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Functional Rewiring of Zinc Cluster Transcription Factors Between Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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Functional Rewiring of Zinc Cluster Transcription Factors Between Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Tebung, Walters Aji (2016) Functional Rewiring of Zinc Cluster Transcription Factors Between Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Abstract

Functional Rewiring of Zinc Cluster Transcription Factors Between Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Walters Aji Tebung, PhD
Concordia University, 2016
The prediction of protein function based on the role of orthologous proteins in other species is a common practice in life sciences. While such predictions prove accurate in some cases, a growing number of structurally orthologous proteins with different roles have been reported. Functional differences among structurally orthologous transcription factors create what has been termed transcriptional rewiring. We have characterized some zinc cluster transcription factors (ZCFs) in Candida albicans (C. albicans) including Ppr1, Stb5 and Put3. We identified cases of total rewiring, partial rewiring and functional conservation (no rewiring) but with some regulatory fine-tuning between C. albicans and S. cerevisiae for the ZCFs Ppr1, Stb5 and Put3 respectively.
We show that Ppr1 regulates purine catabolism in C. albicans, which is different from its role in S. cerevisiae where it regulates pyrimidine biosynthesis. We identified that Ppr1 rewired at Naumovozyma castellii in the phylogeny, and propose that Ppr1 rewiring is a result of cellular adaptations to permit growth in hypoxic conditions. In another study, we report that Stb5 has gone from regulating drug efflux pumps and glyoxylate cycle enzymes in C. albicans, to only regulating drug efflux pumps in S. cerevisiae. The glyoxylate cycle is required for C. albicans virulence, and our stb5 null mutants showed sensitivity to the echinocandin class of antifungal drugs. We therefore propose Stb5 as a potential drug target against candidiasis. Finally, we discovered that Put3 has conserved its role in regulating proline catabolism between C. albicans and S. cerevisiae. However, unlike the case of S. cerevisiae where Put3 can only activate transcription of proline catabolism genes in the absence of rich nitrogen sources, there is no equivalent restriction in C. albicans where Put3 preserves its ability to activate proline degradation even in the presence of the rich nitrogen source ammonium sulfate, thus allowing for the use of proline as a carbon source. The robust ability of C. albicans to obtain nutrients from a variety of sources adds to its efficiency as a pathogen.
These studies correlate transcriptional rewiring to species requirements, where different species adapt available transcription factors to meet their specific needs.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Chemistry and Biochemistry
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Tebung, Walters Aji
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Chemistry
Date:21 July 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Whiteway, Malcolm
ID Code:981453
Deposited By: WALTERS AJI TEBUNG
Deposited On:09 Nov 2016 14:05
Last Modified:01 Sep 2018 00:01
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