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author:("trfa, David")
1.  Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) reduces damage to reconstituted human tissues infected with Candida species by inhibiting extracellular fungal lipases 
Microbes and infection / Institut Pasteur  2009;11(14-15):1131-1139.
A reconstituted human tissue model was used to mimic Candida albicans and Candida parapsilosis infection in order to investigate the protective effects of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin, ASA). We found that therapeutic concentrations of ASA reduced tissue damage in the in vitro infection model. We further evaluated the lipase inhibitory effects of ASA by investigating the growth of C. albicans, C. parapsilosis and C. parapsilosis lipase negative (Δcplip1-2/Δcplip1-2) mutants in a lipid rich minimal medium supplemented with olive oil and found that a therapeutic concentration of ASA inhibited the growth of wild type fungi. The lipase inhibitors quinine and ebelactone B were also shown to reduce growth and protect against tissue damage from Candida species, respectively. A lipolytic activity assay also showed that therapeutic concentrations of ASA inhibited C. antarctica and C. cylindracea purified lipases obtained through a commercial kit. The relationship between ASA and lipase was characterized through a computed structural model of the Lipase-2 protein from C. parapsilosis in complex with ASA. The results suggest that development of inhibitors of fungal lipases could result in broad-spectrum therapeutics, especially since fungal lipases are not homologous to their human analogues.
PMCID: PMC2787780  PMID: 19703582
Candida; Acetylsalicylic Acid; Lipases; Human Fungal Pathogen; Yeast; Inhibition; Pathogenesis
2.  Fatty Acid Synthase Impacts the Pathobiology of Candida parapsilosis In Vitro and during Mammalian Infection 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(12):e8421.
Cytosolic fungal fatty acid synthase is composed of two subunits α and β, which are encoded by Fas1 and Fas2 genes. In this study, the Fas2 genes of the human pathogen Candida parapsilosis were deleted using a modified SAT1 flipper technique. CpFas2 was essential in media lacking exogenous fatty acids and the growth of Fas2 disruptants (Fas2 KO) was regulated by the supplementation of different long chain fatty acids, such as myristic acid (14∶0), palmitic acid (16∶0), and Tween 80, in a dose-specific manner. Lipidomic analysis revealed that Fas2 KO cells were severely restricted in production of unsaturated fatty acids. The Fas2 KO strains were unable to form normal biofilms and were more efficiently killed by murine-like macrophages, J774.16, than the wild type, heterozygous and reconstituted strains. Furthermore, Fas2 KO yeast were significantly less virulent in a systemic murine infection model. The Fas2 KO cells were also hypersensitive to human serum, and inhibition of CpFas2 in WT C. parapsilosis by cerulenin significantly decreased fungal growth in human serum. This study demonstrates that CpFas2 is essential for C. parapsilosis growth in the absence of exogenous fatty acids, is involved in unsaturated fatty acid production, influences fungal virulence, and represents a promising antifungal drug target.
PMCID: PMC2791871  PMID: 20027295
3.  Candida parapsilosis, an Emerging Fungal Pathogen 
Clinical Microbiology Reviews  2008;21(4):606-625.
Summary: Candida parapsilosis is an emerging major human pathogen that has dramatically increased in significance and prevalence over the past 2 decades, such that C. parapsilosis is now one of the leading causes of invasive candidal disease. Individuals at the highest risk for severe infection include neonates and patients in intensive care units. C. parapsilosis infections are especially associated with hyperalimentation solutions, prosthetic devices, and indwelling catheters, as well as the nosocomial spread of disease through the hands of health care workers. Factors involved in disease pathogenesis include the secretion of hydrolytic enzymes, adhesion to prosthetics, and biofilm formation. New molecular genetic tools are providing additional and much-needed information regarding C. parapsilosis virulence. The emerging information will provide a deeper understanding of C. parapsilosis pathogenesis and facilitate the development of new therapeutic approaches for treating C. parapsilosis infections.
PMCID: PMC2570155  PMID: 18854483
4.  Targeted gene deletion in Candida parapsilosis demonstrates the role of secreted lipase in virulence  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2007;117(10):3049-3058.
Candida parapsilosis is a major cause of human disease, yet little is known about the pathogen’s virulence. We have developed an efficient gene deletion system for C. parapsilosis based on the repeated use of the dominant nourseothricin resistance marker (caSAT1) and its subsequent deletion by FLP-mediated, site-specific recombination. Using this technique, we deleted the lipase locus in the C. parapsilosis genome consisting of adjacent genes CpLIP1 and CpLIP2. Additionally we reconstructed the CpLIP2 gene, which restored lipase activity. Lipolytic activity was absent in the null mutants, whereas the WT, heterozygous, and reconstructed mutants showed similar lipase production. Biofilm formation was inhibited with lipase-negative mutants and their growth was significantly reduced in lipid-rich media. The knockout mutants were more efficiently ingested and killed by J774.16 and RAW 264.7 macrophage-like cells. Additionally, the lipase-negative mutants were significantly less virulent in infection models that involve inoculation of reconstituted human oral epithelium or murine intraperitoneal challenge. These studies represent what we believe to be the first targeted disruption of a gene in C. parapsilosis and show that C. parapsilosis–secreted lipase is involved in disease pathogenesis. This efficient system for targeted gene deletion holds great promise for rapidly enhancing our knowledge of the biology and virulence of this increasingly common invasive fungal pathogen.
PMCID: PMC1974868  PMID: 17853941

Results 1-4 (4)