A role for Candida albicans superoxide dismutase enzymes in glucose signaling

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Jan 1;495(1):814-820. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.11.084. Epub 2017 Nov 14.


The Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans yeasts have evolved to differentially use glucose for fermentation versus respiration. S. cerevisiae is Crabtree positive, where glucose represses respiration and promotes fermentation, while the opportunistic fungal pathogen C. albicans is Crabtree negative and does not repress respiration with glucose. We have previously shown that glucose control in S. cerevisiae involves the antioxidant enzyme Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1), where H2O2 generated by SOD1 stabilizes the casein kinase YCK1 for glucose sensing. We now demonstrate that C. albicans SODs also participate in glucose regulation. C. albicans expresses two cytosolic SODs, Cu/Zn SOD1 and Mn containing SOD3, and both complemented a S. cerevisiae sod1Δ mutant in stabilizing YCK1. Moreover, in C. albicans cells, both SODs functioned to repress glucose transporter genes in response to glucose. However, the action of SODs in glucose control has diverged in the two yeasts. In S. cerevisiae, SOD1 specifically functions in the glucose sensing pathway involving YCK1 and the RGT1 repressor, but the analogous YCK/RGT1 pathway in C. albicans shows no control by SOD enzymes. Instead C. albicans SODs work in the glucose repression pathway involving the MIG1 transcriptional repressor. In C. albicans, the SODs repress glucose uptake, while in S. cerevisiae, SOD1 activates glucose uptake, in accordance with the divergent modes for glucose utilization in these two distantly related yeasts.

Keywords: Candida albicans; Glucose; Superoxide dismutase; Yeast.

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / classification*
  • Candida albicans / enzymology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / physiology
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism*
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1 / metabolism*


  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1
  • Glucose