Does alternation of Candida albicans TUP1 gene expression affect the progress of symptomatic recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis?

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Department of Medical Mycology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Invasive Fungi Research Centre,Communicable Diseases Institute / Department of Medical Mycology, School of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

3 Student Research Committee , Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

4 Center for Research and Training in Skin Diseases and Leprosy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

7 Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background and Purpose: Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) is one of the most common gynecological conditions in healthy and diabetic women, as well as antibiotic users. The present study was conducted to determine the relationship between TUP1 gene expression patterns and symptomatic recurrent C. albicans infections.
Materials and Methods: This research was performed on C. albicans samples isolated from the vaginal specimens obtained from 31 individuals with RVVC in 2016. The reference strain C. albicans ATCC 10231, 10 C. albicans strains isolated from minimally symptomatic patients, and 10 isolates from asymptomatic patients were also used as control strains. The relative mRNA expression of the TUP1 gene was quantified using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR).
Results: The QRT-PCR results revealed that TUP1 mRNA expression was significantly decreased (0.001-0.930 fold) in the C. albicans isolates obtained from RVVC patients (p <0.001). However, no TUP1 expression was detectable in the isolates collected from asymptomatic patients. The results also indicated a significant correlation between TUP1 mRNA expression level and the severity of itching and discharge (p <0.001).
Conclusion: The present results were suggestive of the probable contribution of TUP1, as a part of the transcriptional repressor, to the severity of the symptoms related to C. albicans infections in the vagina. Regarding this, it is required to perform more in vivo studies using a larger sample size to characterize the regulatory or stimulatory function of TUP1 in the severity of RVVC symptoms. Furthermore, the study and identification of the genes involved in the severity of the symptomatic manifestations of C. albicans, especially in resistant strains, may lead to the recognition of an alternative antifungal target to enable the development of an effective agent.


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