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Transcriptomics in human blood incubation reveals the importance of oxidative stress response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae clinical strains

Silvia Llopis1, Amparo Querol1, Antje Heyken2, Bernhard Hube23, Lene Jespersen4, M Teresa Fernández-Espinar1 and Roberto Pérez-Torrado1*

Author Affiliations

1 Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de los Alimentos, IATA-CSIC, P.O. Box, 73. E-46100, Burjassot, Spain

2 Department of Microbial Pathogenicity Mechanisms, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology, Hans-Knoell-Institute (HKI), Jena, Germany

3 Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany

4 Department of Food Science, Food Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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BMC Genomics 2012, 13:419  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-419

Published: 23 August 2012



In recent years an increasing number of yeast infections in humans have been related to certain clinical isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Some clinical strains showed in vivo and in vitro virulence traits and were able to cause death in mice whereas other clinical strains were avirulent.


In this work, we studied the transcriptional profiles of two S. cerevisiae clinical strains showing virulent traits and two control non-virulent strains during a blood incubation model and detected a specific transcriptional response of clinical strains. This response involves an mRNA levels increase of amino acid biosynthesis genes and especially oxidative stress related genes. We observed that the clinical strains were more resistant to reactive oxygen species in vitro. In addition, blood survival of clinical isolates was high, reaching similar levels to pathogenic Candida albicans strain. Furthermore, a virulent strain mutant in the transcription factor Yap1p, unable to grow in oxidative stress conditions, presented decreased survival levels in human blood compared with the wild type or YAP1 reconstituted strain.


Our data suggest that this enhanced oxidative stress response in virulent clinical isolates, presumably induced in response to oxidative burst from host defense cells, is important to increase survival in human blood and can help to infect and even produce death in mice models.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Clinical strains; Transcriptomics; Blood; Oxidative stress