Andrea Cillingova, Renata Toth, Anna Mojakova, Igor Zeman, Romana Vrzonova, Barbara Sivakova, Peter Barath, Martina Nebohacova, Zuzana Klepcova, Filip Brazdovic, Hana Lichancova, Viktoria Hodorova, Brona Brejova, Tomas Vinar, Sofia Mutalova, Veronika Vozarikova, Giacomo Mutti, Lubomir Tomaska, Atilla Gacser, Toni Gabaldon, Jozef Nosek. Transcriptome and proteome profiling reveals complex adaptations of Candidaparapsilosis cells assimilating hydroxyaromatic carbon sources. PLoS Genetics, 18(3):e1009815. 2022.
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Many fungal species utilize hydroxyderivatives of benzene and benzoic acid as carbon sources. The yeast Candida parapsilosis metabolizes these compounds via the 3-oxoadipate and gentisate pathways, whose components are encoded by two metabolic gene clusters. In this study, we determine the chromosome level assembly of the C. parapsilosis strain CLIB214 and use it for transcriptomic and proteomic investigation of cells cultivated on hydroxyaromatic substrates. We demonstrate that the genes coding for enzymes and plasma membrane transporters involved in the 3-oxoadipate and gentisate pathways are highly upregulated and their expression is controlled in a substrate-specific manner. However, regulatory proteins involved in this process are not known. Using the knockout mutants, we show that putative transcriptional factors encoded by the genes OTF1 and GTF1 located within these gene clusters function as transcriptional activators of the 3-oxoadipate and gentisate pathway, respectively. We also show that the activation of both pathways is accompanied by upregulation of genes for the enzymes involved in beta-oxidation of fatty acids, glyoxylate cycle, amino acid metabolism, and peroxisome biogenesis. Transcriptome and proteome profiles of the cells grown on 4-hydroxybenzoate and 3-hydroxybenzoate, which are metabolized via the 3-oxoadipate and gentisate pathway, respectively, reflect their different connection to central metabolism. Yet we find that the expression profiles differ also in the cells assimilating 4-hydroxybenzoate and hydroquinone, which are both metabolized in the same pathway. This finding is consistent with the phenotype of the Otf1p-lacking mutant, which exhibits impaired growth on hydroxybenzoates, but still utilizes hydroxybenzenes, thus indicating that additional, yet unidentified transcription factor could be involved in the 3-oxoadipate pathway regulation. Moreover, we propose that bicarbonate ions resulting from decarboxylation of hydroxybenzoates also contribute to differences in the cell responses to hydroxybenzoates and hydroxybenzenes. Finally, our phylogenetic analysis highlights evolutionary paths leading to metabolic adaptations of yeast cells assimilating hydroxyaromatic substrates.