Gain-of-function mutations in PDR1, a regulator of antifungal drug resistance in Candida glabrata, control adherence to host cells

Infect Immun. 2013 May;81(5):1709-20. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00074-13. Epub 2013 Mar 4.


Candida glabrata is an emerging opportunistic pathogen that is known to develop resistance to azole drugs due to increased drug efflux. The mechanism consists of CgPDR1-mediated upregulation of ATP-binding cassette transporters. A range of gain-of-function (GOF) mutations in CgPDR1 have been found to lead not only to azole resistance but also to enhanced virulence. This implicates CgPDR1 in the regulation of the interaction of C. glabrata with the host. To identify specific CgPDR1-regulated steps of the host-pathogen interaction, we investigated in this work the interaction of selected CgPDR1 GOF mutants with murine bone marrow-derived macrophages and human acute monocytic leukemia cell line (THP-1)-derived macrophages, as well as different epithelial cell lines. GOF mutations in CgPDR1 did not influence survival and replication within macrophages following phagocytosis but led to decreased adherence to and uptake by macrophages. This may allow evasion from the host's innate cellular immune response. The interaction with epithelial cells revealed an opposite trend, suggesting that GOF mutations in CgPDR1 may favor epithelial colonization of the host by C. glabrata through increased adherence to epithelial cell layers. These data reveal that GOF mutations in CgPDR1 modulate the interaction with host cells in ways that may contribute to increased virulence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Adhesion / genetics*
  • Candida glabrata / genetics*
  • Candida glabrata / pathogenicity
  • Candidiasis / genetics
  • Candidiasis / metabolism
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Phagocytosis / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Virulence


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Cytokines
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Transcription Factors