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Infect Immun. Mar 1995; 63(3): 984–988.
PMCID: PMC173099

Degradation of humoral host defense by Candida albicans proteinase.


The effect of an extracellular proteinase from the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans on the bactericidal and opsonizing activities of human serum was studied. The ability of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes to kill Staphylococcus aureus was greatly reduced when the bacteria were opsonized with human serum treated with the proteinase. The reduction in the opsonizing activity of human serum was attributed to degradation of the Fc portion of immunoglobulin G by the action of C. albicans proteinase as determined by immunoprecipitation reaction. However, the Fab portion of immunoglobulin G was resistant to proteolysis by the proteinase. A clear reduction in the bactericidal activity of human serum against Escherichia coli was observed when the serum was treated with C. albicans proteinase. The reduction of serum bactericidal activity was attributed to the degradation of complement C3 by proteolysis by the proteinase as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, while C5 resisted the action of the proteinase. As determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, the proteinase also degrades endogenous proteinase inhibitors, such as alpha 2 macroglobulin and alpha 1 proteinase inhibitor, which are involved in regulating inflammation. These results suggest that destruction of a host's defense-oriented or regulatory proteins facilitates debilitation of the infected host.

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Selected References

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