Among the most common mechanisms of multidrug resistance (MDR) in prevalent human fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, overexpression of drug efflux pumps remains the predominant mechanism. Hence to inhibit efflux pumps and chemosensitize C. albicans against traditional antifungal drugs still represents an attractive approach. The present study aimed to analyze the effect of Vanillin (Van), a natural food flavoring agent, on drug efflux pump activity of Candida albicans.
Methods and results
We observed that Van specifically inhibits Candida drug resistance protein 2 (CaCdr2p) activity belonging to ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) superfamily as revealed by abrogated rhodamine 6G efflux and nile red accumulation assay with CaCdr2p over expressing strain. Insight studies into the mechanisms suggested that abrogated efflux by CaCdr2p is due to competitive mode of inhibition by Van as depicted by Lineweaver-Burk plot. RT-PCR, western blot and confocal microscopy further unraveled that Van leads to reduced expression of CDR2 and CaCdr2p mislocalization respectively. Furthermore, Van sensitizes the azole sensitive and resistant clinical matched pair of isolates Gu4/Gu5 and led to abrogated rhodamine 6G efflux and depleted ergosterol. Furthermore, Van synergizes with membrane targeting drugs fluconazole and amphotericin B as their fractional inhibitory coefficient index was less than 0.5.
Van being a potent inhibitor of CaCdr2p and chemosensitizing of drug resistant C. albicans warrants further studies to be exploited as effective antifungal agent.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Candida albicans, Vanillin, MDR, CaCdr2p, Ergosterol, Drug synergism