The Identification of Gene Duplication and the Role of Secreted Aspartyl Proteinase 1 in Candida parapsilosis Virulence

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Abstract

In this study, we analyzed the role of Candida parapsilosis–secreted aspartyl proteinase isoenzyme 1 (SAPP1) in virulence. The in silico analysis of SAPP1 sequence revealed a 2871 base pair–duplicated region (SAPP1a and SAPP1b) in the genome of C. parapsilosis. We generated homozygous ΔΔsapp1a, ΔΔsapp1b, and ΔΔsapp1a-ΔΔsapp1b mutants. Notably, Sapp1 production in an inducer medium was reduced by approximately 50% in the ΔΔsapp1a and ΔΔsapp1b mutants, but the other validated SAPP gene (SAPP2) was not affected. In contrast, Sapp2 production was increased in the ΔΔsapp1a-ΔΔsapp1b mutant relative to wild-type (WT) yeast. The ΔΔsapp1a-ΔΔsapp1b strain was hypersusceptible to human serum and was attenuated in its capacity to damage host-effector cells. The phagocytosis and killing of ΔΔsapp1a-ΔΔsapp1b yeasts by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and PBMC-derived macrophages (PBMC-DM) was significantly enhanced relative to WT. Phagolysosomal fusion in PBMC-DMs occurred more than twice as frequently with ingested ΔΔsapp1a-ΔΔsapp1b yeast cells compared with WT.

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