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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 148343, 8 pages
Research Article

Genetic Variability of Candida albicans Sap8 Propeptide in Isolates from Different Types of Infection

Biology Department, Minho University, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal

Received 10 November 2014; Accepted 12 January 2015

Academic Editor: György Schneider

Copyright © 2015 Joana Carvalho-Pereira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The secreted aspartic proteases (Saps) are among the most studied virulence determinants in Candida albicans. These proteins are translated as pre-pro-enzymes consisting of a signal sequence followed by a propeptide and the mature enzyme. The propeptides of secreted proteinases are important for the correct processing, folding/secretion of the mature enzyme. In this study, the DNA sequences of C. albicans Saps were screened and a microsatellite was identified in SAP8 propeptide region. The genetic variability of the repetitive region of Sap8 propeptide was determined in 108 C. albicans independent strains isolated from different types of infection: oral infection (OI), oral commensal (OC), vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), and bloodstream infections (BSI). Nine different propeptides for Sap8 processing were identified whose frequencies varied with the type of infection. OC strains presented the highest gene diversity while OI isolated the lowest. The contribution of the Saps to mucosal and systemic infections has been demonstrated and recently Sap8 has been implicated in the cleavage of a signalling glycoprotein that leads to Cek1-MAPK pathway activation. This work is the first to identify a variable microsatellite in the propeptide of a secreted aspartic protease and brings new insights into the variability of Sap8.