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Microbiol Immunol. 2003;47(6):395-403.

Disruption of the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans catalase gene decreases survival in mouse-model infection and elevates susceptibility to higher temperature and to detergents.

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Laboratory of Medical Mycology, Research Institute for Disease Mechanism and Control, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Aichi 466-8550, Japan.


Catalase-deficient strains of the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans were constructed using the URA-blaster method. The disruptant was viable and grew normally in an ordinary culture condition, but became extremely sensitive to treatment with hydrogen peroxide. No catalase activity was observed in a catalase (CCT)-gene-disrupted strain, 1F5-4-1, suggesting that there were no other catalase or catalase-like enzymes in this yeast. The disruptant was shown to be sensitive to higher temperature and to low concentrations of SDS, NP-40, or Triton X-100. After a wild-type CCT gene was reintroduced into the disruptant, catalase activity was restored and the strain became moderately sensitive to treatment with hydrogen peroxide. However, neither the temperature sensitivity nor the susceptibility to SDS observed in the disruptant was restored in the CCT-reintroduced strain. A model infection experiment using wild-type and dCCT strains showed that the disruptants disappeared more rapidly than the wild-type strain in mouse liver, lung, and spleen. These results suggest that the catalase plays a significant role in survival in the host immune system and thus leads this organism to establish infection in the host.

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