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PLoS One. 2016 Apr 8;11(4):e0153374. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153374. eCollection 2016.

Potassium Uptake Mediated by Trk1 Is Crucial for Candida glabrata Growth and Fitness.

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Department of Membrane Transport, Institute of Physiology, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.


The maintenance of potassium homeostasis is crucial for all types of cells, including Candida glabrata. Three types of plasma-membrane systems mediating potassium influx with different transport mechanisms have been described in yeasts: the Trk1 uniporter, the Hak cation-proton symporter and the Acu ATPase. The C. glabrata genome contains only one gene encoding putative system for potassium uptake, the Trk1 uniporter. Therefore, its importance in maintaining adequate levels of intracellular potassium appears to be critical for C. glabrata cells. In this study, we first confirmed the potassium-uptake activity of the identified gene's product by heterologous expression in a suitable S. cerevisiae mutant, further we generated a corresponding deletion mutant in C. glabrata and analysed its phenotype in detail. The obtained results show a pleiotropic effect on the cell physiology when CgTRK1 is deleted, affecting not only the ability of trk1Δ to grow at low potassium concentrations, but also the tolerance to toxic alkali-metal cations and cationic drugs, as well as the membrane potential and intracellular pH. Taken together, our results find the sole potassium uptake system in C. glabrata cells to be a promising target in the search for its specific inhibitors and in developing new antifungal drugs.

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