Journal Article

Regulated overexpression of <i>CDR1</i> in <i>Candida albicans</i> confers multidrug resistance

Masakazu Niimi, Kyoko Niimi, Yukie Takano, Ann R. Holmes, Frank J. Fischer, Yoshimasa Uehara and Richard D. Cannon

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 54, issue 6, pages 999-1006
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Regulated overexpression of CDR1 in Candida albicans confers multidrug resistance

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Objectives: Information on the function of Candida albicans ATP-binding cassette (ABC) membrane transporter Cdr1p has come from studying the effect of gene inactivation in C. albicans and from heterologous Cdr1p expression in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These approaches, however, give only an indirect indication of Cdr1p function in C. albicans itself. The objective of this study was to determine Cdr1p function in C. albicans by induced overexpression of Cdr1p in a C. albicans CDR1-deleted strain.

Methods: The C. albicans CDR1 open reading frame was fused to the C. albicans HEX1 promoter and used to complement a CDR1-null mutant to create strain FL3. The effect of inducing the FL3 HEX1 promoter, by growth on medium containing N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) as the carbon source, on CDR1 expression and drug susceptibility was determined.

Results: C. albicans FL3 cells grown on medium containing GlcNAc overexpressed CDR1 mRNA and a 170 kDa plasma membrane protein that reacted with anti-Cdr1p antibodies. Overexpression of Cdr1p in C. albicans FL3 conferred resistance to structurally unrelated chemicals such as terbinafine, brefeldin A, cerulenin and nigericin as well as to azole antifungal agents, but not resistance to polyene antibiotics. FK506, ascomycin and ciclosporin A chemosensitized FL3 to fluconazole. FL3 cells grown on GlcNAc effluxed 5.3 times as much Cdr1p substrate rhodamine 6G, over a 10 min period, as FL3 cells grown on glucose, and this rhodamine 6G efflux was inhibited by including fluconazole in the assay.

Conclusion: This study provides the first direct demonstration of Cdr1p pump activity in C. albicans.

Keywords: MDR; fluconazole; antifungals; efflux pumps

Journal Article.  5437 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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