To elucidate the implications of secreted aspartyl proteinase (Sap)2p in the pathogenesis of infections, the gene was expressed in and overexpressed in . The coding region of , including its signal sequence and propeptide, was amplified by PCR and cloned downstream of the or promoter. Plasmid expression of in showed that the signal peptide was functional. Integrative transformation of and was accomplished by homologous recombination within the locus for and the locus for . Negative control transformants carried plasmids either without the insert or with mutated and transformants showed similar growth rates to their parental strains or negative controls, when grown in medium containing amino acids. However, in medium with BSA as sole nitrogen source, constitutive expression of enabled to grow and increased the growth rate of . In both media, only transformants harbouring secreted the enzyme, as confirmed by proteinase activity assays and immunoblotting. When C. albicans was grown in amino acids medium, the enzyme was detected exclusively in transformants constitutively expressing . However, in BSA medium these strains secreted enzyme earlier and secreted higher amounts of enzyme and total proteinase activity. In pathogenicity studies in intact mice, expression of Sap2p as a sole putative virulence factor did not cause to become virulent and constitutive overexpression of did not augment virulence of in experimental oral or systemic infection.


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