Virulence of Candida albicans is attributable to its unique dimorphic transition from non-pathogenic yeast cells to pathogenic hyphal cells. We previously discovered a novel antifungal agent, known as HWY-289. To characterize the mechanism underlying HWY-289 antifungal activity, we performed 2-DE to identify proteins that were differentially expressed during yeast-to-hyphal transition and in response to HWY-289. Twenty-four differentially expressed protein spots were identified in HWY-289-treated yeast. Most differentially expressed proteins were involved in carbohydrate-derived energy metabolism, cellular detoxification, and antioxidant defenses. Two proteins were involved in cell cycle regulation and DNA processing, and both were downregulated by HWY-289, suggesting that this agent might promote cell death by weakening cellular defense systems. HWY-289 inhibited yeast-to-hyphal transition in a dose-dependent manner. 2-DE analysis of hyphae uncovered several proteins that were induced during yeast-to-hyphal transition. Of these, aconitase and phosphatidylinositol transfer protein were down-regulated by HWY-289, suggesting that they mediate the antifungal effects of HWY-289. Finally, RT-PCR analysis revealed that HWY-289 induced expression of three RAS-related genes (CcCST20, CaHST7, and CaCPH1) in yeast cells, but suppressed their expression in hyphae. Thus, the antifungal action of HWY-289 may be attributable to its ability to disrupt prohyphal RAS signaling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry