In order to isolate the structural gene involved in sucrose utilization, we screened a sucrose-induced Candida albicans cDNA library for clones expressing α-glucosidase activity. The C. albicans maltase structural gene (CAMAL2) was isolated. No other clones expressing α-glucosidase activity were detected. A genomic CAMAL2 clone was obtained by screening a size- selected genomic library with the cDNA clone. DNA sequence analysis reveals that CAMAL2 encodes a 570-amino-acid protein which shares 50% identity with the maltase structural gene (MAL62) of Saccharomyces carlsbergensis. The substrate specificity of the recombinant protein purified from Escherichia coli identifies the enzyme as a maltase. Northern (RNA) analysis reveals that transcription of CAMAL2 is induced by maltose and sucrose and repressed by glucose. These results suggest that assimilation of sucrose in C. albicans relies on an inducible maltase enzyme. The family of genes controlling sucrose utilization in C. albicans shares similarities with the MAL gene family of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and provides a model system for studying gene regulation in this pathogenic yeast.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology