The Dietary Food Components Capric Acid and Caprylic Acid Inhibit Virulence Factors in Candida albicans Through Multitargeting

J Med Food. 2017 Nov;20(11):1083-1090. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.3971. Epub 2017 Sep 18.


Capric acid and caprylic acid are the dietary food components. They are found to inhibit the virulence factors like morphogenesis, adhesion, and biofilm formation in the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. Our study demonstrated that yeast-to-hyphal signal transduction pathways were affected by capric acid and caprylic acid. The expression profile of genes associated with serum-induced morphogenesis showed reduced expressions of Cdc35, Hwp1, Hst7, and Cph1 by the treatment with both the fatty acids. Cell elongation gene, Ece1, was surprisingly downregulated by 5208-fold by the treatment of caprylic acid. Nrg1 and Tup1, negative regulators of hyphal formation, were overexpressed in presence of capric or caprylic acid. Cell cycle studies revealed that capric and caprylic acids arrested cell cycle at G2/M and S phase. Targeting the virulence factors like yeast-to-hyphal transition is efficacious for treatment of opportunistic fungal infections. This research suggests that both capric and caprylic acid may be effective interventions for treating C. albicans yeast infections.

Keywords: Candida albicans; biofilm; capric acid; caprylic acid; cell cycle; dietary food component; yeast-to-hyphal transition.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / genetics
  • Candida albicans / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / metabolism
  • Caprylates / pharmacology*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Decanoic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / drug effects
  • Hyphae / drug effects
  • Hyphae / genetics
  • Hyphae / growth & development
  • Hyphae / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Caprylates
  • Decanoic Acids
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Virulence Factors
  • decanoic acid
  • octanoic acid