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Dermaseptin‐S1 decreases Candida albicans growth, biofilm formation and the expression of hyphal wall protein 1 and aspartic protease genes

Belmadani, A., Semlali, A., Rouabhia, M.
Journal of applied microbiology 2018 v.125 no.1 pp. 72-83
Candida albicans, amphotericin B, antimicrobial peptides, aspartic proteinases, biofilm, blastospores, cell membrane structures, cell walls, electron microscopy, gene expression regulation, genes, hyphae, pathogenesis, therapeutics, virulence
AIMS: This study aimed to investigate the effect of synthetic antimicrobial peptide dermaseptin‐S1 (DS1) (ALWKTMLKKLGTMALHAGKAALGAADTISQGTQ) on the growth of Candida albicans, its transition from blastospore to hyphae, and its biofilm formation. We also analysed the expression of different genes (HWP1 and SAPs) involved in C. albicans virulence. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using cell count we showed that in addition to decreasing C. albicans growth, peptide DS1 inhibited its transition from blastospore to hyphal form. These effects are comparable to those obtained with amphotericin B (AmB). Electron microscopy analyses showed that C. albicans cells treated with either DS1 or AmB displayed a distorted cell wall surface, suggesting that the effect of DS1 was similar to that of AmB on C. albicans cell membrane structure. These observations were confirmed by our results with biofilms showing that both DS1 peptide and AmB significantly inhibited biofilm formation after 2 and 4 days. The effect of DS1 on C. albicans growth, transition and biofilm formation may occur through gene modulation, as the expression of HWP1, SAP1, SAP2, SAP3, SAP9 and SAP10 genes involved in C. albicans pathogenesis were all downregulated when C. albicans was treated with DS1. CONCLUSIONS: DS1 inhibits the growth and hyphal transition of C. albicans. DS1 was also able to decrease the expression of and gene expression of hyphal wall protein 1 and aspartic proteases genes by C. albicans. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: These data provide new insight into the efficacy of DS1 against C. albicans and its potential for use as an antifungal therapy.