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FEBS Lett. 2004 Jan 2;556(1-3):47-52.

Disruption of gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase results in absolute glutathione auxotrophy and apoptosis in Candida albicans.

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Laboratory of Biophysics, School of Biological Sciences, and Institute of Microbiology, Seoul National University, 151-742, Seoul, South Korea.


Glutathione is the most abundant non-protein thiol and a major source of reducing equivalents in eukaryotes. We examined the role of glutathione in Candida albicans by the disruption of gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCS1), an essential enzyme in glutathione biosynthesis. The gcs1/gcs1 null mutants exhibited glutathione auxotrophy, which could be rescued by supplementing with reduced and oxidized glutathione and gamma-glutamylcysteine. When the mutants were depleted of glutathione, they showed typical markers of apoptosis. These results suggest that glutathione itself is an essential metabolite and C. albicans lacking GCS1 undergoes apoptosis.

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