The emergence of drug resistance to Candida albicans is problematic in the clinical setting. Therefore, developing new antifungal drugs is in high demand. Our previous work indicated that the antimicrobial peptide P-113Tri exhibited higher antifungal activity against planktonic cells, biofilm cells, and clinical isolates of Candida species compared to its parental peptide P-113. In this study, we further investigated the difference between these two peptides in their mechanisms against C. albicans. Microscopic examination showed that P-113 rapidly gained access to C. albicans cells. However, most of the P-113Tri remained on the cell surface. Moreover, using a range of cell wall-defective mutants and competition assays, the results indicated that phosphomannan and N-linked mannan in the cell wall are important for peptide binding to C. albicans cells. Furthermore, the addition of exogenous phosphosugars reduced the efficacy of the peptide, suggesting that negatively charged phosphosugars also contributed to the peptide binding to the cell wall polysaccharides. Finally, using a glycan array, P-113Tri, but not P-113, can bind to other glycans commonly present on other microbial and mammalian cells. Together, these results suggest that P-113 and P-113Tri have fundamental differences in their interaction with C. albicans and candidacidal activities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)