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Title: Combinatorial stress response of the fungal pathogen Candida glabrata
Author: Puttnam, Melanie
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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Candida glabrata is an opportunistic human fungal pathogen, with an increasing incidence of infection, as well as an innate resistance to antifungal drug therapies. It is more closely related to the model and non-pathogenic yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, than other Candida spp. Previous studies have only focused on the response to independent stressors therefore little is known about the adaptive response to simultaneous stresses, even though this is likely to be more relevant in an ecological and pathophysiological setting e.g. upon macrophage engulfment. This study was conducted with the hypothesis that the response of C. glabrata to stressors applied simultaneously could not be explained by simply combining the response to single stresses. To investigate this hypothesis, the response of C. glabrata to hyperosmotic and oxidative stressors applied singly and in combination were examined by timecourse microarray analysis and functional genomics. While genes involved in a HOG-like (High Osmolarity Glycerol) response were regulated by C. glabrata under hyperosmotic stress, many homologous genes are not observed to be regulated by S. cerevisiae. The phenotypes displayed by null mutants of the HOG pathway implicate this MAPK signalling pathway in not only hyperosmotic stress, but also cell wall integrity and metal ion resistance. Microarray analysis revealed a prolonged transcriptional regulation over time with increasing concentration of oxidative stress and other genes with a similar pattern of expression were identified and studied. Transcript profiling of a strain lacking the key oxidative stress regulator Yap1, along with bioinformatic analysis of its binding sites, identified possible targets of this transcription factor in C. glabrata under oxidative stress. This study has identified differentially regulated transcript profiles unique to simultaneous stress and not seen under single stress conditions, indicating that a specific transcriptional response is required for C. glabrata to respond and adapt to combinatorial stress; it is not simply the addition of two individual responses. Comparisons of the transcriptional analysis presented here with that of published macrophage engulfed C. glabrata cells revealed that combinatorial stress elicits a similar response as the host environment. Combining functional genomics and transcript profiling under stress has allowed the identification and characterisation of genes involved in stress response as well as the construction of diagrams specific to the response of C. glabrata to stress.
Supervisor: Haynes, Ken ; Wigneshweraraj, Sivaramesh ; Bignell, Elaine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available