Purpurin triggers caspase-independent apoptosis in Candida dubliniensis biofilms
Candida dubliniensis is an important human fungal pathogen that causes oral infections in patients with AIDS and diabetes mellitus. However, C. Dubliniensis has been frequently reported in bloodstream infections in clinical settings. Like its phylogenetically related virulent species C. albicans, C. Dubliniensis is able to grow and switch between yeast form and filamentous form (hyphae) and develops biofilms on both abiotic and biotic surfaces. Biofilms are recalcitrant to antifungal therapies and C. Dubliniensis readily turns drug resistant upon repeated exposure. More than 80% of infections are associated with biofilms. Suppression of fungal biofilms may therefore represent a viable antifungal strategy with clinical relevance. Here, we report that C. dubliniensis biofilms were inhibited by purpurin, a natural anthraquinone pigment isolated from madder root. Purpurin inhibited C. dubliniensis biofilm formation in a concentration-dependent manner ; while mature biofilms were less susceptible to purpurin. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis revealed scanty structure consisting of yeast cells in purpurin-treated C. dubliniensis biofilms. We sought to delineate the mechanisms of the anti-biofilm activity of purpurin on C. Dubliniensis. Intracellular ROS levels were significantly elevated in fungal biofilms and depolarization of MMP was evident upon purpurin treatment in a concentration-dependent manner. DNA degradation was evident. However, no activated metacaspase could be detected. Together, purpurin triggered metacaspase-independent apoptosis in C. dubliniensis biofilms.
Tsang, W.,Wong, A.,Yang, H.,& Li, N. (2013). Purpurin triggers caspase-independent apoptosis in Candida dubliniensis biofilms. PLoS ONE, 8 (12), e86032. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0086032