Fructose Induces Fluconazole Resistance in <em>Candida albicans</em> through Activation of Mdr1 and Cdr1 Transporters

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 21;22(4):2127. doi: 10.3390/ijms22042127.


Candida albicans is a pathogenic fungus that is increasingly developing multidrug resistance (MDR), including resistance to azole drugs such as fluconazole (FLC). This is partially a result of the increased synthesis of membrane efflux transporters Cdr1p, Cdr2p, and Mdr1p. Although all these proteins can export FLC, only Cdr1p is expressed constitutively. In this study, the effect of elevated fructose, as a carbon source, on the MDR was evaluated. It was shown that fructose, elevated in the serum of diabetics, promotes FLC resistance. Using C. albicans strains with green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagged MDR transporters, it was determined that the FLC-resistance phenotype occurs as a result of Mdr1p activation and via the increased induction of higher Cdr1p levels. It was observed that fructose-grown C. albicans cells displayed a high efflux activity of both transporters as opposed to glucose-grown cells, which synthesize Cdr1p but not Mdr1p. Additionally, it was concluded that elevated fructose serum levels induce the de novo production of Mdr1p after 60 min. In combination with glucose, however, fructose induces Mdr1p production as soon as after 30 min. It is proposed that fructose may be one of the biochemical factors responsible for Mdr1p production in C. albicans cells.

PMID:33669913 | DOI:10.3390/ijms22042127