Curcumin exhibits antifungal activity against Candida albicans. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Antifungal curcumin induces reactive oxygen species and triggers an early apoptosis but prevents hyphae development by targeting the global repressor TUP1 in Candida albicans.
Biosci Rep. 2009 Dec 17. Epub 2009 Dec 17. PMID: 20017731
In the present study, we have investigated the antifungal effects of a natural polyphenol, Curcumin (CUR), against albicans and non albicans species of Candida and shown its ability to inhibit the growth of all the tested strains. The inhibitory effects of CUR were independent of the status of the multi drug efflux pump proteins belonging to either ABC (ATP-Binding Cassette) or MFS (Major Facilitator) super families of transporters. By using a systemic murine model of infection, we established that CUR and piperine when administered together caused a significant fungal load reduction (1.4log10) in kidneys of Swiss mice. Additionally, CUR raised the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which as revealed by Annexin V-FITC labeling, triggered an early apoptosis in Candida cells. Coincident with the raised ROS levels, mRNAs of tested oxidative stress related genes (CAP1, CaIPF7817, SOD2, GRP2 and CAT1) were also elevated. The growth inhibitory effects of CUR could be reversed by the addition of natural and synthetic antioxidants. Notably, independent of ROS status, polyphenol CUR prevented hyphae development in both liquid and solid hypha inducing media by targeting global suppressor TUP1. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence that CUR acts as an antifungal agent, via generation of oxidative stress, inhibits hyphae development by targeting TUP1.