A neutral trehalase gene, from the human pathogenic yeast was isolated and characterized. An ORF of 2724 bp was identified encoding a predicted protein of 907 amino acids and a molecular mass of 104 kDa. A single transcript of approximately 3.2 kb was detected by Northern blot analysis. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of the gene product with that of the gene product revealed 57% identity. The gene was localized on chromosome 1 or R. A null mutant (Δ) was constructed by sequential gene disruption. Extracts from mutants homozygous for neutral trehalase deletion had only marginal neutral trehalase activity. Extracts from heterozygous mutants showed intermediate activities between extracts from the wild-type strain and from the homozygous mutants. The null mutant showed no significant differences in pathogenicity as compared to the wild-type strain in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis. This result indicates that the neutral trehalase of is not a potential target for antifungal drugs.


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