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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1997 Jan 1;146(1):65-71.

Thermotolerance and trehalose accumulation induced by heat shock in yeast cells of Candida albicans.

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Departamento de Genética y Microbiología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, Spain.


Candida albicans yeast cells growing exponentially on glucose are extremely sensitive to severe heat shock treatments (52.5 degrees C for 5 min). When these cultures were subjected to a mild temperature preincubation (42 degrees C), they became thermotolerant and displayed higher resistance to further heat stress. The intracellular content of trehalose was very low in exponential cells, but underwent a marked increase upon non-lethal heat exposure. The accumulation of trehalose is likely due to heat-induced activation of the trehalose-6-phosphate synthase complex, whereas the external trehalase remained practically unmodified. After a temperature reversion shift (from 42 degrees C to 28 degrees C), the pool of trehalose was rapidly mobilized without any concomitant change in trehalase activity. These results support an important role of trehalose in the mechanism of acquired thermotolerance in C. albicans and seem to exclude the external trehalase as a key enzyme in this process.

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