Identifying Genes Required for Saccharomyces cerevisiae Growth in Mucin

Title: Identifying Genes Required for Saccharomyces cerevisiae Growth in Mucin
Authors: Mercurio, Kevin Jay Belarmino
Date: 2020-05-25
Abstract: The human gut microbiome is a vast ecosystem of microorganisms that play an important role in human metabolism, immunological function, and even inflammatory gut diseases. Metagenomics research on the human gut microbiome has demonstrated the presence of DNA from dietary yeast species like Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, it is unknown if the S. cerevisiae detected in metagenomics studies is solely from dead dietary sources or if they can live and colonize the human gut like their close relative Candida albicans. While S. cerevisiae can adapt to low oxygen and acidic environments, it has yet to be explored whether it can metabolize mucin, the primary carbon source found in the mucus layer of the human gut. Mucins are large, gel-forming, highly glycosylated proteins that make up a majority of carbohydrate sources in the gut mucosa. This work determined that S. cerevisiae can utilize mucin as their main carbon source which results in a significant reduction in cell size. Additionally, an aspartyl protease named Yps7, part of a family containing known homologues to mucin-degrading C. albicans proteins in S. cerevisiae, is important for growth on mucin media. To further identify biological pathways required to grow optimally in mucin, both a transcriptome analysis on wild type cells (BY4743) and a chemogenomics screen was performed. In total, 2131 genes demonstrated significant differential expression in mucin media, and 30 genes upon their deletion impacted their growth on mucin. Both these screens suggest that mitochondrial function is required for proper growth in mucin, which was further elucidated by the change in mitochondrial morphology and oxygen consumption in yeast cells upon mucin treatment. Indeed, the uncharacterized open reading frame YCR095W-A is required for growth on mucin as the deletion mutant showed dysfunction in mitochondrial morphology and cellular respiration, further suggesting a potential role in mitochondrial function. Importantly, this project serves as the initial step towards establishing if our most common dietary fungus can survive in the mucus environment of the human gut.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -