Copyright © 2013 Revista Iberoamericana de Micología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Candida glabrata, a haploid and opportunistic fungal pathogen that has not known sexual cycle, has conserved the majority of the genes required for mating and cell type identity. The C. glabrata genome contains three mating-type-like loci called MTL1, MTL2 and MTL3. The three loci encode putative transcription factors, a1, α1 and α2 that regulate cell type identity and sexual reproduction in other fungi like the closely related Saccharomyces cerevisiae. MTL1 can contain either a or α information. MTL2, which contains a information and MTL3 with α information, are relatively close to two telomeres. MTL1 and MTL2 are transcriptionally active, while MTL3 is subject to an incomplete silencing nucleated at the telomere that depends on the silencing proteins Sir2, Sir3, Sir4, yKu70/80, Rif1, Rap1 and Sum1. C. glabrata does not seem to maintain cell type identity, as cell type-specific genes are expressed regardless of the type (or even absence) of mating information. These data highlight important differences in the control of mating and cell type identity between the non-pathogenic yeast S. cerevisiae and C. glabrata, which might explain the absence of a sexual cycle in C. glabrata. The fact that C. glabrata has conserved the vast majority of the genes involved in mating might suggest that some of these genes perhaps have been rewired to control other processes important for the survival inside the host as a commensal or as a human pathogen. This manuscript is part of the series of works presented at the "V International Workshop: Molecular genetic approaches to the study of human pathogenic fungi" (Oaxaca, Mexico, 2012).