Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 6147–6154 | Cite as

Upregulation of secreted aspartyl proteinase genes of fluconazole-sensitive Candida albicans isolates

  • Carolina do Rosário Esteves Guimarães
  • Humberto Fonseca de Freitas
  • Tânia Fraga BarrosEmail author
Original Article


Candida albicans infection development depends on several factors associated with this etiological agent, including secreted aspartyl protease (Sap) production. Sap expression commonly occurs under selective pressure caused by the presence of antifungals. Fluconazole is the main antifungal drug used for treatment or prophylaxis. This study investigated the influence of inhibitory and sub-inhibitory fluconazole concentrations on Sap activity and their gene transcription for three clinical C. albicans isolates. Two isolates presented significant increases in Sap activity and transcription of SAP 1-8 genes in the presence of 1 MIC80 of fluconazole compared to the absence of the antifungal agent. The results suggest that the increase in Sap activity occurs due to an upregulation of the SAP gene transcription influenced by fluconazole. This suggests the importance of all SAP genes in the progression of bloodstream infections compared to primary tissue infection. However, this phenomenon does not occur everywhere, and it is multifactorial. This may be related to the selective pressure effect on transcription modulators. Although preliminary, these results open a new perspective for the study of virulence factors.


Candida albicans Secreted aspartyl protease Fluconazole Virulence factors 



The authors are thankful to Dr. Ivano de Filippis at the Laboratory of Reference Microorganisms of the National Institute of Health Quality Control (INCQS), Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for donating ATCC strains. We are also thankful to the laboratory of clinical analyses of the university hospital of UFBA for providing the clinical isolates. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance code 001.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Formal consent is not required for this type of study.

Supplementary material

11033_2019_5049_MOESM1_ESM.docx (228 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 228 kb)
11033_2019_5049_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Postgraduate Program in Pharmacy, Pharmacy CollegeFederal University of BahiaSalvadorBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Pesquisa em Microbiologia Clínica - LPMC, Departamento de Análises Clínicas e Toxicológicas, Pharmacy CollegeFederal University of BahiaSalvadorBrazil

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