The involvement of the Candida glabrata trehalase enzymes in stress resistance and gut colonization.
Candida glabrata is an opportunistic human fungal pathogen and is frequently present in the human microbiome. It has a high relative resistance to environmental stresses and several antifungal drugs. An important component involved in microbial stress tolerance is trehalose. In this work, we characterized the three C. glabrata trehalase enzymes Ath1, Nth1 and Nth2. Single, double and triple deletion strains were constructed and characterized both in vitro and in vivo to determine the role of these enzymes in virulence. Ath1 was found to be located in the periplasm and was essential for growth on trehalose as sole carbon source, while Nth1 on the other hand was important for oxidative stress resistance, an observation which was consistent by the lower survival rate of the NTH1 deletion strain in human macrophages. No significant phenotype was observed for Nth2. The triple deletion strain was unable to establish a stable colonization of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in mice indicating the importance of having trehalase activity for colonization in the gut.