ mutant. Our observations establish that Rox1 is a negative regulator of ERG gene biosynthesis and indicate that a least one additional positive transcriptional regulator of ERG gene biosynthesis must be present in C. glabrata.
Keywords: fluconazole, Candida glabrata, ergosterol, antifungal drug resistance
College: Swansea University Medical School
Funders: This work was supported by NIH grants 5R01AI52494 (W.S.M.-R.) and 7R01AI131620 (P.D.R.).
Issue: 6