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Candida albicans can coaggregate with Streptococcus gordonii and cocolonize in the oral cavity. Saliva provides a vital microenvironment for close interactions of oral microorganisms. However, the level of fermentable carbohydrates in saliva is not sufficient to support the growth of multiple species. Glycoside hydrolases (GHs) that hydrolyze glycoproteins are critical for S. gordonii growth in low-fermentable-carbohydrate environments such as saliva. However, whether GHs are involved in the cross-kingdom interactions between C. albicans and S. gordonii under such conditions remains unknown. In this study, C. albicans and S. gordonii were cocultured in heart infusion broth with a low level of fermentable carbohydrate. Planktonic growth, biofilm formation, cell aggregation, and GH activities of monocultures and cocultures were examined. The results revealed that the planktonic growth of cocultured S. gordonii in a low-carbohydrate environment was elevated, while that of cocultured C. albicans was reduced. The biomass of S. gordonii in dual-species biofilms was higher than that of monocultures, while that of cocultured C. albicans was decreased. GH activity was observed in S. gordonii, and elevated activity of GHs was detected in S. gordonii-C. albicans cocultures, with elevated expression of GH-related genes of S. gordonii. By screening a mutant library of C. albicans, we identified a tec1Δ/Δ mutant strain that showed reduced ability to promote the growth and GH activities of S. gordonii compared with the wild-type strain. Altogether, the findings of this study demonstrate the involvement of GHs in the cross-kingdom metabolic interactions between C. albicans and S. gordonii in an environment with low level of fermentable carbohydrates. IMPORTANCE Cross-kingdom interactions between Candida albicans and oral streptococci such as Streptococcus gordonii have been reported. However, their interactions in a low-fermentable-carbohydrate environment like saliva is not clear. The current study revealed glycoside hydrolase-related cross-kingdom communications between S. gordonii and C. albicans under the low-fermentable-carbohydrate condition. We demonstrate that C. albicans can promote the growth and metabolic activities of S. gordonii by elevating the activities of cell-wall-anchored glycoside hydrolases of S. gordonii. C. albicans gene TEC1 is critical for this cross-kingdom metabolic communication.


Zhiyan Zhou, Biao Ren, Jiyao Li, Xuedong Zhou, Xin Xu, Yuan Zhou. The Role of Glycoside Hydrolases in S. gordonii and C. albicans Interactions. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2022 May 24;88(10):e0011622

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PMID: 35506689

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