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J Infect Dis. 2002 Feb 15;185(4):521-30. Epub 2002 Jan 31.

Essential role of the Candida albicans transglutaminase substrate, hyphal wall protein 1, in lethal oroesophageal candidiasis in immunodeficient mice.

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Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, College of Medicine and Public Health, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1239, USA.


Oroesophageal candidiasis is caused by the combined action of fungal virulence factors and host inflammatory responses when protective immunity is absent. Hyphal wall protein 1 (Hwp1) on germ tubes and true hyphae of Candida albicans forms covalent cross-links to buccal epithelial cells in vitro by functioning as a substrate for mammalian transglutaminases. In this study, beige-athymic (bg/bg-nu/nu) or transgenic epsilon 26 mice that have combined natural killer and T cell defects did not succumb to candidiasis after oral administration of C. albicans strains with inactivated HWP1 genes, whereas mice given isogenic strains of C. albicans that had a single copy of HWP1 survived only 2-3 weeks. Illness correlated with extensive alterations of the lingual and esophageal mucosa that were absent in mice given the hwp1/hwp1 mutant. HWP1 is a promising target for development of antifungal drugs for treatment of oroesophageal candidiasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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