A glucose sensor in Candida albicans

Eukaryot Cell. 2006 Oct;5(10):1726-37. doi: 10.1128/EC.00186-06.


The Hgt4 protein of Candida albicans (orf19.5962) is orthologous to the Snf3 and Rgt2 glucose sensors of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that govern sugar acquisition by regulating the expression of genes encoding hexose transporters. We found that HGT4 is required for glucose induction of the expression of HGT12, HXT10, and HGT7, which encode apparent hexose transporters in C. albicans. An hgt4Delta mutant is defective for growth on fermentable sugars, which is consistent with the idea that Hgt4 is a sensor of glucose and similar sugars. Hgt4 appears to be sensitive to glucose levels similar to those in human serum ( approximately 5 mM). HGT4 expression is repressed by high levels of glucose, which is consistent with the idea that it encodes a high-affinity sugar sensor. Glucose sensing through Hgt4 affects the yeast-to-hyphal morphological switch of C. albicans cells: hgt4Delta mutants are hypofilamented, and a constitutively signaling form of Hgt4 confers hyperfilamentation of cells. The hgt4Delta mutant is less virulent than wild-type cells in a mouse model of disseminated candidiasis. These results suggest that Hgt4 is a high-affinity glucose sensor that contributes to the virulence of C. albicans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Candida albicans / cytology
  • Candida albicans / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / metabolism*
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity
  • Female
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Genes, Fungal / genetics
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Virulence


  • Fungal Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Glucose