Glucose Homeostasis Is Important for Immune Cell Viability during Candida Challenge and Host Survival of Systemic Fungal Infection

Timothy M. Tucey, Jiyoti Verma, Paul F. Harrison, Sarah L. Snelgrove, Tricia L. Lo, Allison K. Scherer, Adele A. Barugahare, David R. Powell, Robert T. Wheeler, Michael J. Hickey, Traude H. Beilharz, Thomas Naderer, Ana Traven

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128 Citations (Scopus)


To fight infections, macrophages undergo a metabolic shift whereby increased glycolysis fuels antimicrobial inflammation and killing of pathogens. Here we demonstrate that the pathogen Candida albicans turns this metabolic reprogramming into an Achilles' heel for macrophages. During Candida-macrophage interactions intertwined metabolic shifts occur, with concomitant upregulation of glycolysis in both hostand pathogen setting up glucose competition. Candida thrives on multiple carbon sources, but infected macrophages are metabolically trapped in glycolysis and depend on glucose for viability: Candida exploits this limitation by depleting glucose, triggering rapid macrophage death. Using pharmacological or genetic means to modulate glucose metabolism of host and/or pathogen, we show that Candida infection perturbs host glucose homeostasis in the murine candidemia model and demonstrate that glucose supplementation improves host outcomes. Our results support the importance of maintaining glucose homeostasis for immune cell survival during Candida challenge and for host survival in systemic infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-1006.e7
Number of pages27
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Candida albicans
  • fungal infection
  • GAL4
  • glucose homeostasis
  • glycolysis
  • immunometabolism
  • macrophage
  • TYE7
  • Warburg effect

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