Candida albicans GRX2, encoding a putativeglutaredoxin, is required for virulence in amurine model

G.M. Chaves, S. Bates, D.M. MacCallum, F.C. Odds
Published November 27, 2007
Genet. Mol. Res. 6 (4): 1051-1063 (2007)

About the authors
G.M. Chaves, S. Bates, D.M. MacCallum, F.C. Odds

Corresponding author
F.C. Odds


Resistance of Candida albicans to reactive oxygen species is thought to enhance its virulence in mammalian hosts. Genes such as SOD1, which encodes the anti-oxidant, superoxide dismutase, are known virulence factors. We disrupted the gene GRX2, which encodes a putative glutathione reductase (glutaredoxin) in C. albicans, and we compared the mutant with an sod1∆ mutant. In vitro, the grx2∆ strain, but not the sod1∆ strain, was defective in hypha formation. The grx2∆ strain, but not sod1∆, was significantly more susceptible to killing by neutrophils. When exposed to two compounds that generate reactive oxygen species, both mutants were susceptible to 1 mM menadione, but grx2∆ null alone was resistant to diamide. Both mutants were attenuated in a murine intravenous challenge model, and a GRX2 reintegrant regained partial virulence. Emphasis on the putative function of products of genes such as SOD1 and GRX2 in resistance to oxidative stress may oversimplify their functions in the virulence process, since the grx2∆ strain also gave defective hypha formation. Both mutants were sensitive to menadione and were slow to form germ tubes, though growth rates matched controls once the lag phase was passed.

Key words: Candida albicans, Virulence, GRX2, Glutathione reductase

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